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Laurence Haïm: "The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is the trial of the world of the 1%, of people who believe themselves above the law"


The journalist, who attended the trial of the heiress, returns in her latest book to the twists and turns of an extraordinary legal case, and the dizzying fall of the one who once strutted all over Manhattan. Maintenance.

They were only five to have the precious sesame.

In order to hope to closely follow the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, this handful of reporters had to do the crane foot (or find a friendly replacement) every night, from 1:30 am, in the cold of December.

And this, until the opening of the Manhattan court, at 9 a.m. sharp.

Among these privileged few was Laurence Haïm, who was able to attend the hearings of this legal battle.

An experience that the French political journalist recounts in her book

Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman in love

(1), published on September 8.

Passionate about major American trials, the former White House correspondent notably covered that of OJ Simpson in 1992. Twenty-five years later, CBS News called on her to work on the Jeffrey Epstein case.

At the time, the reporter had already crossed paths with the billionaire “at the bend of an evening”.

She does not know anything, however, about her alleged accomplice.

Then begins a fascinating dive into the world of Ghislaine Maxwell, an heiress with dark secrets.

Arrested in the summer of 2020, the latter will be sentenced, in June 2022, to spend twenty years behind bars.

Read alsoGhislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison

The “Maxwell Prisoner”

Full screen


Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman in love

, Laurence Haïm evokes the fate of Jeffrey Epstein's accomplice.

Editions Robert Laffont

Miss Figaro.


The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of having delivered minors to Jeffrey Epstein so that he sexually abused them, was not as publicized as the legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

But he, too, aroused a kind of fascination…

Laurence Haïm.


Ghislaine Maxwell's trial received much less media coverage for several reasons.

First, it started in the middle of the Covid period.

Second, television cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, as it is prohibited in New York State.

In the case of the trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the hearings were broadcast live.

It became a kind of series.

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was still followed in the United States, in particular by specialists in the subject and by America Me Too.

On the day of the verdict, all American channels were live.

On the day of the verdict, it was the prisoner Maxwell, while during the trial, she was "Miss Maxwell"

Laurence Haim

What were the stakes of the Maxwell trial?

The Maxwell trial is that of a certain America.

That of economic inequalities, of the world of the 1% and of the abuses committed by people who believe themselves above the law.

That of justice in New York, which can sometimes operate at two speeds.

The one initiated by young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, confronted with a world of extremely rich people.

That, too, of Jeffrey Epstein.

You were one of the five journalists who were able to attend the trial hearings.

What impression did Ghislaine Maxwell have on you when you saw her for the first time?

I was shocked to see that she was not in prison uniform.

She didn't look like she came out of a Brooklyn jail cell.

She was elegant.

It was cold in the room, so she wore black pants and cashmere turtleneck sweaters, often black, beige, or burgundy.

She didn't seem to be walking stooped, as one might have imagined.

But on the day of the sentence, a completely different woman appeared in court.

She was in uniform, handcuffed at the ankles, and looked much more frail.

It was the prisoner Maxwell, whereas, during the trial,

A “European woman”

What attitude did Ghislaine Maxwell adopt during the testimonies of the victims?

His face showed no emotion.

She never looked at them.

She barely turned her head for five seconds on sentencing day to glance at Sarah Ransome, a young girl who was testifying but had not been called during the trial.

Ghislaine only showed warmth with her lawyers.

She often kissed them in front of us.

It stuck with us, because people in America don't kiss to say hello.

There is a different relationship to touch.

She behaved like a very European woman, especially with her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim.

Ghislaine Maxwell was completely abandoned by the world in which she moved

Laurence Haim

Was Ghislaine Maxwell supported by those close to her throughout the trial?

She had very few supporters in the room, but they were extremely loyal.

She is a woman who has been completely abandoned by the world in which she lived.

But every day, in the front row, her family took turns to come and see her.

His sister Isabelle was there very often, as was his brother Kevin and sometimes his other brother, Ian Maxwell.

Read also"A rap battle with pencils": during her trial, Ghislaine Maxwell draws the judicial illustrator

The encounter

This trial gave the opportunity to explore in more detail the relationship between Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, to better understand it.

How did the heiress and the billionaire meet?

No one really knows.

Some say this coveted British heiress met him when she arrived in New York in 1991 bereaved by the death of her father.

Others claim that Jeffrey Epstein would have gone to England before the disappearance of Robert Maxwell, to do business with him, and that the latter would have presented his daughter to him.

