The GuardianThe Guardian

A cocktail party from hell: in court with Ghislaine Maxwell, the society princess

By John Sweeney

04 Dec 2021 · 8 min read

The lady in the white mask is quite the gracious host, mwah-mwahing her pals, hugs-a-go-go, writing thoughtful little Post-it notes, blessing her set with her exclusive attention. Only this is not a gathering of socialites over canapés, but a child sexual abuse trial, and her friends are fancy lawyers, and the people who once served and allegedly serviced her and her ex-lover Jeffrey Epstein, body and soul, seem to be in no mood for mwah-mwah.

Welcome to the cocktail party from hell, or to give the proceedings their proper name, the trial of the United States of America v Ghislaine Maxwell. Staged in the grand US federal court building in a half-empty Manhattan, it is a grimly fascinating study, if you side with the defence, in false memory syndrome and gold-digging.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content
Or

LoginForm.agreeToTerms