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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 31, 2021 12:37am-1:06am PST

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♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, guilty. the outcome ghislaine maxwell's victims never thought would happen. speaking exclusively to abc news. >> i just feel so grateful that the jury believed us and sent a strong message that perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation will be held accountable. >> jeffrey epstein's former girlfriend guilty of the sex trafficking of young girls. her family standing behind her. >> epstein's crimes are epstein's crimes, and my sister will be exonerated on appeal. >> why global scrutiny is now turning toward prince andrew as he denies any wrongdoing. plus money to move. with the pandemic vastly changing the way we work, meet
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the people ditching the big city for the country. >> we doubled our square footage, we have a fenced yard, there's three bedrooms. >> not only saving money. some towns even paying people to move. >> did you guys feel like you won the lottery? >> yeah. tums vs. mozzarella stick when heartburn hits, fight back fast with tums chewy bites. fast heartburn relief in every bite. crunchy outside, chewy inside. ♪ tums, tums, tums, tums ♪ tums chewy bites find your rhythm. your happy place. find your breaking point. then break it. every emergen-c gives you a potent blend of nutrients so you can emerge your best with emergen-c.
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good evening. thank you for joining us. ghislaine maxwell spent most of her-in luxury. but the 60-year-old is now facing her golden years behind bars. a large part of the state's case against maxwell hinged on the testimony of her accusers. one of those women spoke exclusively to abc news. here's abc's erielle reshef. >> reporter: british social lie ghislaine maxwell who once lived the life of luxury, socializing with the rich and famous, running in the circles of princes and presidents, now facing the prospect of the rest of her life behind bars. in a bombshell verdict, a jury finding maxwell guilty of sex trafficking in addition to four of the five other charges against her. >> it's a tremendous relief to be here. i wasn't sure that this day would ever come. >> reporter: her accusers taking the stand in the high-profile trial, saying when they were teenagers, maxwell befriended,
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groomed, and off they ared them up to be sexually abused by then-boyfriend disgraced billionaire and sex offender jeffrey epstein. opt one to publicly identify herself calling the verdict a monumental step toward justice. >> i just feel so grateful that the jury believed us and sent a strong message that perpetrators of sexual abuse and exploitation will be held accountable no matter how much power and privilege that they have. >> a unanimous jury has found ghislaine maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable, facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. crimes that she committed with her longtime partner and coconspirator, jeffrey epstein. >> reporter: maxwell has been in jail since her dramatic arrest at a new hampshire estate in the summer of 2020, almost exactly one year after epstein took his own life in his manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex
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tracking. prosecutors called maxwell a serial predator, saying she and epstein were partners in crime and that she helped facilitate and on some occasions participated in the sexual abuse of underage girls from 1994 to 2004. according to some of the victims, maxwell encouraged minors to provide sexualized massages, including some where the young girls would be partially or fully nude. >> abc news first spoke to annie farmer in 2019 about her experiences with maxwell and epstein. and about what she says happened to her at his ranch in new mexico. >> i went on the table, and i was very aware that the door was open and i could be seen getting a massage. and then at some point she just takes the sheet down and says -- she, you know, exposed my breasts. i feel uncomfortable. i feel like epstein can probably see me right now.