If I could interview Ghislaine Maxwell, that would be the first thing I would ask her.

When Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein got together, they both understood what they could bring to each other

Laurence Haim

How did the relationship between Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein develop?

Ghislaine Maxwell fell madly in love with Jeffrey Epstein.

He was, at the time, one of New York's most coveted bachelors.

But he was not yet at his peak.

When they got together, they both understood what they could bring to each other.

At the time, the Maxwells were friends with all the big shots on the planet.

Jeffrey Epstein was a very ambitious man who wanted to go far in business.

He told himself that this woman was not only beautiful and intelligent, but that she would also open doors for him.

Ghislaine has always liked successful men.

In video,

Ghislaine Maxwell in the shadow of Epstein

, the trailer

Nadia's fate

During all these years, Jeffrey Epstein has benefited from the silence and loyalty of certain women.

In addition to Ghislaine Maxwell, you speak in particular of his former assistant or his ex-companions.

How can this loyalty be explained?

In 2008, Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor in a lawsuit against him in Florida state court.

He signed an agreement with the prosecutor Alexander Acosta, and agreed to spend 18 months in prison.

And this, on one condition: that the American justice renounces to prosecute certain young women who worked for him.

He thus provided a list of four names.

Among them, that of Nadia, a woman from Eastern Europe.

He had made her migrate to the United States, and had paid for her studies.

There are women who loved Jeffrey Epstein and were part of the system

Laurence Haim

What has she become?

She became a pilot thanks to him.

She set up her private aviation company, and often went on vacation with Jeffrey Epstein in the Virgin Islands.

She even flew her particular Boeing.

She certainly saw a lot.

But she's on the billionaire's list – so we can't sue her.

To this day, she remains silent.

There are women who loved Jeffrey Epstein and were part of the system, that's the terrible thing.

Read alsoAfter Ghislaine Maxwell, four other women are accused of having procured sex slaves for Jeffrey Epstein

Serial threats

In the acknowledgments of your book, you mention the threats you suffered during your investigation.

What form did they take?

When I worked for CBS News, I was in contact with a confidential source, at the heart of the Epstein affair.

One day I told my editor what I had found.

I hung up and five minutes later someone called me asking me to stop talking to this witness.

The person told me that she knew important people, that we had to be very careful.

I really felt like I was bugged.

Whenever we found important people who had closely or from afar rubbed shoulders with this world, they denied any relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Even if the passenger lists of the "Lolita Express" showed that they had traveled around the world in the private plane of the billionaire - and I speak French -,

During my investigation, I really had the feeling of having been wiretapped

Laurence Haim

The new life of Ghislaine Maxwell

What does Ghislaine Maxwell's life look like today?

She is serving her sentence in a Florida prison, which is not the one chosen by her family and her lawyers.

They wanted her to go to another prison: Danbury Prison, Connecticut.

Judge Nathan had accepted this request, but Ghislaine was transferred to a more difficult correctional facility, near Tallahassee, Florida, at the request of the Bureau of Prisons.

I am told that she gives English lessons there and that she will learn Russian.

The outcome of this appeal could depend on another legal battle: the one between Alan Dershowitz and Virginia Giuffre

Laurence Haim

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to twenty years in prison.

She has since filed an appeal.

Is this request likely to succeed?

There will be a call.

The main argument of this application is the incident related to juror 50. He was a member of the trial jury, but revealed that he lied during his selection.

He had not declared that he had been the victim of sexual abuse.

Ghislaine's lawyers therefore consider that he was not impartial.

They demand that the verdict be reviewed.

In addition, the outcome of this appeal could depend on another legal battle: that which will oppose lawyer Alan Dershowitz to Virginia Giuffre.

What is this other legal battle?

Alan Dershowitz promises incredible revelations about Virginia Giuffre, who accuses him of having sexually assaulted her when she was a minor, through Jeffrey Epstein.

He claims that she is a liar, that she keeps demanding money from the rich and that he will not let it go.

He keeps repeating that he found bombs on her.

For her part, Virginia Giuffre, who also accused Prince Andrew of sexual abuse, before negotiating a financial agreement with him, wants the lawyer to be tried in court.

She says her life was destroyed by her meeting with Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, and she will never forget it.

You can consider that without it there is no


Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman in love

, by Laurence Haïm, published on September 8, 2022, Ed.

Robert Laffont, 272 pages, €18

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2022-09-27

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