Manhattan Federal Judge Blocks Unsealing Of Ghislane Maxwell Documents Temporarily

Cheryl Sanders
August 1, 2020

Gee said Maxwell only answered questions because she thought the depositions could not be obtained by authorities.

Several of those witnesses were underage girls when they allege Maxwell helped recruit them in a scheme that resulted in ongoing sexual abuse at the hands of her and Epstein.

All of the files related to a deposition Maxwell gave to investigators in 2015 when she was sued for defamation by Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts.

Earlier Wednesday, Maxwell again argued against the release of the material, prompting Preska to respond that the socialite's arguments were going over "plowed ground".

Defence lawyers said Monday that banning them from publicly identifying alleged victims or potential witnesses in the case will hinder their ability to investigate, prepare witnesses for trial and advocate on Ms. Maxwell's behalf.

A United States judge on Wednesday denied Ghislaine Maxwell's last-ditch effort to keep a potentially damaging deposition from becoming public, as the jailed British socialite defends herself against criminal charges that she aided the late financier Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of girls.

Maxwell was allegedly a vital part of Epstein's pedophile empire. The judge's order could mean other documents, like Epstein's flight logs and police reports from his neighbourhood, will also be revealed.

Dozens of previously sealed court documents from a now-settled civil lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell are expected to be publicly released in the coming days, igniting a fresh round of speculation about what details the records might contain about Jeffrey Epstein's alleged child sex-trafficking operation and about Maxwell's alleged role in the conspiracy.

Epstein hanged himself in custody past year while awaiting trial for sex trafficking of minors.

Maxwell's criminal trial is scheduled for July next year.

Though Maxwell argued that release of these records would cause her undue embarrassment and annoyance, Preska ordered the documents partially unsealed, with names of non-parties other than John Does 1 and 2 remaining sealed, pending notification.

Maxwell's lawyers accused her of leaking the deposition, and "in conjunction with the government" setting a "perjury trap" for their client, whose six criminal counts include two for perjury.

But Ms Preska said he could have made that argument for the last month. "The public's right of access to Ms. Maxwell's deposition transcript is substantially outweighed by the compelling interest in ensuring her right to a fair trial".

In her memo Wednesday night, Preska additionally rejected Maxwell's request that she rethink her personal determination to unseal the paperwork.

"These pleadings concern what should have been a straightforward request by [Giuffre] to exceed the presumptive 10 deposition limit set by the Court", Maxwell's lawyers argued.

Transcripts of the depositions were designated "confidential" and subject to a "Protective Order".

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