How Ghislaine Maxwell helped ‘prostitute’ Epstein.

Maxwell working for Epstein

British prosecutor: Ghislaine Maxwell was Epstein’s ‘star witness’

By Jesse Singal

No one thought that Maximillian Ovadia’s wife Jessica would be implicated in anything bad. And yet just this week, a British prosecutor’s statement to a court in a high-profile sex assault case turned this seemingly benign mother of three into the major character who allegedly witnessed acts of sexual aggression and then told police about it.

Court documents in Ovadia’s case mention: “The defendant’s wife, Jessica Ovadia, had been convicted for [an] unrelated matter relating to truancy, fraud and forgery, [but] she later embarked on a criminal career as a prostitute, she is accused of acting as an accomplice to her husband’s crime, [and] continues to enjoy a high-class of clientele and enjoys an extremely high lifestyle while being a ‘dowager’ of a wealthy London household.”

All of this happened while Ovadia was trying to avoid charges of being a pimp.

Jessica Ovadia, the prosecutor stated, “was known as ‘the Voluptuous Virgin’ — she invited certain male tourists to her apartment and from there [he] called her ‘the voluptuous virgin’.” According to the court filing, Jessica Ovadia had “a crush on Epstein” and “willfully allowed Epstein to lure single prostitutes to [her] apartment, [to] give her sexual massages and to molest [them] sexually.”

Molesters in this situation tend to enjoy privileged lives and lead disturbing lives that many in the general public would find troubling. In this case, Epstein got the connections and knew that it was alright to get close to Jessica Ovadia. As a result, Jessica Ovadia could keep everything hush-hush, and her husband could avoid getting prosecuted for money laundering and other things.

And yet Jessica Ovadia was, by all accounts, no pimp. Her past as a supposed trafficker makes things impossible for her to be useful, and she’s never been in the business of acquiring people for sex. She’s just the other woman — someone who was taking advantage of other people’s aspirations to be a famous money mule, who found a willing trafficker in the shape of Epstein, and who, together, helped him continue his depraved behavior until his arrest.

Let’s be clear here: The years of misogyny and disregard for human life Epstein inflicted on his victims could not have been achieved without Jessica Ovadia’s complicity. To claim that she was “willing” to help Epstein “molest [her] sexually” is, well, simply wrong. She was unaware that he could sexually assault her; no one outside of him asked her what she thought about his activities. She was, in short, simply doing Epstein’s bidding, and she wasn’t even really trying to help him either.

The only person who was helping Ghislaine Maxwell do Epstein’s bidding was Andrew Perlmutter, the owner of Lord and Taylor, the renowned luxury clothing chain. Maxwell was Epstein’s “star witness” in the trial of all the women who accused Epstein of sexual abuse, even if Maxwell might have been fine with it if Epstein were merely paying her rent. According to The Guardian, these claims were based on “a forensicly detailed diary she kept while working for Epstein.”

Ghislaine Maxwell helped to prop up and protect Epstein’s reputation. She made fun of his victims and mocked his victims in magazines. She enabled him to continue pursuing other women, and to hide his acts of predatory sexual violence from the world.

This all took place as he was going through a trial and an attempted acquittal for money laundering, child sex trafficking, and other crimes. According to the court documents, Maxwell “actively counseled Mr. Epstein against taking any criminal action against him,” and she was even brought up for questioning in court. She’s a mercenary who saw her paymaster as an independent power and someone she could use to advance her own interests.

Perlmutter is mostly a footnote in this story, but you can be sure that his silence will come back to haunt him.

Jesse Singal is a writer and producer who teaches in the production and writing MFA program at Columbia University. His books include Taxonomy of a Place: How New Yorkers Think.

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