Speed Reads

Drywall, Christmas ornaments, and Jeffrey Epstein

Prosecution rests in Ghislaine Maxwell trial

The prosecution rested Friday after two weeks of dramatic and emotional testimony in the sex-trafficking trial of former Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, BBC reported.

Four alleged victims, two of whom were underage at the time of the alleged abuse, took the stand to accuse Maxwell of grooming them for Epstein and pressuring them into unwanted sexual acts. Three testified under pseudonyms. The fourth, Annie Farmer, said that, when she was 16, Maxwell lured her to Epstein's New Mexico ranch and groped her.

The Atlantic drew criticism this week for publishing a feature by Kaitlyn Tiffany headlined "The Great (Fake) Child-Sex-Trafficking Epidemic" as the prosecution was making its case. The piece connected the increase in concern over child-sex-trafficking to conspiracy theories like QAnon rather than to real-life examples like Epstein and Josh Duggar.

Writing for The Spectator World, Stephen L. Miller argued such deflection actually drives conspiratorial thinking: "[W]hen you spend 1,500 words suggesting that child trafficking is a hoax on its face, and is only being pushed by that kook fringe, while the Ghislaine Maxwell trial proceeds with barely any mainstream media attention, curious minds will start to ask questions, even ludicrous ones."

The Atlantic is owned by a company called Emerson Collective. The president and founder of Emerson is Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. Since the publication of Tiffany's piece, a photo alleged to show Maxwell and Laurene Powell Jobs in bathing suits laughing together on a couch has circulated online.

Maxwell's defense attorneys will begin making their case Monday. So far, they have attempted to poke holes in the witnesses' stories and have suggested that Maxwell is being made into a scapegoat for Epstein's crimes. 

Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges when he died in prison in 2019 under suspicious circumstances. His death was officially ruled a suicide.