Fourth Maxwell accuser Annie Farmer takes stand as trial resumes – latest
Ghislaine Maxwell Trial: Day 7
The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell has resumed a day after being adjourned due to an attorney falling ill. Judge Alison Nathan updated jurors on Friday morning that everyone is now doing well and all attorneys are present.
Ms Maxwell is accused of grooming teenage girls for her convicted sex offender partner Jeffrey Epstein from the 1990s onwards. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Her defence team said that she is being made the “scapegoat” for Epstein’s deeds.
However, her accusers have testified that she was instrumental in the late financier’s crimes and even participated.
Annie Farmer, the fourth accuser from the indictment against Ms Maxwell, is now testifying. She is the only victim using her real name.
Meanwhile, Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother Kevin Maxwell has alleged that his sister is being abused in prison and was only fed a packet of crisps during one day in court.
The prosecution reiterated on Wednesday that they intend to rest their case this week, wrapping up arguments from their side in a trial that was expected to last five to six weeks.
Ms Farmer says that after the trip to New Mexico she put the cowboy boots in the back of her closet.
Later that year she went on a cultural immersion trip to Thailand and Vietnam and testifies that it was paid for by Epstein.
She says she had no more contact with Epstein and Ms Maxwell, adding that she first told her mother about what happened in the late summer of 1996.
“I told my mom I was not raped and I didn’t want to talk about it.”
She also told a boyfriend, and then began speaking to the media in 2002, and law enforcement in 2006/7 when she spoke to the FBI.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:57
Ms Farmer is asked if Ms Maxwell ever gave her a massage and replies that yes, she did, adding that there was a table set up in the room in which she was staying.
Ms Maxwell instructed her to undress and she was massaged wearing nothing.
Instructed to roll onto her back, she said Ms Maxwell “pulled the sheet down”, “exposed her breasts”, and touched them.
She recalled having the sense that Epstein might be watching as the door to the room was open.
In the morning, Epstein came into her room and said he wanted to cuddle. He climbed into bed with her.
She did not like it and went into the bathroom and shut the door and waited.
Asked if she wrote about the incident in her journal, she said no as she did not want to think about it.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:48
Ms Maxwell took her shopping and bought her cowboy boots that cost more than $100, says Ms Farmer, adding she was grateful.
She went to the movies with Epstein and Ms Maxwell to see Primal Fear. Ms Farmer said she did not want to go given what had happened in New York, but adds that she thought it would be different this time given the presence of Ms Maxwell.
“He right away tried to hold my hand and caress and hold my foot and my arm,” she testified, adding he touched her for most of the movie and did not hide that he was doing it.
Back at the ranch, Ms Maxwell sat and held one of Epstein’s feet and instructed her to massage the other.
“I just watched what she was doing and she instructed me.”
“And so I did what she told me.”
“I felt very uncomfortable,” she says of the massage.
“I wanted to stop, and I was hoping it’d be over quickly.”
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:39
Ms Farmer says she next saw Epstein in the spring of 1996. She flew on a commercial airline to New Mexico in April of that year.
A driver met her at the airport, holding a sign with her name on it. She was driven to Epstein’s Zorro Ranch.
It was here that she met Ms Maxwell for the first time. Ms Farmer said her presence made her feel comfortable after what has happened in the movie theatre and that she had been told Ms Maxwell would be there by her mother.
She described Ms Maxwell as slim and attractive in her 30s with a British accent.
On the defendant’s relationship with Epstein, she says she believed they were “romantic partners” and appeared “intimate” with each other.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:31
Ms Farmer says she would sometimes write in a journal but was not consistent.
She did write about the trip and described seeing The Phantom of the Opera as a highlight — “I bawled. It was fanstastic” — and having champagne with Epstein.
Reading from the journal to the court she described the trip to the movies.
“It was a little weird. One of those things that was hard to explain.”
She wrote: “Then he sort of caressed, rubbed my arm, shoe and foot.”
The journal entry stated that it “weirded me out” that Epstein let go of her hand when he spoke to her sister, Maria.
Ms Farmer also wrote about not wanting to bring it up: “She worships him [Epstein] and it would just create problems.”
She wrote that she knew it sounded like she was “trying to justify him doing something weird, but it isn’t.”
Reflecting on what she had written in her journal, Ms Farmer told the court: “I was trying to come up with excuses or justification to make it try to feel okay.”
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:20
During the trip Epstein took her to see Phantom of the Opera and a movie at which he sat between her and her sister.
He “caressed” her hand and then rubbed her leg.
“I felt sick to my stomach. It wasn’t something that I was at all expecting.”
She adds that when Maria looked over he would stop, then begin again when she turned away.
Asked if she told her sister she says she did not and was confused. She described her sister as protective and knew she would be upset and worried she might lose her job, so decided not to say anything.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:13
Ms Farmer testifies that she met Epstein at his “very grand home” during the trip, and was staying with her sister at her apartment.
The financier asked her about her plans and suggested she apply for the University of California at Los Angeles saying he had connections.
He also suggested she go on an international trip to boost her application prospects.
Ms Farmer said she was excited to meet him and he was very friendly and seemed “down to earth” and “very nice”. She was excited by the prospect that he could help her.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:08
Ms Farmer is asked about her background, saying that she was born in Missouri and tells the court that growing up “money was tight” and that “it had often been a stressor since my parents were divorced”. She worried about how college would be paid for.
She talks about her siblings, including older sister Maria Farmer who is nine years older and was working in New York City with Epstein.
Ms Farmer says that when she was 16, Epstein bought her a ticket to New York. She was excited to see her sister and she met the late financier twice during the trip – but not Ms Maxwell. A photo of her at the time is entered into evidence.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 15:04
Ms Farmer is asked if anyone in the courtroom has ever given her a massage.
She identifies Ms Maxwell.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 14:56
New witness: Annie Farmer
Annie Farmer is called to take the stand.
She is the only one of Ms Maxwell’s four accusers from the indictment who is testifying using her true identity and not a pseudonym.
The Judge instructs the jury that any physical contact mentioned in her testimony that takes place in New Mexico between Ms Farmer and Ms Maxwell and Epstein was not illegal as she was over the age of 16 at the time.
Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 14:54