Ghislaine Maxwell said her “greatest regret” was meeting Jeffrey Epstein.
She made the comments just before a federal judge sentenced her to 20 years in prison.
Maxwell, 60, also acknowledged the “pain and anguished experiences” of her victims.
Moments before British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison, she acknowledged her victims’ “pain and tormented experiences” and said her “greatest regret ever” was meeting Jeffrey Epstein.
In a statement to the court on Tuesday, Maxwell also said the convicted pedophile was a “manipulative” and “controlling man” who “thoroughly pigeonholed his life” and “fooled all the people in his job”.
A federal judge has sentenced Maxwell, 60, to: 20 years in prison for trafficking girls into having sex with Epstein and sexually abusing them themselves. She was also fined $750,000.
Speaking in court, Maxwell acknowledged the victims who had made impact statements, saying it was “difficult to hear and absorb their stories” and that she “sympathizes deeply” with them.
“I hope my incarceration brings you an end, some measure of peace and finality,” she added. “May this day help you to travel from darkness to light.”
But she stopped taking full responsibility for her actions. Instead, she spoke of Epstein and the “devastating impact” he had on the lives of those around him.
“Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you,” said Maxwell. Epstein died of an apparent suicide in prison in August 2019, before he could face trial himself.
Maxwell’s focus on Epstein’s actions, rather than on her own, was later noted by Judge Alison J. Nathan.
Nathan said it was important for the victims to hear Maxwell acknowledge their suffering, but “what was not expressed” in Maxwell’s statement was “acceptance of responsibility”.
Nathan said it showed a “pattern of guilt deflection” on Maxwell’s part.
A jury found Maxwell in December guilty of five out of six charges of human trafficking and conspiracy after five days of consultation.
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