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Will Ghislaine Maxwell get a fair trial? She should not be punished for Epstein's crimes

Accomplice, partner or mastermind: how much credit should we give her? Credit: Mathieu Polak/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Accomplice, partner or mastermind: how much credit should we give her? Credit: Mathieu Polak/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images


November 16, 2021   4 mins

In a world where history is dominated — and often written — by men, feminism has long cautioned us to look to the shadows to see the real heroes, lurking there unseen. Out of the spotlight, shunted to the sidelines, trapped beneath the glass ceiling, forever playing a supporting role to a man who takes all the credit for doing half (or less!) of the work. Think of all the women there would be monuments to, if only the men had given them their due.

At its best, this is a noble impulse: to recognise how women, so often denied direct access to the levers of power, have had to find other ways to wield it. To give credit to the mothers, sisters, wives, and girlfriends of great men who had to content themselves with pulling strings behind the scenes rather than wielding swords on the front lines. But at worst, this feminist narrative has a dark underbelly: if behind every great man is an even greater woman, then who will you find standing in the shadow of a man who did terrible things?

Two years ago, the internet was on fire with debate about the disgraced financier and sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting justice for his crimes. The investigation into his death is ongoing, but meanwhile the investigation into his misdeeds has found a new villain. Epstein isn’t just gone; he’s quickly being forgotten, relegated to a supporting role in the scandal that bears his name. Our focus has turned to Ghislaine Maxwell, whose status has grown so great in the wake of Epstein’s death that she has all but eclipsed the man without whose bad acts there would never have been a story at all.

Much has been made of Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein, including her possible complicity in his crimes. The charges against her include enticement of minors and sex trafficking of underage girls, with several women alleging that Maxwell recruited them to work with Epstein in full knowledge that he would abuse and assault them. (She has denied all the allegations.) But it’s Maxwell herself who is increasingly the object of fascination and derision.

In 2019, when Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking, Maxwell was covered as more of a curiosity than an accomplice — let alone a puppeteer pulling his strings. Even Vicky Ward, who has said her reporting on the sex abuse scandal was removed from her Vanity Fair profile of Epstein — allegedly because he put pressure on then editor Graydon Carter — did not seem comparably suspicious of Maxwell’s character at the time. “Full disclosure: I like her,” Ward wrote. “Most people in New York do. It’s almost impossible not to.”

Needless to say, there are no such disclosures to be found in coverage of the case today. Instead, Maxwell’s guilt is treated as a foregone conclusion in most public conversation about the case, to the point where her recent fretting over the possibility of a tainted jury pool doesn’t really seem so far-fetched. The word most commonly used to describe her in the press is “monster” — as in “Ten Monsters of 2020”, and, “Donald Trump Just Wishes This Monster Well”, and “Ghislaine Maxwell Called ‘the Real Monster’ as New Legal Hurdles Emerge”.

A new documentary, Chasing Ghislaine, promises to take us behind the scenes of Maxwell’s “twisted and chilling partnership with Epstein”. But the public narrative has already promoted her from partner to boss. Maxwell was “worse than Epstein”, per one alleged victim. Another calls her “the power geisha orchestrating everything for Epstein’s maximum delight”. Still another told 20/20 that “Ghislaine was 100% the lady of the house at Jeffrey’s. He made that very clear. We knew who was in charge and it was Ghislaine.”

“She was vicious, she was evil and she was a woman,” Virginia Giuffre, who is expected to give evidence at Maxwell’s trial, told CBS News last year. “Jeffrey was a sick pedophile, but she was the mastermind.”

It’s worth remembering, here, that the feminist narrative of under-appreciated heroines has a misogynist cousin. The female villain who wields power in the form of manipulation is an ancient fictional archetype; from Eve and the apple on up, it serves to tell us that it’s women’s ambition which forms the true roots of men’s evil deeds. In Snow White, it’s the power-hungry and jealous queen who orders a huntsman to cut out the heart of her stepdaughter. In Shakespeare, it’s Lady Macbeth who gets stuck with indelible bloodstains on her hands.

These narratives serve men. The more we dwell on the idea of a conniving female pulling the strings, the less responsibility we assign to the man pulling the trigger — or in Epstein’s case, committing the assaults. In fact, the more we hear about Ghislaine Maxwell, the less agency Epstein seems to have. He was just a big, dumb animal; she was the one bringing him fresh meat, the brains of the organisation.

