Federal judge unseals documents from 2015 case against Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell
1 August 2020
A series of court documents from a 2015 case against Ghislaine Maxwell, the close friend of deceased sex offender and well-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein, were unsealed and released to the public on Thursday by a New York City federal judge.
District Judge Loretta Preska of the US Court for the Southern District of New York ruled against Maxwell’s motion to block the release of the documents from the lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who was a teenager when she was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein. Giuffre sued for defamation after Maxwell claimed that she was lying about her abuse by Epstein.
In releasing the documents, Judge Preska said, “In the context of this case, especially its allegations of sex trafficking of young girls, the court finds any minor embarrassment or annoyance resulting from Ms. Maxwell's mostly non-testimony ... is far outweighed by the presumption of public access.”
Among the documents released—the first of three batches—is a deposition Giuffre gave on May 3, 2016 during her defamation case. In the course of her testimony, Giuffre said that Maxwell, after meeting her at the Palm Beach estate of Donald Trump, Mar-a-Lago, “brought me in for the purpose of being trafficked,” by Epstein. She also said, “You have to understand that [Epstein] and [Maxwell] are joined at the hip, okay?”
Giuffre also said of Maxwell, “She’s the one who abused me on a regular basis. She’s the one that procured me, told me what to do, trained me as a sex slave, abused me physically, abused me mentally. She’s the one who I believe, in my heart of hearts, deserves to come forward and have justice happen to her more than anybody. Being a woman, it’s disgusting.”
Among the individuals Giuffre said that she was directed by Maxwell to have sex with are Prince Andrew, attorney Alan Dershowitz, former Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and MIT scientist Marvin Minsky (deceased). Giuffre also said during the deposition that she saw former US President Bill Clinton at Epstein’s private Little St James Island.
Giuffre also mentioned “another prince” and another individual who was “a large hotel chain owner,” because she was unable to remember their names, saying, “I’m sorry. This is very hard for me and very frustrating to have to go over this. I don’t—I don’t recall all of the people. There was a large amount of people that I was sent to.”
The documents also include an email exchange between Maxwell and Epstein. Epstein claims his innocence and provides Maxwell with a set of talking points that she might use to defend herself against the allegations.
Maxwell, Epstein wrote, had been the “target of outright lies, innuendo, slander, defamation and salacious gossip and harassment,” and she should fight back against “false allegations of impropriety and offensive behavior that I abhor and have never ever been party to.”
In another message, Epstein wrote, “You have done nothing wrong and I (would) urge you to start acting like it.” He told Maxwell to “go outside, head high, not as an (escaping) convict. go to parties. Deal with it.”
Maxwell opposed the release of the documents from the 2015 lawsuit, arguing that they would damage her defense in the current federal case. Judge Preska did agree to delay the release of some of the court documents—including the transcript of Maxwell’s own deposition—until Monday so that Maxwell’s lawyers would have time to file an appeal on the order to unseal them.
Other documents that were not released were medical records along with the identities of several “Jane Does” who have accused Epstein of sexual abuse but have not made themselves known publicly.
Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI at her secluded mansion in New Hampshire on July 2 and charged with six counts against her for assisting in Epstein’s trafficking of teenage girls as young as 14. She is currently being held in the Brooklyn Detention Center awaiting a trial scheduled to begin in twelve months.
Maxwell was denied bail on July 14 by US District Judge Alison Nathan on the grounds that she was a flight risk given her international connections and significant personal wealth. Federal authorities have also reported that Maxwell is considered a suicide risk and they claim that, as a high-profile inmate, she is being monitored closely by jail personnel.
Jeffrey Epstein was arrested approximately one year ago, was also denied bail and was being held in the Manhattan Correctional Center lockup awaiting his trial when he was found dead in his cell under unexplained circumstances. Despite evidence that Epstein was strangled to death in his cell on the morning of August 10, 2019, the New York medical examiner determined his death to be a “suicidal hanging” with orange prison bedsheets.
Significantly, Epstein was found dead one day after the release of 2,000 documents related to his sex ring in the same Virginia Roberts Giuffre defamation case against Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015, which was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in 2017.
Right-wing journalist Mike Cernovich—who submitted the lawsuit with the support of the Miami Herald that ultimately forced the unsealing of the Epstein and Maxwell court papers—has pointed out that the documents show how the FBI had evidence of Epstein’s criminal sex ring for years and did nothing.
Cernovich reposted a tweet by Twitter user Techno Fog that says, “Heartbreaking - The minor victim was asking the FBI for the evidence (photos and videos) they seized from Epstein. Why? So she could prosecute her civil case.”
The post includes a screen shot of a released email from Virginia Roberts to FBI agent Christina Pryor on April 16, 2014 that says: “I was wondering if you remember me from Sydney Consulate, I am a victim in the investigation from the Jeffrey Epstein case and was wondering if you could tell me if I would be able to get ahold of any of the pics and/or videos that the FBI might have confiscated from any of Epstein’s residences? Also, can I ask if you might have any of the flight logs that include my name in them to be sent to me as well. It’s all for evidential purposes and would prove a many of things to help my case.”
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