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and she touches me around my chest, but whether in the boundaries of normal or not normal, this was such a scary situation for me so i just needed to like -- just to manage that. and to go on as if everything is normal. >> she is isolated on this ranch in new mexico. she has no way to communicate with anyone. she's alone there with two adults she does not know. she's only 16 years old. >> i was in a small room in pajamas, under the covers. epstein sort of bounded in and said, oh, you know, i'd like to cuddle. of course he wasn't waiting for me to agree to that, he got into bed with me then. like this was one of his boundary violations that was so clear, but knowing she's there, it makes me confused. if they're partners, why? that doesn't make sense. >> annie says epstein physically
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restrained her and started pressing up against her, and she says she was frozen in fear. >> i do remembr getting out of bed and getting into the bathroom and shutting the door. i didn't want to admit what was going on was going on. >> in 2019, annie farmer filed a lawsuit against jeffrey epstein's estate and ghislaine maxwell. she eventually accepted an offer from the epstein victims compensation fund which required her to drop the lawsuit. >> reporter: another key witness in the trial identified only by the pseudonym "jane" testifying she met maxwell and epstein at summer camp when she was just 14 years old. >> she's she's never been the same, never will be the same. she's lived with unimaginable pain and suffering and emotional distress as a result of this heinous conduct that was committed against her. it shaped her entire life. >> reporter: jane testified that maxwell quickly became like a big sister, taking her shopping and to the movies. later encouraging her to give
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epstein lurid massages that ended in her sexual abuse. jane saying those illicit sexual encounters happened every time she saw epstein over the course of several years. >> this verdict speaks volumes, not just for our client, jane, but for all the women survivor victims of this terrible abuse and violence that was inflicted upon them. this says that their pain, their suffering, has been vindicated. >> reporter: three of maxwell's siblings in the courtroom as their sister learned her fate. maxwell's family standing by her, claiming the government only set its sights on her, turning her into a scapegoat after epstein's death. her family saying in a pstatement, we believe firmly i our sister's innocence, we are very disappointed with the verdict, we have already started the appeal tonight, and we believe that she will ultimately be vindicated. >> i think that anybody who sat and listened to the accusers'
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testimony -- i'm a dad, i'm a brother -- anybody listening to their testimony is going to have been moved. but that doesn't mean that i believe for a single second that my sister is guilty of the crimes of which she was convicted. >> reporter: a date for maxwell's sentencing not yet set, her attorneys telling the court they want to wait until maxwell receives her booster shot in light of the surge of covid cases in new york. >> i remain absolutely persuaded of epstein's crimes. i'm equally persuaded that my sister will be exonerated on appeal and that these guilty verdicts will be overturned. >> reporter: tonight, global scrutiny now shifting to the uk's prince andrew, ghislaine maxwell's former long time friend, after her sweeping sex trafficking conviction. the queen's son currently facing a civil lawsuit in new york filed by virginia roberts giuffre, pictured here with him and maxwell decades ago. giuffre accusing the prince of
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having sex with her three times starting when she was 17. allegations he has repeatedly denied. for maxwell, who turns 60 in her jail cell on christmas, the verdict marks a stunning downfall for a woman born into wealth and status. >> the justice system worked and said, this is not okay. if you're going to help someone abuse little girls and sexually abuse little girls, you will be held accountable, you will get arrested, you will go to jail. >> reporter: for annie farmer, the sentence is a watershed moment, showing no one is above the law. >> i think justice is a complicated term. we know there were other people involved and other perpetrators. we certainly hope that there will continue to be investigated so that other people will be held accountable for the ways that they abused people. >> our thanks to erielle. living the dream. families leaving the city behind
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♪ ♪ tequila herradura. extraordinary awaits. ♪ the pandemic has changed a lot about our lives. for many of us, work is from our living room which w - allows workers to live almost anywhere there is a decent wi-fi signal. that's leading some to out of the way and unexpected places. here's abc's business and economic correspondent dierdre bolton. >> reporter: after over a year of working from home in
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washington, d.c. -- >> oh! this is a real testament! >> reporter: eleme and ahmad are on the cusp of a bigger change. >> during the pandemic our needs change. although we loved our various apartments over the years, they were all really small. with two people and two cats, now working from home, fighting for space on calls and trying not to interrupt each other's zooms. so really, our life shifted dramatically during the last year. >> reporter: the result of that dramatic shift? >> he really wants to be in a place with a great cycling infrastructure. we both really like nature. i was looking for a place that had a thriving or at least a growing food scene. and when we started our google searches, northwest arkansas came up every single time. >> reporter: an added benefit to help seal the decision? taking advantage of an incentive program in arkansas called "life works here."
