One of Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers has described seeing “the enjoyment in her face” as the 59-year-old British socialite “humiliat[ed]” her alleged victims as “the engineer” of Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse.
Sarah Ransome, who says she was repeatedly raped by Epstein over a nine-month period starting in 2006, told CBS News that Ms Maxwell is a “very sick woman” who visibly took pleasure in “humiliating” her alleged victims.
“Ghislaine enjoyed humiliating us. You could see the enjoyment in her face,” she said.
Ms Ransome described Ms Maxwell as an “aristocratic pimp” who ”orchestrated” the abuse carried out by convicted paedophile Epstein.
“She was the organizer. She was the engineer. She orchestrated everything,” she said.
Ms Maxwell’s high-profile sex trafficking trial is currently under way in New York.
The former girlfriend and alleged madam of Epstein is accused of preying on vulnerable young girls and grooming them for the billionaire financier to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Prosecutors say Ms Maxwell also participated in some of the abuse herself. She denies all of the allegations.
Ms Ransome, who flew into New York City last week for the start of the trial, spoke out ahead of the release of her new book Silenced No More: Surviving My Journey to Hell and Back.
The book, out on 7 December, details the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of Ms Maxwell and Mr Epstein.
Ms Ransome told CBS she was first introduced to Epstein at a nightclub in New York in 2006 when she was aged 22.
She said she flew to the late paedophile’s private Caribbean island Little St James thinking it “sounded so amazing”.
It was there that she said she first met Ms Maxwell and where she found herself trapped on the island – nicknamed “Paedophile Island” by Epstein survivors – being raped repeatedly by Epstein.
“It sounded so amazing – and then boof, you’re on this island, and that’s it. Lock and key,” she said.
“There is no escape. There is no one to hear your screams and cries.”
Ms Ransome said the alleged abuse continued for nine months, all the while she feared her family would be murdered if she revealed what was going on.
“It was made very clear to me that first trip that if I ever went to the authorities, if I told my parents, if I told my friends, if I ever left, Jeffrey said to me, ‘I will kill you. I will hunt your mother and father down, and I will kill them,’” she said.
“I was frozen, I was petrified,” she said, adding that “you had no way else to escape or run, otherwise you and your entire family will be murdered”.
Ms Ransome, now 37, sued Epstein and Ms Maxwell in 2017 and reached a settlement with them – something she said she now regrets because she will “never have my day in court”.
Epstein died by suicide in his Manhattan prison cell in August 2019 while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Ms Maxwell was arrested on sex-trafficking charges in July 2020 and has been held in a federal jail in Brooklyn, New York, ever since.
She faces six charges at her ongoing trial: one each of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of conspiracy related to the other counts.
She has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, she faces up to 35 years in prison.