Ghislaine Maxwell’s weak defense that her daddy was mean to her

Just after Christmas last year, Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five out of six charges, all in association with the human trafficking operation she largely ran for Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell was the one procuring children, teenagers and young women for Epstein. She groomed them and often began abusing them too, then she would give them to Epstein and his associates. Maxwell will be sentenced on June 28. Ahead of her sentencing, Maxwell’s lawyers have issued a pathetic statement to the court about how Ghislaine never would have done any of that if not for her father being mean to her.

When Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial neared its end, the British socialite’s lawyers had their work cut out for them. For weeks, prosecutors had painted Maxwell as a member of the elite who carried out unspeakable acts to maintain her charmed life with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. They presented abundant evidence that Maxwell lured girls, some just 14 years old, into Epstein’s orbit for him to sexually abuse – while carrying herself as an untouchable “lady of the house”. In the prosecution’s telling, Maxwell didn’t just do bad things: she was gleefully committed to doing them.

After the prosecution rested its case, Maxwell’s lawyers were left with few options for mounting a defense. They tried to make her look likable, and elicited fawning testimony from several of Maxwell’s former employees, as part of this effort.

The likability strategy didn’t appear to work, as Maxwell was found guilty on 29 December, but her attorneys have now launched another humanization campaign, to secure leniency when she is sentenced on 28 June. But their strategy has shifted from likability to pathos – casting her as an abused girl turned traumatized woman who was susceptible to Epstein’s influence and thus led into her crimes by him.

“Her relationship with Epstein began at a moment of extreme vulnerability [in] Ghislaine’s life after the tragic death of our father. He (our father) was a powerful and dominant figure,” several of her siblings said in sentencing paperwork. “And as elder siblings we witnessed our father taking Ghislaine under his wing whereby she became over-dependent on his approval and vulnerable to his frequent rapid mood swings, huge rages and rejections. This led her to becoming very vulnerable to abusive and powerful men who would be able to take advantage of her innate good nature.

“It is striking that Ghislaine did not show any perverse behavior before she met Epstein. Nor did she show any after leaving him, which she eventually managed to do,” they said. “The effect of our father’s psychologically abusive treatment of her, foreshadowed Epstein’s own ability to exploit, manipulate and control her.”

[From The Guardian]

I have no doubt that Robert Maxwell was a POS, but psychologically, Ghislaine’s argument makes no sense to me. Ghislaine’s behavior is that of the manipulative favored child who understands what buttons to push to get her way. She didn’t lack agency in her relationship with Epstein – in fact, she took it upon herself to organize his schedule, life, money and victims. He didn’t ASK her to do that, she volunteered because she wanted to stay in his life and make him happy. I hope no one buys Ghislaine’s bullsh-t – this “she’s a victim too” argument is horsesh-t from start to finish. Go for the maximum sentence.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Instar.

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30 Responses to “Ghislaine Maxwell’s weak defense that her daddy was mean to her”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    Oddly enough, my father was quite mean to me as well and yet I managed NOT to traffic young women to be abused by grown men. I wonder what that means for me…? Ah yes…choice. Deal with your choices Maxie girl.

  2. Jessamine says:

    She can be a victim and still be an abuser accountable for her crimes.

    • sunny says:

      Yes to every bit of this.

      • Jones says:

        I guess her lawyers watched the same streaming show, I think it’s on Netflix, as I. It sort of explains her behavior but it doesn’t excuse it.

    • Honey says:

      Thank you.

      She can also get all the therapy and yoga sessions she will need to deal with her trauma when she’s behind bars. She’ll be okay.

    • teehee says:

      Came here to say that– they both can be true.
      Keep in mind that people who abuse are usually victims themselves at some point in their life.
      Most people don’t get a grip afterward and go on to do the same things to to others.
      Does that remove her accountability? No, not the moment she turns legally an adult.
      It isn’t the courts job to think about her past. It was HER job.
      She can think about it in jail.

      • Zapp Brannigan says:

        “Keep in mind that people who abuse are usually victims themselves at some point in their life”

        Please stop repeating this lie. Studies have shown this to be false, it’s also offensive to survivors of abuse. This is just cod psychology that is thrown out by abusers to excuse what they have done, it’s claimed so they can get sympathy, reduced sentences and compassion for the abuse they inflict on children. The vast majority of child abuse survivors will never go on to inflict sexual abuse and are utterly appalled by the insinuation that they are capable of such an act.

