Ghislaine Maxwell laughs, hugs, kisses during the jury selection

Ghislaine Maxwell laughed and hugged her lawyers and kissed in the courtroom during the jury's selection for the sex trafficking trial on Thursday

Ghislaine Maxwell laughed and hugged with her lawyers and kissed in the courtroom during the jury selection for the trial on sex smuggling on Thursday (Photos: Reuters)

Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell appeared to be in good spirits in a courtroom, amid the jury’s selection for her trial on sex trafficking this week – a turnaround from her sad appearance earlier this month.

Maxwell, 59, wearing a black turtleneck sweater and gray pants, laughed, hugged and talked to his lawyers in a New York courtroom on Thursday, the third day of the jury selection. The British socialite turned himself in his seat and kissed several times to his sister Isabel, who watched from the gallery, the Daily Beast reported.

Her behavior was markedly different than on November 1, when she was escorted into a federal courtroom in Manhattan for her pre-trial hearing wearing a navy blue jumpsuit and shackles. Maxwell, who is accused of allegedly procuring underage girls to the late Epstein for sexual abuse, told the court that day: “I have not committed any crime”.

Just before her pre-trial appearance, Maxwell had reportedly gotten into a prison car with his hands and knees.

Maxwell was able to dress nicer in his recent court appearance because the law prohibits jurors from seeing criminal defendants in prison clothes or chains.

Alison Nathan, a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, had late Thursday morning questioned more than 80 jurors about their lives, personal views and knowledge of Maxwell and Epstein. The judge has narrowed the pool to 58 people and elects 12 jurors and six deputies on Nov. 29.

On Thursday, Nathan fired an unidentified middle-aged man from the jury service because he had met Epstein years ago while working in the finance industry. The middle-aged man said he works as an arbitrator and that a colleague who set up an investment fund introduced him to Epstein.

“Epstein was an investor in it,” the man told Nathan. ‘He was one of the bigger investors.’

The judge also dismissed a female jury who said she was not sure she could be completely impartial given what she had heard about the case.

“I believe the defendant should not be convicted based on Mr Epstein’s actions,” she said.

Maxwell’s trial is expected to last six weeks.

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