Ghislaine Maxwell deserves to be 'in a cage forever', says Virginia Giuffre

·3 min read
A photo submitted as trial evidence shows a young Ghislaine Maxwell with financier Jeffrey Epstein - US District Court for the Southern District of New York / AFP
A photo submitted as trial evidence shows a young Ghislaine Maxwell with financier Jeffrey Epstein - US District Court for the Southern District of New York / AFP

Ghislaine Maxwell should be kept "in a cage forever" after "opening the door to hell" for her victims, the Duke of York's accuser has told a court ahead of the ex-socialite's sentencing.

Virginia Giuffre submitted an impact statement to the judge who will sentence Maxwell, the former girlfriend of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstien, in New York next week.

In the statement, addressing Maxwell directly, Ms Giuffre wrote: "I want to be clear about one thing. Without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible paedophile. But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you. For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell.

"And then, Ghislaine, like a wolf in sheep's clothing, you used your femininity to betray us, and you led us all through it."

Ms Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, added: "I worry every single day and night that you will get away with it and evade being punished.

"Ghislaine, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell. You deserve to be trapped in a cage forever, just like you trapped your victims."

Virginia Giuffre in a now infamous photo with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell - US Department of Justice/PA Wire
Virginia Giuffre in a now infamous photo with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell - US Department of Justice/PA Wire

Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other crimes.

Ms Giuffre was not a witness in the month-long trial but is one of the highest-profile accusers of Epstein.

In February, Ms Giuffre reached a multi-million pound settlement with the Duke over claims he abused her, which the royal has denied.

Ms Giuffre, who had begun a civil claim against the Duke, accepted a reported sum of £12 million.

The Duke has always vehemently denied the allegations, insisting he had no recollection of meeting Ms Giuffre.

Prosecutors in New York have argued that Maxwell should be jailed for between 30 and 55 years.

Giuffre - REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Giuffre - REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Annie Farmer, one of the victims who gave evidence at Maxwell's trial, also submitted an impact statement.

Addressing Judge Alison Nathan, she wrote: "I ask you to bear in mind how Maxwell's unwillingness to acknowledge her crimes, her lack of remorse, and her repeated lies about her victims created the need for many of us to engage in a long fight for justice."

She said that fight had felt "like a black hole sucking in our precious time, energy, and wellbeing for much too long now".

Ms Farmer also asked the judge to take into account the "ongoing suffering of the many women abused and exploited" as they "continue to live with the memories of the ways she [Maxwell] harmed us".

She added: "This toxic combination of being sexually exposed and exploited, feeling confused and naïve, blaming myself all resulted in significant shame."

Annie Farmer - REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg
Annie Farmer - REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Maxwell's legal team has argued that she should spend no more than five years in prison.

They argued that she should not pay for Epstein's crimes and that she has suffered in jail, including receiving death threats.

In a letter to the judge Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell's lawyer, argued that statements from several other women should not be considered as part of the sentencing.

She wrote: "The sentencing proceeding should not be a bully pulpit for anyone who claims abuse."

Prosecutors and Maxwell's lawyers have agreed to the submission of the statements by Ms Farmer and Ms Giuffre, and another accuser, known as "Kate", who gave evidence at the trial.

In her impact statement, "Kate" described being around Maxwell as "like a roller coaster ride, designed to disorient and disempower me as a vulnerable, young girl".

Ms Farmer and "Kate" plan to attend the sentencing hearing, according to prosecutors.

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