Taken to its natural conclusion, this type of rhetoric leads us to a place where men can’t be held accountable for their choices at all, if there’s a woman somewhere in the vicinity who could be seen as a behind-the-scenes manipulator. It’s how we decide that Prince Harry is just a hapless lump acting at the Machiavellian whims of his wife; it’s how we turn our attention away from men who commit violence in favour of pointing fingers at the mothers who raised them. At what point does giving due credit to women become just another way of excusing men?

Feminism requires finding this balance. If we believe that women have agency, we can’t give this one a pass for her involvement with a monster; we must embrace the radical notion that Maxwell is a person as capable of evil and avarice as anyone else. But there’s a fine line here between feminism and sexism — and between justice and vengeance — when we set out to condemn the nearest woman in the place of a dead, bad man.

There is an aggressive fervour surrounding Maxwell’s impending trial, and a thirst to see her punished in every possible way before that it even begins. Images from pretrial hearings show her shackled, her hair lank, her face bruised. In a recent dispatch from Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, she described being kept in solitary confinement in a rat-infested cell, assaulted by guards, and given food crawling with maggots — all of which were promptly celebrated by her detractors as no less than she deserves. The fact that Maxwell’s guilt hasn’t yet been determined by a court of law is irrelevant to the public glee at seeing her suffer. She’s too good a villain.

And unlike Epstein, she’s still here.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

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Mel Bass
Mel Bass
2 years ago

Interesting how perceptions of the GM:JE dynamic have changed, but when one protagonist has ‘escaped’ justice, it’s not surprising that people leap onto the next candidate in a thirst for vengeance. The feral rage of the mob demands that somebody pay (even if they’re just a scapegoat), and a woman who commits terrible crimes is also going against type, since society considers that women aren’t supposed to do nasty things. It’s always a shock when we hear of some violent or depraved female criminal, and they are far outnumbered by male offenders (fortunately, because ime, females are worse!).
From my own perspective, I’m more concerned with the stories of how GM is being treated, if they’re true. It doesn’t matter what kind of monster she is, or if she is even truly the evil mastermind behind Epstein. She has not yet been convicted, and thanks to the howling mob, I doubt she will get anything even close to a fair trial.
Whether she is guilty, innocent, or somewhere in between, how we treat such people says a lot about ourselves and the society we live in. I’ve dealt with some real monsters over the years (including a few female ones), and no matter what they’ve done, whether it’s child rape or murder, I will not descend to their level by treating them as anything less than human, even if they deserve it. It’s not always easy.
If they’re guilty, lock them up and throw away the key, forever if necessary, but a society that tortures, starves and abuses prisoners is a sick one, and I could draw some very unflattering comparisons with other regimes around the world that treat people similarly.

Last edited 2 years ago by Mel Bass
Fredrick Urbanelli
Fredrick Urbanelli
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Agreed. It’s not only the abuse and humiliation that prisoners are made to undergo, but the interminable waiting for trial. Maxwell has not been proven guilty of anything yet, but this run-up to the trial is unconscionably long. It is tantamount to torture. And she’s not the only one.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Spot on Mel !

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Very well said.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Perhaps my European friends haven’t noticed, but the American prison system routinely uses absolutely degrading practices including torture. Think I’m kidding? Solitary confident. For years? Decades? Tell me that’s not torture.
Lady Ghislane is not (yet) in prison, she’s in jail. Jail is worse, as it is meant to be short term, no real programs, not much of a daily routine. A holding tank until prison. What no one seems to have notices is that this is how American prisoners are treated routinely. It’s not Norway!
Otherwise, another dumb article from Kat. Fun to read her for a laugh, because her points are so ridiculous. Must be related to Feminine Chaos.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

It is a shock to most people in a culture that continues to lie to itself about negative aspects of female behaviour. It is no shock to me or others who have experienced such behaviours.

