Ghislaine Maxwell trial: third accuser’s ex-boyfriend corroborates her account

·4 min read

The former boyfriend of the third accuser to testify in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial in New York corroborated details of her account during his testimony Wednesday.

Related: Third accuser alleges Ghislaine Maxwell preyed on her when she was a minor

This accuser, Carolyn, had testified Tuesday that Maxwell scheduled sexualized massages with Jeffrey Epstein starting when Carloyn was 14, and that Maxwell groped her. Carolyn said that she had told Maxwell about having been sexually abused as a child.

Witness ‘Shawn’ testifies as image of Jeffrey Epstein is displayed during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell in a courtroom sketch in New York City on Wednesday.
Witness ‘Shawn’ testifies as image of Jeffrey Epstein is displayed during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell in a courtroom sketch in New York City on Wednesday. Photograph: Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

Carolyn also said that she discussed this abuse with Epstein during sexualized massages with him. Carolyn testified that Epstein’s abuse ultimately came to include penetrative sex and group encounters.

Prosecutors charge that Maxwell procured teen girls between 1994 and 2004 for Epstein, who sexually abused them. She is accused of sometimes being present for, and sometimes participating, in this abuse.

Maxwell, 59, a British socialite and daughter of the late publishing titan Robert Maxwell, was apprehended in July 2020 in New Hampshire, for her alleged involvement procuring minor teens for Epstein, some just 14 years old. Maxwell, now on trial for six counts, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Epstein, a convicted sex offender who counted Prince Andrew and former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton among his acquaintances, killed himself in a New York City jail in August 2019, while awaiting his own trial for sex trafficking.

Carolyn said that she wound up in Epstein’s orbit when Shawn, her then-boyfriend, introduced her to Virginia Giuffre, in the early 2000s. Giuffre – an outspoken Epstein and Maxwell accuser – asked Carolyn if she wanted to make some money, giving an older man she knew a massage.

Giuffre took Carolyn to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion. They saw Maxwell as they entered the kitchen, who allegedly told Giuffre to show Carolyn what to do.

Giuffre led Carolyn upstairs, to a bathroom, set up a massage table and disrobed, she said. Giuffre asked Carolyn if she wanted to undress, but the child said she wanted to remain in her underwear.

They massaged Epstein for 45 minutes. When they finished, Epstein turned over.

Giuffre had sex with him as Carolyn sat on the sofa, she said. Hundreds of dollars were left for them on the counter, Carolyn said.

As she left, Carolyn gave Maxwell her phone number at the socialite’s request. Maxwell subsequently called Carolyn to schedule massages with Epstein, she alleged.

During his brief time on the witness stand, Shawn said that Carolyn “only had two jobs ever” – one was working for a fast food restaurant, and “the other was working for Jeffrey”.

“Virginia said that she worked for a guy in Palm Beach and Carolyn could make money if she wanted to come give massages,” Shawn recalled of a time when he, Carolyn, Giuffre and her then boyfriend, were hanging out.

Giuffre’s ex-boyfriend drove her, Carolyn and Shawn to Epstein’s house a few weeks later. Giuffre and Carolyn went inside and returned about an hour later.

When they came out, they had “hundred dollar bills”, he said. Shawn said he drove Carolyn to Epstein’s house every few weeks.

She would go into the house and come out “a little over an hour later”, banknotes in hand, he said. Shawn also said that Carolyn called Maxwell only by her last name.

“She couldn’t pronounce it,” he said of Maxwell’s first name, Ghislaine. “She didn’t have the reading ability … [or] it was foreign to her.”

When asked to describe her intellectual and educational level, Shawn replied: “She was a child.”

Maxwell did not seem to have much of a reaction, if any, to Shawn’s testimony. Throughout the morning’s proceedings, she leafed through papers and jotted notes. She was most animated, it appeared, before the proceedings. Her brother, Kevin, moved down the front-row bench to speak with his sister across the partition.

They spoke in French for several moments. Later, Maxwell’s sister Isabel separately approached her sibling, and they also conversed in French.

  • Information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse issues is available from the following organisations. In the US, Rainn offers support on 800-656-4673. In the UK, Rape Crisis offers support on 0808 802 9999. In Australia, support is available at 1800Respect (1800 737 732). Other international helplines can be found at

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