Written by Gina Sarran and Jeffrey Young, CNN
Trial with a twist: The two-part trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, who stands accused of sexually abusing three teenage girls during the 1980s, started with embarrassing, and somewhat salacious revelations for Maxwell’s defense team.
CNN’s Kate Snow sat in on the first day of Maxwell’s trial on Tuesday and spoke to the dozens of reporters watching, and video journalists covering the proceedings from halfway around the world.
Channel 3 chief legal analyst Nigel Davies and journalist Daniel Gale discussed how Maxwell’s defense team bungled their first pre-trial hearing last month, a topic Snow also chose to cover.
Although Max in January pleaded not guilty to 23 criminal charges against her, including kidnapping, assault and human trafficking, prosecutors say she was secretly living as a single mother of two in her then-husband’s condominium in Malibu, California.
Ghislaine Maxwell was known for her stylish past and tabloid appearances.
John Roy Ravenelle, editor of the UK’s Daily Express, covers the international media’s response to the case from the UK. According to Ravenelle, there’s been a strong reaction in England, where coverage so far includes 750,000 mentions of Ghislaine Maxwell on Twitter.
Maxwell, nicknamed “Ghislaine Rolls-Royce” because of her designer threads, was a former face of numerous famous brands, including Chanel, Chanel Ives, Christian Dior, Anne Klein, Dior Makeup, Max Factor, Hermes, Marc Jacobs, S.T. Dupont, Bobbi Brown and Opus One.
In her final years, she was on the books of one of the world’s most prestigious law firms, Greenberg Traurig, until the firm severed ties with her in October 2015. She maintained an image as a devoted mother of two, a film director and a philanthropist.
However, she was seldom seen in public and was known only for her gossipy and peccadilloes.
Maxwell was arrested on allegations of sexual abuse of three teenage girls, and evidence from one of them has been submitted to the court. According to prosecutors, the woman claims that Maxwell took her to Malibu in 1987 and physically abused her, and also threatened to have her accused of the crimes if she ever testified against her.
According to the allegations outlined in the court document, Maxwell tied the woman to a chair and locked her in a room while kicking and punching her on several occasions. She sexually abused the woman, who was a 16-year-old high school student, throughout the trip.
A second teen victim claims that Maxwell secretly videotaped some of the abuse. The third is a former model, now in her forties, who alleges that Maxwell developed a “honey trap” for her.
Ghislaine Maxwell is accused of kidnapping, assault and human trafficking. A trial date has yet to be set.
Through the years, the defendant grew increasingly isolated from her close friends and family. She obtained permission from her father, Arthur, to sell her personal items — including Rolex watches, handbags and jewelry — from her personal filebook. She spent more than $4 million on homes around the world in the New York, Los Angeles and London areas.
Maxwell is also accused of assaulting her eldest daughter, Gay, in her Upper East Side New York apartment in 2009, before she even turned 18 years old.
In her real estate career, Maxwell is alleged to have been the daughter of the owners of 15 London-area estates.
Maxwell also is alleged to have been the daughter of the owners of 10 Upper East Side New York properties