Penny Adrian
Penny Adrian
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

Prison reform is a very important issue. But that’s separate from whether or not Ghislaine Maxwell will get a fair trial.
She will get one.
That’s the only thing we really know.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

Of course she won’t get a fair trial. An American kangaroo court will find her guilty of whatever crime she is accused of and add in a few more for good measure. This “trial” reinforces my long held opinion that the extradition treaty between the UK and the USA should be rescinded. That won’t help Maxwell, but it might protect some other poor unfortunate in the future.
And could someone explain to me why she has to be shackled – It looks like a scene from a low budget porn movie.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

The American justice system puts a very high value on theatrical humiliation of accused people before they are even put on trial. The “perp” walk in handcuffs and sometimes ankle chains is grotesque. I agree that nobody should be extradited to the USA until they reform. Unfortunately the baying mob appear to like things as they are.

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
2 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

I agree that we, particularly in Federal prosecutions, demonstrate a vaudevillian flair in these matters.For the most part, the worst excesses are limited to political and celebrity prosecutions. I will point out that the extensive financial and corporate ties between our two countries would be unsustainable without extradition(or something very much like it).
In principle, I agree with you. In practice, without the threat of extradition, the predation and general mischief launched from Wall Street and landing in the City of London would be breathtaking.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Jennings

The US doesn’t appear to honour the treaty anyway, as a recent notorious case illustrates.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Jennings

The USA did not sign this treaty so American citizens are never extradited to another country.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

Which treaty are you alluding to? There is certainly a bilateral extradition treaty between US and UK, are you saying that a US citizen can commit heinous crimes in the UK (for example) and the treaty does not cover their extradition? If so then it is hardly an extradition treaty. I don’t know so I’m asking this question seriously.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago

I reiterate what I said. The USA did not sign a treaty which would make them liable to extradite their citizens to another country for trial even if the evidence is there..

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

So how come between 2004 and 2011 seven known US citizens were extradited from the US to the UK? The information is in a Home Office letter dated February 2012 in reply to a Freedom of Information request.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/100739/response/255204/attach/3/Document.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

Last edited 2 years ago by Linda Hutchinson
Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
2 years ago

It seems it depends who you are. I suspect some hapless drug addict with no connections then you’re on your way to a UK cell. However, if you’re the wife of a senior army officer & drive on the wrong side of the road & kill a young man (&admit it) then you’re not going back to face trial in the UK.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

Are you familiar with the concept of diplomatic immunity? It’s meant for hard cases. I see your point, but high concepts and principles must be adhered to in hard cases. The US could waive diplomatic immunity, allowing the driver to face justice. They didn’t. Perhaps the UK should pressure the US to do this, if the PMs would stop licking the boots of American presidents…..

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

I reluctantly agree. Reluctant because having extradition treaties between countries with independent legal systems ensures that criminals can’t just skip jurisdictions. However, I find very worrying the way the US is spreading its legal jurisdictions into other countries’ affairs, and its lack of sub judice laws which often leads to trial by the media, and the so-called “perp-walk”, and the shackling even when it’s clear the person isn’t going to turn crazy and take out the arresting officers.

Last edited 2 years ago by Linda Hutchinson
Robert Kaye
Robert Kaye
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

“Of course she won’t get a fair trial. An American kangaroo court will find her guilty of whatever crime she is accused of and add in a few more for good measure.”

It seems the jury were actually quite discerning and acquitted her of one of the charges.

George Wells
George Wells
2 years ago

This is very close to defending GM because she is a woman. Irrelevant. What matters now is facts – what happened, who else was involved and how did the coverups work. If GM is guilty, many people are guilty.
What matters is not identity politics – but stopping crime and punishing criminals, and supporting, to the extent possible, the victims.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  George Wells

Well kudos (?) to Unherd, to living up to its name, I guess. I certainly wasn’t expecting to read a Ghislaine Maxwell is innocent because she is a woman article today and yet here we are. Maybe for balance someone could pen a Jimmy Savile was a saint because he gave to charity article too?

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

And she is correct. Innocent until proven guilty – in a court, with a judge and a jury. What is radical about this? I was under the impression that the US still holds this to be true, or is it only true when it applies to people we like, or those whose crimes we don’t find too bad?

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

Nobody is stopping a fair trial here. The US doesn’t silence newspapers before trials so maxwell is getting the same treatment as anybody.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

Well, perhaps you should silence them before trials.

Tom Jennings
Tom Jennings
2 years ago

We are having enough problems with censorship as is.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago

The same vile and cruel treatment as anybody Franz?

