New York Judge Orders Immediate Release of Ghislaine Maxwell Deposition Transcripts
A federal judge in New York City has ordered the immediate release of previously-sealed deposition transcripts of Ghislaine Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of notorious financier and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“US District Judge Loretta A. Preska’s order allows the public release of transcripts of two days of depositions in 2016 of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and related documents, along with the deposition transcript of an anonymous accuser,” The Associated Press reported on Tuesday. “The judge briefly permitted the immediate release of the transcripts but reversed herself after an attorney for Maxwell made a late plea to delay the release. The lawyer cited objections to some redactions and said Maxwell had not had decided whether to further appeal an appellate ruling. Preska gave lawyers on each side until 9 a.m. Thursday to confer and release the transcripts.”
Preska’s ruling came a day after a three-judge panel on the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals “properly decided that the public had a right to access documents from legal proceedings and that transcripts should be unsealed because arguments by Maxwell’s lawyers were meritless,” AP wrote.
The depositions were part of a lawsuit filed against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused Maxwell of aiding Epstein in sexually abusing her when she was a minor. The case was settled in 2017.
The transcripts are relevant to perjury charges Maxwell, 58, is facing, and to which she has pleaded not guilty.
Maxwell’s defense attorneys had sought to keep the Guiffre case records sealed because she has yet to face trial for allegedly facilitating the trafficking and sexual abuse of young women.
“Lawyers for Maxwell, 58, had argued that the documents reflecting seven hours of interviews over two days should remain sealed, in part to protect her right to a fair trial in July on charges that she helped Epstein traffic and sexually abuse teenage girls in the 1990s,” AP noted. “Maxwell has been incarcerated since her arrest in early July. If convicted, she could face up to 35 years in prison.”
Epstein, a shadowy billionaire with surreptitious connections to some of the most influential people on the planet, was arrested and indicted on multiple charges of sex trafficking in 2018. He was found dead in a New York jail cell in August of 2019 while awaiting trial.
Epstein’s death was officially ruled a suicide, however, the circumstances sparked a wave of conspiracy theories that he was murdered to protect powerful individuals with whom he had personal relationships, including filmmaker Woody Allen, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, US Attorney General William Barr, and US President Donald Trump.
Barr, Dershowitz, and Starr served on Epstein’s defense team in 2007 when he faced charges of soliciting sex with a minor in Florida. Epstein pleaded guilty, served 13 months in prison, and registered as a sex offender. The sweetheart deal Epstein received was arranged by then-US Attorney Alex Acosta, Trump’s current Secretary of Labor.
On Tuesday, prosecutors in New York also filed motions to keep 40 pages of documents and 40 pictures of women involved with the ongoing case against Maxwell out of the hands of her lawyers.
“The premature revelation of this information would give the defendant the opportunity to interfere with the Government’s investigation before it is complete. Such information could allow her to contact and intimidate witnesses, destroy evidence relevant to the investigation, or alert other targets of the investigation,” the prosecutors wrote.