Epstein was ‘modern James Bond’ who turned into ‘sexual predator’, court hears

Jeffrey Epstein was like a “21st-century James Bond” who turned into a “sexual predator”, a court has heard.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, painted the portrait of the disgraced billionaire Epstein for the jury, the Daily Mirror reports.

She said: “I said before Epstein was a manipulator, but he was also a mysterious man without attachment.

"He had no wife. He had no children. And he had no boss. Yet he attracted all these rich and powerful people before and after his fall from grace back around 2008.

“In many regards, he was like a 21st-century James Bond. His mystery has stirred interest.”

She accused Epstein’s accusers of having shaken the “money tree” in terms of applying for compensation from his victim’s fund.

Referring to the victim known in court as 'Jane', Sternheim said she refused to tell her story before and only came forward once the compensation scheme had been launched.

She added: “Jane did take some flights on Epstein’s dime and she went to New York and some other places as well.

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"A month before Epstein’s arrest in 2019, Jane did not want to be involved in any criminal case involving Epstein.

"But after Epstein died, she changed her mind. When money was on the line, she changed her mind.

"She hired a lawyer. She became a client, got in touch with the government and said she changed her mind.

“She is a consummate actress and is a pro at playing roles. As her scripts and characters changed, so has the story you will hear.

“When money was on the line, she tagged Ghislaine. She got her application before the fund and she received $5 million."

If convicted on all six counts, Maxwell, who was wearing a white turtleneck and dark trousers, faces a maximum of 70 years in prison if the sentences are to be served consecutively. She denies every charge and has branded accusations of sex trafficking 'absolute rubbish'.

Maxwell appeared relaxed, played with her hair, smiled from behind her mask and waved at her sister, Isabel, as she waited for the opening statements to be made at the courthouse.

The trial continues.

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