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Apparently. If anything I’d say this advertising of her “inhumane” treatment might be a way to mitigate these crimes. For those of us who believe that Epstein had links to the powers that be, this could well be propaganda by said powers. I’ve rarely seen any such discussion elsewhere.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago

Any more “could be”s and “may be”s Franz? The rules are clear enough even for simpletons, – Innocent until conviction in a fair trial.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Brian Burnell

Where did I say anything about her guilt. As I said above, for the hard of reading, the US publishes stories and monsters plenty of people before trial.

The evidence of her mistreatment comes from her defense and herself.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

the US publishes stories and monsters plenty of people before trial

Which is why sub judice is required

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
2 years ago

That is no excuse and does not make for a fair trial. I have always thought that US justice thinks too highly of itself and have been grateful that neither I, nor my clients ever had to appear in Court there. I was a Probation Officer for over 20 years in the UK.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Tyler

If you were in parts of the US some of your clients would still be on probation.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago

As if the newspapers were any use at all, to get reliable and objective fact-finding …

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

Nobody cares about this anymore. Almost zero crimes wind up in a trial. Nearly all are settled. Poor people are no allowed trials anymore. Maxwell will get her trial because she has money.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago

The victim mentality of feminists means all females including GM are painted as such. The outpouring of media support for her has been as ridiculous as it has been predictable.

kevin austin
kevin austin
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Ghuislane is the PATSY for a lot of what happened with EPSTEIN. Jes Daley is now involved for his chats with EPSTEIN about SNOW WHITE. That is either COCAINE of one of the GIRLS??

rodney foy
rodney foy
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

I need to read it again more slowly, because it didn’t come across first time as saying “Ghislaine Maxwell is innocent because she is a woman”

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  rodney foy

your right, i was being hyperbolic, that isn’t directly stated any where in the article. Though it is the impression i got overall from the tone. I think the article is a muddle though, which is what happens when an author has one lens (feminism) and jams everything through it. like this bit:

“If we believe that women have agency, we can’t give this one a pass for her involvement with a monster; we must embrace the radical notion that Maxwell is a person as capable of evil and avarice as anyone else”

is it actually radical to believe women have agency, and should be responsible for their actions?

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

You are correct, George. The entire point of this tosh was poor, poor, Lady G, tortured for being a woman.
Too bad, so sad….. Perhaps Kat should have emphasized that ALL the accusers are women or girls…. Wait, I thought we were supposed to believe them! I thought we HAD to believe them! Am I wrong?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

“Taken to its natural conclusion, this type of rhetoric leads us to a place where men can’t be held accountable for their choices at all, if there’s a woman somewhere in the vicinity who could be seen as a behind-the-scenes manipulator. “


 and the reverse,

“women can’t be held accountable for their choices at all, if there’s a man somewhere in the vicinity who could be manipulating them”

underpins the entire MeToo movement.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

If one removes the universal, and just states that some women are “manipulated” — that brings it quite equal with men. There are intelligent humans of either sex, and even more rather stupid specimens, especially when the other sex is involved. I would be amazed to hear GM was a mastermind (more a mayor domo, perhaps). I would equally surprised to learn she was merely erring and mostly innocent. Equality isn’t always obviously symmetrical. There is a reason that there are bright lines to keep a lovely woman from stooping to folly. It’s a damn slippery slope.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Article started out well then degenerated into “she’s innocent because she’s a woman”. I do agree that she’s taking the flak now because she’s the only one still alive, but that has nothing to do with her sex. And Epstein didn’t kill himself.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago

She is getting more hate and far worse treatment over there than Rose West did /does get over here .

There seems an unwillingness among moralists , perhaps especially in America , to accept that young women are very often attracted to rich and powerful older men . Affording introductions is not the same as helping to kidnap hitchhikers and subject them to protracted sex torture and death .

Though you wouldn’t think it from the coverage .

Last edited 2 years ago by Alan Osband
George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

there is a documentary, i think on Netflix, in which girls describe being flown to a private island, from which they could not leave without a return flight from Epstein’s private charter. Of course the only way to leave was to Afford Introductions to Epstein or his guests.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Oh a Netflix documentary ! True then

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

So just to be clear, if a man does great things it may be due to the woman behind him, but if he does bad things, it is then misogyny to suggest the same?
Seriously?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Yup. Exactly. So well said!

