The acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a press conference in New York City on July 2, 2020 ( AFP / Johannes Eisele)

Posts falsely claim media is ignoring Ghislaine Maxwell trial

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Social media posts claim journalists are ignoring Ghislaine Maxwell's trial, and that a judge banned all press from the courtroom. This is false; the trial has been extensively covered, with an AFP reporter saying hundreds of journalists were present when proceedings opened in New York, and a judge's order makes clear that members of the media are permitted inside the courtroom.

"This case is getting zero news coverage," says a November 29, 2021 tweet, while another from the previous day claims: "Judge In Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Issues Media-Wide Gag Order: All Press & Spectators Barred From Courtroom."

Screenshot of a tweet taken on November 30, 2021
Screenshot of a tweet taken on November 30, 2021

 

 

Maxwell is on trial for allegedly procuring teenage girls to be sexually abused by the now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and could spend the rest of her life in prison if she is convicted on all six counts she faces. AFP previously debunked posts suggesting that the lack of a livestream from the courtroom was part of a cover up designed to limit public scrutiny.

The claims about media restrictions and the lack of coverage are likewise inaccurate.

Judge Alison Nathan issued an order on November 24 stating that "a number of pool reporters and members of the public will be permitted in the courtroom proper as managed by the District Executive/'s Office," and that "press will also be able to access the trial in dedicated overflow courtrooms."

An AFP reporter said that "there were hundreds of journalists, from local to national to international, outside the courthouse, including those in line to get in" on November 29, the day the trial opened.

Journalists were present in both the courtroom and overflow rooms, the reporter said.

People are let into the courthouse as the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell begins in New York on November 29, 2021 ( AFP / Bryan Smith)

Maxwell's trial and its lead up has been covered by newspapers including The New York Times and The Washington Post, news agencies such as AFP, AP and Reuters, and numerous television stations, including CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS.