Ghislaine Maxwell has told the judge at her sex trafficking trial that she will not give evidence in her own defence.
The British socialite was asked to stand by the judge, who instructed her that she had the right to testify but also the right not to.
"Your honour, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt so there is no reason for me to testify," Maxwell responded.
Earlier, her defence lawyers called another of Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriends to give evidence at the trial in New York.
Eva Andersson-Dubin (60), a former Miss Sweden and New York City doctor, told the jury that she trusted the financier with her young daughters and denied taking part in a group sexual encounter with a key accuser.
She told the court that she dated Epstein “off and on” from 1983 to the early 1990s, before he dated Maxwell.
Maxwell (59) has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges stemming from her interactions with four teenage girls from 1994 to 2004.
During that time, Maxwell was romantically involved with and then later worked for Epstein, who died by suicide at a federal jail in August 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.
Epstein and Ms Andersson-Dubin remained friends after breaking up and, in 1994, she married another wealthy financier, Glenn Dubin, with whom she had three children.
One of the key accusers in the Maxwell trial, identified in court only as “Jane” to protect her identity, testified that a woman named “Eva” joined a group sexual experience with Epstein.
On Friday, Ms Andersson-Dubin was asked by one of Maxwell’s lawyers if she had ever been in a group sexual encounter with Jane.
“Absolutely not,” she responded.
Asked if she had ever been in a group sexualised massage of Epstein with Jane, she responded: “I have not.”
Later, Ms Andersson-Dubin acknowledged having issues with her memory upon cross -examination.
“It’s very hard for me to remember anything far back,” Ms Andersson-Dubin said. “My family notices it, I notice it. It’s been an issue.”
The Dubins have denied knowing anything about Epstein’s sexual misconduct but were publicly supportive of Epstein when he initially was prosecuted and convicted of sex crimes in Florida in 2008.
Another Epstein accuser whose allegations are not part of Maxwell's trial, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has said that she was trafficked to Mr Dubin, among other powerful men, all of whom have denied her accounts.
As the Dubin children – including two daughters – grew up, they sometimes joined their parents on flights with Epstein, Ms Andersson-Dubin said.
She testified that Epstein was fond of her children and the children viewed him like an uncle, sometimes calling him “Uncle F”.
When Ms Andersson-Dubin was asked by a defence lawyer if she ever witnessed any inappropriate conduct between Epstein and teenage girls, she responded: “I did not.”
The testimony came on the second day of Maxwell’s defence case, which could be completed by the end of Friday.
US District Judge Alison J Nathan has said closing arguments could occur on Monday and the jury might receive the case by the end of that day to begin its deliberations.
Maxwell’s lawyers have portrayed her as a scapegoat targeted by the government because prosecutors could no longer bring Epstein to justice.
Throughout the three weeks of the trial, Maxwell has seemed active in her defence, frequently writing notes to her lawyers and hugging them as she enters and leaves court each day. – Associated Press