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Without evidence, yes.
And things said by people who are yet to be called as witnesses are not ‘evidence’. Once the evidence is heard and tested in a court of law, we shall have the answers. In the meantime, all we have is allegation and rumour. So, if we rush to judgment on that basis, it suggests some sort of prejudice is in play.

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
2 years ago

Having watched the documentary on Epstein‘s appalling alleged crimes, he was of course never convicted due to his death, what struck me the most was the baffling revelations of some of the women in the show.

Several freely admitted that they had neither been threatened or coerced by Epstein but had freely engaged in procuring vulnerable and under age girls, for his sexual gratification, in return for financial reward or career progression. Yet in the show, these women where portrayed as heroic victims speaking out, when from everything they had said themselves, they were participating in the abuse.

Perhaps it is about time that we recognised that for every victim of an Epstine or a Weinstein, there were those women who were more that willingly to profit from their behaviour and benefit from the system of sordid exploitation they ran for their own gain. Those women are not “survivors” they are co-conspirators.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Matthew Powell

Epstein seems to have had true victims–poor, underage girls. HW’s “victims” were clearly trading sex for career advancement in a dance as old as time.

Ray Hall
Ray Hall
2 years ago

It is almost like every case should be judged on its merits and that people should be considered as guilty only when convicted . The article implies that there is some benefit to the UK’s strict sub judice laws restricting speculation in the press before the court has dealt with the case .

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago

There’s no real argument about Maxwell’s guilt or not here. Pointing out that there’s historically a “female villain who wields power in the form of manipulation is an ancient fictional archetype” tells us nothing about Maxwell’s guilt or innocence in this particular case.

She’s not accused, despite some newspaper headlines, of manipulating Epstein anyway, her defense is almost certainly the opposite – that she was manipulated or coerced. She’s accused of people trafficking.

What’s missing in this feminist analysis is concern for the the women who were subject to the “ enticement of minors and sex trafficking of underage girls, with several women alleging that Maxwell recruited them to work with Epstein in full knowledge that he would abuse and assault them.”

It’s a funny feminism that ignores them.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

this is the same brand of feminism which sees “the patriarchy” everywhere, but oddly not in Rotherham.

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago

Abuse and assault are loaded terms . Were under aged groupies who threw threw themselves at the bass player in a rock band abused and assaulted ?

Last edited 2 years ago by Alan Osband
Paul Smithson
Paul Smithson
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Quite clearly if the bass player knew they were under age.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Smithson

I have seen girls throwing themselves at minor rock stars myself. Back in the 1980s no one seemed to care to much about the age of consent. I suspect anyone querying the behaviour would have been dismissed as a repressed Mary Whitehouse disciple

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

ï»żElizabeth Holmes. She didn’t commit fraud as the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company–she committed fraud–IF she committed fraud–because her boyfriend and subordinate made her do it!
Boo hoo hoo! Too bad, so sad. Time to put on your little girl pants, Elizabeth. Lady G, too, though she seems more of a fighter, and it’s easier to blame a dead dude!

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

Epstein isn’t here to stand trial for his crimes because his neck spontaneously broke, as the necks of those who could incriminate the worlds most powerful are want to do.
Not sure how the sentiment of #beliveGhislane sits with the accusations made against her by the women who claim Ghislaine recruited them to be abused. Maybe feminism could be up dated to . #believesomewomen, or #believeEpsteinenablingwomenbutnothteskankswhoaccusethem ?

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

Feminism has hit a paradox. Always believe the woman isn’t a great guideline when the accuser and accused are all women. It’s a bit like cheesy old sci-fis where somebody asks the supercomputer “why?”

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

i think i know the type of sci fi you mean, in those usually the supercomputer would fizz and spark then breakdown unable to reconcile the obvious contradiction. I think Feminism in this regard is superior its response to the paradox is to say,
” 1. what paradox? all is true if I say its true,
2. if any thing conflicts with this, then refer again to 1.”