      • Pip says:

        Thanks for this Zapp. Imagine how abuse survivors feel being told this repeatedly. Just imagine it. It makes me bloody furious. Not only is our whole life changed due to circumstances utterly beyond our control & often understanding but we’re constantly told that we’re doomed to repeat the behaviour. Gah. Think how that feels.

        Although having come across Maxwell when he was owner of Mirror Group, I would put absolutely nothing past him.

      • teehee says:

        I am an abuse survivor, so how about you ask me if I’m offended?

        I am not.

        I did not state that anybody is doomed to repeat it, those are your words.
        All the abusers I know, were themselves abused.

        So you can draw your own conclusions.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      Somehow I think they’re exaggerating her treatment by her father for effect. Also, 1 question. If she eventually got away from him, did she then turn around and try to make amends for any of her past activities? Anything at all? It wouldn’t exonerate her in the least for the extensive harm she caused, but at least it would indicate some contrition. I bet I can guess the answer.

    • JRenee says:


  3. Lizzie Bathory says:

    By any standard, the Maxwell household was not a healthy one. That said, Ghislaine did what she did for business reasons. She inherited a money laundering/intel operation from her father, which she parlayed into an elaborate sex trafficking operation with Epstein as the public face. Ghislaine was the brains behind it. The children & adults she trafficked were collateral damage to her.

    I hope she dies in prison.

  4. equality says:

    Then where is her remorse? Apologies to victims? Restitution?

    • MeganC says:

      Exactly. But the truth is she is a rich white woman who will get the lightest sentence possible.

  5. AnnaKist says:

    I’d like to compare notes Abra out crappy upbringings. On second thoughts, I wouldn’t want to be in the same building as her. This woman is just putrid garbage.

  6. Jais says:

    If she wants to start talking and provide evidence on the many high profile men involved with Epstein, cool. Otherwise, no one wants to hear it.

  7. Megs says:

    There is an insta account that supports this theory, that GM is the victim, I’m amazed how you could look at everything and come away with that, unbelievable

    • Honey says:

      She’s a victim of her own greed and psychological need to maintain a certain social status. I’m more than confident that the prison assigned therapist can ole girl her walk through her trauma.

    • Lucy says:

      And a lot of the same folks are supporting Johnny Depp…make it make sense!

    • Lucy says:

      A LOT of the same folks are supporting Johnny Depp…make it make sense!

  8. AmyB says:

    Just because you are a victim of an abusive childhood/or of abusive parents, does not give you the justification to psychologically damage others. We all have choices in this world, and she chose to be an accomplice of pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, choosing and grooming young girls, even sexually abusing them herself. Hope she dies in prison for her crimes!

  9. Shoshone says:

    When she is sentenced the next campaign will be for her to to “serve” her sentence in the UK. They started laying the groundwork for this campaign almost as soon as she was charged with her crimes citing jail abuse and poor conditions. Expect a serious hunger strike or a health condition.

    If she is transferred to the UK she will be out of custody (house arrest and then probation ect) within a few months at the longest because the UK will then solely be in charge of her. There is no political will or significant public sentiment in the UK to force the government to keep her in prison there.

    After serving two years in the USA, I believe, she will be eligible for transfer to the UK. Since inmates can count their time in incarceration prior to sentencing toward the resolution of their sentence Ghislaine is going to be eligible for transfer now.

  10. Nan says:

    She had every opportunity to communicate with the young victims, if nobody else, about her supposed victim status. From what I’ve read, they all experienced her as a major part of the trafficking and prostitution organization – it was basically Epstein and her running the show. She was exceedingly well-paid and free to go anywhere or do anything. She could have gone right to the police and found protection. How many people have had a controlling or abusive parent and yet manage not to commit crimes like this? It’s a ludicrous defense.

  11. Katie says:

    The podcast Hunting Ghislaine by John Sweeney does a good job covering her backstory. However, I agree with others that say that childhood abuse can’t absolve the terrible things she did for many years as an adult.

  12. Rnot says:

    Most abusers were abused first but most victims do NOT go on to become abusers. The fact that the majority of victims don’t abuse others is a strong indication that perpetrators make the repeated choice to do harm rather than being somehow compelled by their own victimization. It’s not an excuse. It doesn’t mitigate the harm that she caused so it shouldn’t mitigate the consequences of her choices.