Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial is set for November, as the former socialite faces charges she recruited teenage girls for her pal Jeffrey Epstein.
US District Judge Alison Nathan said in Manhattan on Tuesday that she’d aim to start the trial on Nov. 29, just after Thanksgiving.
The date is subject to courtroom availability and COVID-19 protocols.
The trial was originally slated for July, but Nathan agreed this month to postpone its start after prosecutors hit the 59-year-old Maxwell with two new sex trafficking charges.
The disgraced British socialite is facing up to 80 years behind bars if she’s found guilty on eight counts. She’s maintained her innocence as she sits in a Brooklyn jail waiting for her day in court.
Maxwell’s attorneys had wanted the judge to agree to kick off the trial three weeks earlier than Nov. 29.
Lawyer Bobbi Sternheim wrote in a court letter that a date so close to Thanksgiving could disrupt jurors’ travel plans and cast the defense “in a negative light as jurors impatiently wait for the trial to conclude before Christmas, which it won’t.”
The date would also keep Maxwell in jail longer, Sternheim argued.
But Nathan rejected that request and said Nov. 29 would let the four prosecutors on the case continue without scheduling disruptions.
Maxwell is accused of procuring and grooming at least four girls for Epstein between 1994 and 2004. Epstein, Maxwell’s one-time boyfriend, killed himself in August 2019, while in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Since Maxwell’s arrest, she and her lawyers have complained about the conditions of her incarceration. They say she was subjected to strip searches, awakened every 15 minutes by flashlight and given nearly nothing to eat.