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

One prong of the article is the public hunt for a scapegoat if the principal offender cheats justice by dying. That isn’t a ‘feminist’ or non-feminist point.
The other is the assumption that any woman ‘close to’ a male offender must be not only complicit but equally or more guilty than the perpetrator himself. The author rightly identifies this as the corollary of the feminist argument that ‘behind every great man is a great woman’ – and says feminism can’t have it both ways. A woman’s influence can’t be just assumed in either case and requires evidence (tried and tested, not just alleged) to prove it.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
2 years ago

You can almost hear the cogs in a ‘feminist’s mind turning, while they discover that limitless female empowerment, might also involve empowerment to do bad things. & focus on female agency, might also involve considering female responsibility

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

ABSOLUTELY NOT! This is obviously the misogynistic post of a non-birthing person. Kindly see my post earlier about Elizabeth Holmes!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

She was a participant in a pedophile ring and went into hiding to escape justice. She is not innocent. Martha Stewart was an example of an innocent person being persecuted by the mob. There is an enormous amount of evidence against Maxwell if the lazy author of this piece cares to look at it.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

How do you know she is not innocent when she hasn’t been tried yet? As I understand it most of the testimony against her seems to emanate from Virginia Guiffre who, in my view, is exceptionally manipulative and greedy.

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

There is plenty of evidence from other sources. GM is a rich version of Rose West. The women in these situations are usually worse than the men.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

HOW is she ‘a rich version of’ multiple torturer and murderess Rose West?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

While I agree that there is a mountain of evidence against Lady G, technically she IS innocent until proven guilty. Soon.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

‘Lady Ghislaine’ is the boat. Ghislaine is the woman. Technically. But there’s a big difference between a boat and a woman.
There’s also a big difference between untried, untested allegations and tried and tested evidence. That’s what ‘innocent until proven guilty is all about’.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Kate Heusser

Excellent points! The thing that joins them–Lady Ghislaine (the boat) and the horrible person Ghislaine Maxell–is that they both should be sunk. Ghislaine Maxwell will be sunk soon–though it seems that she will go down with guns blazing–and I admire that. Perhaps I was hyperbolic above–I have no strong thoughts on the yatch.
Would you feel better if I referred to her as G-Max, as she referred to herself while on the run?
Finally, while I appreciate your attempt to educate me about criminal trials and the standard of proof, as a former prosecutor, I think I know enough to form an opinion. I’m not on the jury nor will I be, so it’s perfectly fine for me to offer an informed opinion on the mountain of evidence against her. I certainly hope that ALL of the evidence is tried and tested as you suggest and ensnares many posh people, including the Clintons, so in that sense, I think I’m on side.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

How do you know what you are reading is remotely true?
You only get to hear what the authorities and MSM want you to hear and in this case it is not hard to identify a possible agenda. Also they seem happy push without question allegations made by some very dubious people who really should not be given the time of day.
There are a lot of powerful members of our ruling elite who associated with Mr Epstein and presumably are in need of protection.
I for one find it difficult to believe that Epstein killed himself or the MSMs total lack of curiosity about his death.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

As we have seen there is no such thing as justice or a justice system in the US. Any sane person would seek to evade the clutches of the US authorities.
If they get their hands on you there is a stark choice fight the charges when the legal costs of doing so are beyond all but the most wealth and on conviction face a sentence running to 10 to 20 years or accept a plea bargain and do a couple of years in a softer jail.
As far as I can see the US system would be a discredit to third world country or even the old USSR

patrick macaskie
patrick macaskie
2 years ago

there was an interesting piece to write about the operation of American justice and whether a fair trial is possible with such a media circus. I think most of us read it expecting such a piece.
I fear for humanity if the writer (and her ilk) convinces large numbers of her poisoned view of history and the relation between men and women. we have seen before what can happen when people accumulate power in this way.

Last edited 2 years ago by patrick macaskie
Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago

If that’s what you think is happening in this piece, then I think you’ve misunderstood it. The writer points out very clearly that feminism claims women have been denied credit for their contribution to the achievements of men – and so can’t escape speculation that the crimes of men may have much to do with the involvement and influence of women. She does, however, also point out that an outraged public, deprived of the spectacle of a (male) perpetrator being brought to justice, is highly likely to make that rush to judgement against the nearest woman – and that justice requires we all wait until trial to see what accusations stand up as tried and tested evidence.

yp54797wxn
yp54797wxn
2 years ago

Epstein’s dead (thanks Hillary), Maxwell is not. It’s that simple. Besides, if there is said to be a sisterhood, of course these women feel more betrayed by Maxwell than by Epstein.

kevin austin
kevin austin
2 years ago
Reply to  yp54797wxn

I love the CONSPIRACY THEORY that Ghislaine and Jeffrey were MOSSAD agents (Mossad pushed Daddy off the Yacht).
Anyway, we used to have lunch with Betty when she moved next door to our wonderful friend JOAN GOLFAR, Jewish Matron, when it was chic to be thus…

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
2 years ago

Using this wicked woman to hector readers once again about feminist grievances is a waste of time. And the strict security arrangements used for Maxwell are because Epstein was allowed to kill himself, if you believe that story.

