She’s Ms. Maxwell, if you please.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense attorneys want their controversial client referred to as “Ms. Maxwell,” rather than “the defendant,” when the judge in her case instructs the jury on the legal nuances they need to take into account while deliberating.
Maxwell attorney Christian Everdell made the request during a rare Saturday morning hearing, as her defense team and prosecutors argued over the language that will be included in Judge Alison Nathan’s instructions to the jury.
Prosecutors did not object to her being referred to with the honorific in a number of instances in the proposed charge.
Seasoned defense attorneys described the request as “unusual” — and likely done as a subtle attempt to humanize Maxwell to the jury deciding her fate.
“I am not sure that I have ever seen such a request,” attorney Julie Rendelman, who is not connected to the Maxwell case, told The Post.
“We saw the opposite happen in recent trials such as Rittenhouse, where the judge prevented the prosecution from using the word ‘victim’ to describe those shot,” added Rendelman, who worked for years as a prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, who has repped Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and John Gotti Jr., said the request could also be an attempt to distance Maxwell from a criminal label.
“They’re trying to make her appear human. As a person instead of the cold description of ‘defendant,’ which also makes her sound defensive, as a criminal,” Lichtman told The Post.
“I wouldn’t say it’s rare. It’s unusual,” he added. “At the end of the day it’s a subtle way to influence the jury. But no one is acquitting or convicting due to it. Nevertheless, anytime a defense lawyer labors over every possible minute detail to win a case is a good thing.”
Maxwell’s trial is expected to draw to a close early next week, with prosecutors and defense attorneys scheduled to give closing statements Monday.
Her defense team rested on Friday after two days of calling witnesses in an attempt to poke holes in the testimony of her accusers.
Maxwell said Friday that she will not testify in her own defense.
“Your Honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt and so there is no need for me to testify,” Maxwell told Judge Nathan.
Prosecutors called some two dozen witnesses in their two-week case against the disgraced socialite, including four accusers who detailed how they were groomed by Maxwell and, in some instances, abused by her.
One accuser, who testified using her first name, Carolyn, told jurors that Maxwell groped her as she was setting up a massage table at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion when she was 14 years old.
“She came in and felt my boobs and my hips and my buttocks,” Carolyn told jurors on Dec. 7.
Maxwell has maintained her innocence since she was first arrested. She faces a maximum of 70 years in prison if convicted on all counts.