Ghislaine Maxwell trial opens in New York for alleged rape

Prosecutors began their case on the first day of the trial of former Playboy model Ghislaine Maxwell for the alleged rape of Natashia Walters.

Maxwell, who was stripped of her title of Miss World in 2010 after she was accused of running the “Coco de Mer Club” in Monaco in a sex-for-hire operation, is on trial in London for assaulting Natashia Walters in her New York apartment in 2011.

Under the name “Isabelle Morar,” she reportedly had a “business deal” with Walters before she hit out at her behaviour during a visit to New York in 2011.

Maxwell, a 50-year-old mother of three, spent four days in custody before being freed on bail.

The trial is taking place at Southwark Crown Court where Maxwell is accused of having been blackmailing Walters for $12,000.

Many of Maxwell’s former Playboy magazine friends are attending the trial and she is expected to make her first appearance on Thursday. She told police that Walters was kidnapped and raped by masked men in New York. But she failed to present them with a passport to travel to Monaco to discuss her interest in owning a club there, leaving Walters out of pocket.

Members of Maxwell’s family have been allowed to travel in to the court to show support for her.

Prosecutors are expected to call a number of witnesses and to rest their case.

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