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago

I don’t believe it, it’s complete nonsense.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
2 years ago

The responsibility gap is something feminists and indeed our culture shies away from. I will say I speak for a minority by asking she be looked at, thought of and sentenced using the same standards as a man in the same circumstances.

I believe that is still too much to ask in 2021.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  Karl Juhnke

Why do you say you ‘speak for a minority?’ Justice demands exactly that.

Alex Limpach
Alex Limpach
2 years ago

I won’t comment on the article itself, but on two basic principles that are being blatantly ignored: “Justice delayed is justice denied”; being kept in solitary confinement for 500 days in a rat-infested cell, assaulted by guards and given food crawling with maggots is something that should not be inflicted to anyone, let alone a person considered “innocent until proven guilty” (second principle). What kind of a justice system is the USA running? What kind of vicious society is it?

Last edited 2 years ago by Alex Limpach
John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

I am one who seriously doubts that Ghislaine Maxwell is half as bad as portrayed these days, and I didn’t need to be persuaded by the sort of victim narrative stuff in the article.

I hope that the feminists don’t ride to her defence because if they do and it’s done the way is is here, that’ll just condemn her along with the rest of the overheated rhetoric that’s presently wrecking the prospect of a fair trial.

That aside though, the writer does accurately identify the manner in which Epstein’s death has resulted in an unwarranted focus of the media spotlight on Ghislaine Maxwell. There is no logical reason for this: Epstein’s death does not change what she may be guilty of or otherwise, it is clear she is already guilty in the court of public opinion irrespective of the facts.

It is very hard to see how she will get a fair trial here, and it is also somewhat amazing that in a nation supposedly under the rule of law that such a danger exists at all.

Last edited 2 years ago by John Riordan
Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago

She will get a fair trial, she’s in New York not ‘Hicksville’ – note the ‘trial’ of Kyle Ritttenhouse. There are numerous documentaries on the subject of Epstein’s underage girl Ponzi scheme so anyone questioning GM’s guilt can watch them and see for themselves. The fact in the case that is unfair is that Epstein made sure he wouldn’t go to trial and left GM to face the music including a very long list of influential people who have been sweating since Epstein’s arrest and who no doubt continue to do so.

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

Do you really mean that? You say New York will give a fair trial but you’ve already made your mind up from TV documentaries that were made without seeing either the prosecution evidence nor the defense evidence.
Two reasons why the trial will not be fair

  1. All the publicity and quarter truths that have been flying around for close to a year (seems like forever) make it almost impossible for any New Yorker called to jury service to be unaware of the stories peddled around for ages (whether true or false is supposed to be what the trial is about).
  2. It’s a non-US citizen against US citizens so the jury would love to convict just because she’s not American. Waht’s more, she may be rich!
Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Please do some research in future. GM is a citizen of the UK, France and the US. She holds all three passports. Why do you think they pursued her all the way out to the boonies? And you should watch the documentaries. They are not made-up fictional entertainment, they are based on factual evidence.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

I believe the interest in her wealth is largely out of interest of where it came from. It is believed that it came largely from Epstein in which case, illicit gains from the trafficking young girls (allegedly).

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Point 2: No it’s not. Lady G IS an American citizen, along with France and the UK. Get your facts straight!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

I hate to break it to you but documentaries are not true or even impartial. And I do not see how she can have a fair trial. In the UK there are strict rules about pre-trial publicity for this reason and if the Judge determines that a fair trial is not possible he or she has the obligation to dismiss the charges

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

I only have one question which I believe is very pertinent. Why, when Epstein was arrested and charged, wasn’t Ghislaine Maxwell arrested and charged at the same time if she was the mastermind? Why did it only happen after he died?

