Ghislaine Maxwell news – latest: Juror problems delay trial as accuser addresses crowd outside court

Watch live outside courthouse as Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins

The six-week trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has begun in New York City with opening arguments in the much-awaited case expected later today following a delay due to issues with two members of the jury.

The trial is being held at the Manhattan federal court where Ms Maxwell, 59, will face charges related to her alleged involvement in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes.

Sarah Ransome — one of several women to have accused Epstein and Ms Maxwell of abuse — was seen arriving at the courthouse on Monday morning. She told reporters: “I never thought this day would come.”

Ms Maxwell, who spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents, is accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late disgraced financier to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

In July 2020, she was tracked down by the FBI and arrested after she was charged with enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity and several other related counts.

While Epstein died by suicide in federal custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, awaiting his own trial, Ms Maxwell’s hearings are expected to reveal new details about the case.

The daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, Ms Maxwell faces the prospect of up to 35 years of jail if she is found guilty.


Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 17:45


Other jurors may still be tapped for jury duty

Judge Nathan has returned to the bench as the jurors continue to try and resolve their situations — it is hoped that this can be done within the hour.

She raises the possibility of having seven alternates instead of six and then proceed with the opening statements.

Addressing the remaining potential jurors who are still waiting in two other courtrooms in the building, she tells them that they may still be called upon for jury duty.

A suggestion of an early lunch break is dismissed as lunch for the jurors will not arrive until 1pm.

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 17:25


Courtroom sketches show Maxwell at trial

With no video feeds allowed in federal court cases, the only images we will see from inside the court proceedings are those of sketch artists.

Ghislaine Maxwell enters the courtroom escorted by US Marshalls at the start of her trial


Images have already emerged of Ms Maxwell entering the court and sitting with her defence team.

Ghislaine Maxwell sits at the defence table during final stages of jury selection


Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 17:07


Everything you need to know about the trial

While we wait on the court to resolve the problems of two of the jurors, here’s a refresher on everything you need to know about the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 16:47


Discussions on jurors continue

Judge Nathan has told the juror with the vacation plans to keep pushing to see if there are options to move the trip as she is inclined for the court to sit that week.

She is still gathering information from the other juror regarding their employment situation.

Discussions are underway as to what to do if they have to replace either of the jurors.

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 16:13


Pause in proceedings

There is a pause in proceedings as a juror speaks with the judge about financial hardship, claiming their employer may not pay them to be off work for a six-week trial.

Another juror says a spouse has surprised them with a four-day vacation over the holidays from 24-28 December.

Judge Nathan is contacting the first juror’s employer.

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 15:51


Isabel Maxwell arrives at court

Ghislaine Maxwell’s sister Isabel is in court with her offering support. She was pictured arriving at the courthouse earlier on Monday morning.

Isabel Maxwell, the sister of Ghislaine Maxwell, arrives at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City on 29 November 2021

(Getty Images)

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 15:35


Opening statements begin

The prosecution team will present its opening statement first.

This is their opportunity to frame the case as they would like the jury to see it — though nothing they say is evidence.

Opening statements set the tone for the trial and often feature themes that are returned to during closing arguments once the evidence has been presented to the jury.

Prosecutors expect to keep their opening statement to approximately 25 minutes and Ms Maxwell’s lawyers hope to keep their’s under an hour, according to Law & Crime’s Adam Klasfeld.

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 15:21


Jury and alternates selected

The jury and alternates have been picked.

They have been asked to come to the third-floor courtroom so that opening statements can begin.

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 15:11


Maxwell in court

Ms Maxwell is in court, with Bloomberg reporting that she is wearing a white turtleneck and dark slacks and is seated next to her lawyers, who she embraced on arrival as she usually does.

Her sister Isabel is seated behind the defence table in the spectator area.

Oliver O’Connell29 November 2021 15:08


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