On the first day of Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial, her lawyer compared accused serial predator Jeffrey Epstein to a “21st century James Bond,” which is undoubtedly one of the strangest interpretations of the James Bond franchise in the history of film criticism.
Before his death, which was ruled a suicide, Epstein had been arrested and accused of running a global sex trafficking ring involving adolescent girls. Maxwell was Epstein’s longtime partner and former girlfriend, and she’s standing trial on six counts of exploiting young girls. Prosecutors have alleged that she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to” Epstein’s crimes.
Via the New York Times, the defense contended today that Maxwell is a “scapegoat.” Her lawyer Bobbi C. Sternheim said, “Ever since Eve was accused of tempting Adam with the apple, women have been blamed for the bad behavior of men.”
Sternheim said Epstein manipulated people with his mystique, which is where she reached for the, “21st century James Bond,” comparison. It should be noted, there is already a 21st century James Bond, and — this is the important bit — he didn’t rape scores of 14- and 15-year-old girls.
During opening remarks, prosecutors argued that Maxwell was far from a scapegoat, and that she and Epstein were “partners in crime.” Assistant US attorney Lara Pomerantz said, “The defendant sexually exploited young girls,” adding that she “helped normalize abusive sexual conduct” and then “served them up” to Epstein.
The first day of Maxwell’s trial ended with one of Epstien’s longtime pilots on the stand. He is expected to be called back on Tuesday morning to continue his testimony.