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after applying and being chosen out of 35,000 applicants, the couple was offered $10,000 and credit at a local bike store if they made the move. >> i'm doing it! >> did you guys feel like you won the lottery? >> yeah, i was very surprised. then we had a package in the mail that had glitter, an acceptance offer, confetti. it helped push the decision for sure. >> reporter: northwest arkansas isn't the only place offering money to entice people to relocate. with on-site work in flux due to the pandemic, small towns, big towns, regions, even the state of vermont have launched programs to woo workers. >> over 50% of the individuals that have applied have no connection to northwest arkansas. >> reporter: nelson peacock is the ceo and president of the northwest arkansas council. >> people are looking for a little bit of something different. people i think are finding that they can come here, have an exciting employment opportunity. you know, just live their life and excel here . so i think that's what we're
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taking advantage of. >> reporter: but it's not just about the cash. there are museum and golf course memberships, student loan debt assistance, martial arts rock climbing rates to be have.- motivations of moving. >> whether you're into tech or the arts, we're going to try to make sure you find community when you live to northwest arkansas. >> reporter: for anela, a social media influencer, and husband ahmad, a financial crimes analyst, seeing if there was a connection to a new community was important before deciding to pick up and move 1,100 miles. >> i filled out the application late at night on a whim. then we booked a trip here. right before we came, they notified us we were selected. so that was on our minds when we visited. but i would say that it was really, in my view, it was the people here that made up our minds for us when we came. >> reporter: after that visit,
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and with the approval of ahmed's boss to work remotely full-time -- >> trying to get the cats in the crate. >> reporter: they parked up their 900 square foot apartment -- >> time to say good-bye, babies! our now-empty apartment! >> bye, apartment! >> reporter: hit the road. >> day two, we are in? >> indiana. >> indiana. >> reporter: and signed a lease for their new home in lowell, arkansas. population less than 10,000. >> we are paying 60% of what we were in d.c. >> oh, beautiful. >> we doubled our square footage. we have a fenced yard. there's three bedrooms. >> what kinds of profiles of professionals do you want here most? who's getting accepted? >> we've kind of divided it in three categories. we originally started out focusing on specifically remote workers and s.t.e.m. workers, but we've changed that over the
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course of the program. we're also accepting entrepreneurs here. and also what we call creatives. so chefs, artists, influencers. >> reporter: they launched the "life works here" program in november 2020 in the middle of the pandemic and have only accepted 64 applicants. >> we also want to bring in entrepreneurs so they can build, grow and scale their companies to help with job growth in the future. and then the creatives to help us build out a well-rounded quality of life here. >> what kind of feedback are you getting from, i'll call them big-city transplants? >> most of those have already relocated here, and i think everyone is, to this point, you know -- the marketing is matching up to the reality for them. >> reporter: whether or not it's the best decision for amela and ahmad is probably too early to say, having only been in arkansas a few months. but it's certainly been eye-opening. >> i think a lot of young people right now especially are thinking about leaving the bigger cities because our work has changed so much.
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so our home lives also need to change to accommodate that. >> what advice will you give your friends or have you given your friends about participating in a program like this? >> i would say, make sure that you could imagine your life in that community. and there are a lot of incentive programs out there. and that is an opportunity, but just make sure you could imagine your life in that place. >> our thanks to dierdre. up next, our final thought for 2021. g sluggish or weighed down? it could be a sign that your digestive system isn't working at it's best taking metamucil everyday can help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. it also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so you can feel lighter and more energetic metamucil. support your daily digestive health. and try metamucil fiber thins. a great tasting and easy way to start your day.
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♪ finally tonight, we will close out this broadcast by acknowledging and thanking all those who make this show possible. at "nightline," we are family. an inclusive group of journalists who take seriously and never for granted your trust in us. it's been another tough year with tough days ahead, most likely. so keep doing your best, and so will we. thanks for the company, america. good night, happy holidays, happy new year.
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