Judge Orders Explosive Epstein Docs Unsealed in Ghislaine Maxwell Case
Federal judge rules hundreds of pages of sealed documents made public within a week
A federal judge has ruled that explosive documents detailing information on Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell must be made public within a week.
The bombshell ruling came in a lawsuit over files from a defamation case against Maxwell by former Epstein child sex trafficking victim Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre.
Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan ruled on Thursday to unseal more than 80 documents - containing hundreds of pages - that Maxwell has been battling to keep under wraps.
The judge ordered the unsealing of the vast tranche of documents related to Epstein, which are expected to shed light on his friendship with powerful men accused of having sex with his underage victims.
Judge Preska said that 80 documents - which could potentially name Epstein-linked elites - will be made public within a week.
Among the documents are depositions from Ghislaine Maxwell from previous cases, which could explain her alleged role in Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation.
The documents reportedly include details about Maxwell’s sex life that her lawyers have previously tried to stop from being released, relating to a seven-hour, 418-page deposition Maxwell gave which her legal team said was "extremely personal, confidential."
In filings, Maxwell’s lawyers have called the depositions a "series of (efforts) to compel Maxwell to answer intrusive questions about her sex life."
The documents will also include communications between Maxwell and Epstein from January 2015 when Virginia Roberts made explosive allegations about them in court papers.
In the papers, Roberts claimed she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was just 17 at Maxwell and Epstein’s command.
The case is separate from the criminal proceedings against Maxwell, 58, who is accused by federal prosecutors of procuring girls as young as 14 for Epstein to abuse.
She has pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial next year.
Bill Clinton Had Affair With Jeffrey Epstein’s Pimp Ghislaine Maxwell According to New Book— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) May 27, 2020
READ MORE: https://t.co/R0NRfUXwXP
Although the case is separate from Maxwell's criminal case, one of the unsealed deposition documents is linked to her perjury charge.
The case ruled on Thursday was originally brought by Roberts, now a 36-year-old mother-of-three who lives in Australia and goes by her married name Virginia Giuffre.
She sued Maxwell in 2015 for defamation because Maxwell accused her of lying.
Roberts said in court filings that Maxwell recruited her and other girls into a sex trafficking ring for "politically connected and financially powerful people."
The case was settled in 2017 for an undisclosed sum but media organizations sued for documents in the case to be made public.
During the hearing at Manhattan’s federal court, Judge Preska said Maxwell’s right to privacy was outweighed by the need for the documents to become public.
She went through the dozens of documents, which included Giuffre's depositions and various dull-sounding legal papers.
The contents, however, are likely to be explosive and may contain fresh evidence against the wealthy elite who socialized with Epstein.
After the ruling, Maxwell’s lawyer Laura Menninger asked for a two-week delay in the unsealing so they could file an appeal in the Second Circuit in New York.
Menninger said: "There have been some significant changes with respect to my client’s positions and perhaps known to everyone listening to this, while we were speaking about a potential ongoing criminal investigation (before), since that time Miss Maxwell has been indicted and a trial has been scheduled.
"Now we are in a vastly different position and have grave concerns about our client's ability to receive a fair trial given the intense media scrutiny around anything that is unsealed."
Giuffre’s lawyer Sigrid McCawley said she wanted the documents made public "as swiftly as possible."
Judge Preska said if the Second Circuit had not ruled within a week then the files should be made public.
The lawsuit to release the documents was originally filed by the Miami Herald and their reporter Julie Brown, whose series on Epstein called "Perversion of Justice" in 2018 put renewed focus on the case and led to his arrest last July.
As a result, there are thousands of pages of documents that are being released on a rolling basis.
Each time a person’s name comes up they are notified and given the chance to make objections to their name becoming public.
There were two John Does in this latest batch but they did not make any complaints when approached to make any comments, according to court filings.
The Second Circuit had already ordered 2,000 pages of documents to be made public and they were released last August, the day before Epstein was found dead.
The documents included the unpublished manuscript of a memoir from Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts which detailed her years of abuse by him.
There were depositions from Epstein’s pilots, his former associates, and flight logs showing him traveling the globe with his victims and famous people such as Bill Clinton.