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

As I recall she went into hiding and wasn’t discovered until after Epstein (allegedly) died. It’s also possible that she wasn’t a priority until his death as he was the main abuser (allegedly) I don’t think anyone considers her to be the mastermind. The accusations are that she was complicit in procuring and grooming/manipulating young girls to be abused by Epstein and his cronies. She was seen more as the Madam (Allegedly)

Last edited 2 years ago by Lindsay S
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

She’s a pimp and a groomer.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago

Allegedly!

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

If you believe it all, that is.

Personally I don’t. A woman with such colossal wealth, privilege and connections, getting involved in procuring underage girls for a pervert?

Sorry, I don’t buy it for a moment.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago

What a pity Ghislaine is not a black lesbian. Then we could also claim racism and homophobia. What a delusional piece of nonsense this article is. The only public figure who ever distanced himself from Epstein and indirectly indicating the reasons therefor was Donald Trump. All the others remained silent. Ghislaine is totally irrelevant in this respect. Just a water carrier. Go after the other chums of Jeffrey.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francisco Menezes
Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago

The victims have said she participated in the abuse. She schooled them in oral sex and the other stuff Jeffrey wanted. No doubt there were other recipients of these favours but Ghislaine was the ‘Madame’ – she organized everything for him at his instruction.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francisco Menezes
Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
2 years ago

I wonder whether his apparent friendship with her at Oxford, as described by his sister in the Spectator this week, will be the thing that finally brings down Boris.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
2 years ago

Whoever currently owns that video collection owns the whole world.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago

Weren’t the girls who attended Epstein’s parties sent by an agency? If so, then the agency should have checked age, etc. They no doubt took their cut. T
To my mind, it is all a question of money. Epstein can no longer be milked so the woman concerned (17 at the time) has turned to the wealthy Ghislaine Maxwell for the goodies..
We shall see what the verdict is and if she has to compensate those who are bringing the action and the multitude (no doubt) of lawyers.
USA law is alien to us in this country… .

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

There is a documentary on Netflix called ‘Filty Rich’ which details the whole sordid story going back decades. He was protected by the rich and infamous for obvious reasons. The girls were not sent to him by an agency. Maxwell would send out girls to nightclubs basically as scouts to offer these girls an opportunity to become a model etc, etc. Victoria Guiffre worked at Trump’s hotel – Mar a Lago as a pool attendant when she was asked if she wanted become a masseuse for a local rich guy. West Palm Beach which is just across the intercostal is a low rent area populated by trailer parks. This was a perfect hunting ground for poor aimless young girls.
The girls who were interviewed for the documentary suffered appalling abuse which has resulted in irreparable damage. Maxwell should go to prison for the rest of her life.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

Please give your evidence for this.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

We were certainly told at the outset that hostesses were obtained from an agency and as there are agencies offering such a service, the scenario you suggest seems very unlikely. Just not the way rich people would conduct their social life. And as for Ghislaine Maxell going into hiding, was she “in hiding” during the first trial and thereafter?

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

You can stay in your rabbit hole as that is clearly where you are most comfortable. Or watch the damn documentary and stop splitting hairs.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

I think a lot of us would prefer to await the outcome of the trial, thank you. We haven’t yet stooped to the level at which a ‘documentary’ on Netflix has replaced due process of law.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

From the evidence released to the public, Ms Maxwell was at her home, and the address of that home was known to the police. If she was ‘in hiding’, that was ‘hiding’ from the press, wasn’t it?

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

Just watch the documentary on Netflix. I couldn’t have made it any clearer.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

A programme entitled “Filthy Rich” indicates the tone and content of the article

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

A google search will bring up troves of articles from respectable publications if Netflix is too downmarket.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

A documentary is not the truth. Nowadays more than ever they seem to be vehicles for untrustworthy individuals of dubious motivation to peddle uncorroborated allegations which are never challenged.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

What does this mean? It’s been down voted so it must mean something.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

In the Unherd world you can’t delete your post, but you can edit it.
He’s edited it away.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Thanks, I didn’t realise this.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

yeah what D Nemo said, i meant to reply to a commentator but i typed it into a new comment box, so i’ve — because unherd cant delete posts. i think it got down voted because that pushes it below new comments so for those reading by most rated comments this then goes to the bottom, bizarrely someone has since upvoted to bring it back to 0.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
2 years ago
Reply to  George Glashan

They were probably being polite thinking it unfair that you were downvoted for something you didn’t say. Some posters are quite polite.
I’m not, so I’ve downvoted it to get it out of the way.