Ghislaine Maxwell's Deposition Unsealed After Monthslong Court Battle
Transcripts of interviews conducted with British socialite and alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell in which she described her relationship with accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and provided intimate details about her sex life were made public on Thursday ― the culmination of a monthslong court battle over their release.
The transcripts, which ran to more than 400 pages, come from depositions in 2016 for a now-settled defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused Maxwell of acting as Epstein’s madame and helping him traffick her ― when she was a teenager ― to his famous friends, including allegedly Britain’s Prince Andrew and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
Giuffre also accused Maxwell of sexually abusing underage girls.
In the first of about a dozen unsealed documents, Giuffre’s lawyers accuse Maxwell of refusing to answer questions about her own sexual relationship with Epstein, as well as alleged instructions she gave to his victims.
“[Maxwell’s] role in those massages ― and knowledge of the purposes of those massages ― is a critical piece of evidence showing her state of mind when she attacked Ms. Giuffre’s assertions as ‘entirely untrue,’” the document states. “Ms. Giuffre intends to prove at trial that Defendant knew full well the sexual purpose for which she was recruiting females ― including underage females like Ms. Giuffre.”
The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2017, but many court documents from the case were blocked from public release by Maxwell’s lawyers, who argued they were “extremely personal, confidential and subject to considerable abuse by the media.”
After Maxwell was charged with several federal crimes earlier this year, including sex trafficking and the enticement of minors, her lawyers said the unsealing of the documents from the case, including her deposition, would make it impossible for the woman to get a fair trial.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska disagreed, however, and ordered hundreds of pages of court documents to be made public ― many of which have already been unsealed.
Among them was a large cache of documents made public last August ― mere hours before Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in his New York City jail cell, where he’d been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell’s lawyers had continued their efforts to block their client’s deposition from seeing the light of day. But on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, based in Manhattan, ruled that Preska had been correct in her earlier decision to make the deposition public.
“We have reviewed all of the arguments raised by Defendant-Appellant Maxwell on appeal and find them to be without merit,” the court wrote, according to the Miami Herald, which sued for the unsealing of the documents in the Giuffre v. Maxwell case.
Preska had given Maxwell’s lawyers until 9 a.m. Thursday to release the deposition.
Maxwell is being held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center. Her trial is scheduled to take place next summer.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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