More than a dozen photographs were displayed during Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial, showing her seemingly carefree romantic relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, which witnesses have said masked much darker depths.
The images could have come from the scrapbook of any relatively affluent couple: a graying man and slightly younger woman in casual, unrehearsed moments — standing on a wooden footbridge, astride a motorcycle, at a table with a drink.
They were introduced by the government over defense objections, as prosecutors sought to document, through the images, Ms. Maxwell’s longstanding relationship with Mr. Epstein.
During the trial, lawyers for Ms. Maxwell have attempted to convince jurors that the woman in the pictures is little more than a scapegoat for Mr. Epstein, who killed himself in jail while awaiting trial.
The photographs shown in court are part of a trove found in 2019, when F.B.I. agents searched Mr. Epstein’s townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Defense lawyers objected to the photographs, saying the government didn’t need to enter so many pictures into evidence to make its point.
A prosecutor, Alison Moe, argued that the relationship between Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein was central to the case because the defense had “repeatedly tried to distance Ms. Maxwell from Mr. Epstein and his affairs.”
The judge, Alison J. Nathan, agreed, and the next day the pictures were being flashed onto a screen in the courtroom.
Some capture moments of intimacy: Ms. Maxwell embracing Mr. Epstein near a jetty or pier, kissing him on a sidewalk, massaging his foot aboard an airplane. A few hint at the opulence and wealth that Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell enjoyed.
One photograph was entered into evidence under seal. A pretrial motion said that image depicts the couple “swimming together while nude.”