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Reheated Ghislaine with a Side of Scotty David Is Paramount+'s Recipe In Maximum Maxwell Cook-Off

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 12 – True crime on streaming platforms is a thing, and so there are knock-offs, like some purses sold on Canal Street in lower Manhattan.

   So it is with Paramount+'s cookie-cutter documentary series Partners in Crime about the Ghislaine Maxwell trial that concluded in guilty verdicts in December 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.   

  Even prior to the trial, there had been a slate of podcasts about Ghislaine, on top of the four-part Dirty Money video series about Jeffrey Epstein. So beyond the verdict, what was new for Paramount+? 

  Two words, both of them fake: Scotty David.

  After the guilty verdict, Juror 50 quickly went public, first in the British media including a video interview with the Daily Mail, then ultimately with immunity in the courtroom of Judge Alison Nathan, who was nominated for elevation to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals during Maxwell's trial, and confirmed just after she held the Scotty David hearing and denied Maxwell's motion for a new trial.  

   Paramount+ played sloppy second, giving Scotty David a platform. With an immunity deal from DOJ, how far can Scotty take this?   

  Episode One of Partners in Crime - they call it Season One, no less, seemingly rooting for Maxwell to be cleared or the verdict to be set aside by other Second Circuit judges and another trial held, endless seasons of sleaze - doesn't only have Scotty David.

  It also has sit-down interviews with Ghislaine's siblings, and footage of them talking to the media scrum in front of 40 Foley Square.

  (Full disclosure, if belated: this reviewer was in the scrum, and has a mixed-form booklet about the case, Maximum Maxwell, on Amazon, here. Shameless.) 

     The irony has been noted of Big Tech successes like AppleTV and Amazon Prime making documentaries about the indictment or implosion of other high flyers, like SuperPumped about Uber or the various interactions of the Elizabeth Holmes / Theranos story.

   (An aside: who will make the Balwami "Partner in Crime" series? Why even wait for him to be convicted?)  

   But Paramount+, despite its appended mathematical symbol, is not a new tech company. It is old media dressed up as new and in Partner in Crime it shows. It has the feeling of an NBC Dateline, or even the Cold Case Files channel streaming on PlutoTV, which Paramount's channel notably does not run even this first episode of Partner in Crime, as is done on Pluto for the new Dexter, the new Billions, even SuperPumped, the pilot again and again.  

   Paramount+ uses gossip journalists, and a legal one who placed the first Scotty David interview in the UK's Independent; there is not mention of Scotty David saying that to go public he got the green light of his employer, The Carlyle Group.

   There are long camera shots of the Upper East Side townhouse of Wexner then Epstein, and an old interview of Robert Maxwell by Mike Wallace of, yes, Paramount+'s parent CBS. Partner in Crime indeed.  


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