An extensive collection of “extremely personal” documents from a civil case against longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell can be unsealed, according to a Manhattan federal judge. However, Maxwell’s legal team can appeal the decision.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled that “large portions of more than 80 documents from a 2015 civil lawsuit against Maxwell” could be released, according to Reuters. The documents are from Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s civil lawsuit against Maxwell that was initiated in 2015.
The documents include a seven-hour, 418-page deposition that Maxwell provided in 2016 during Giuffre’s defamation lawsuit against Maxwell, which was settled in 2017. Giuffre alleged the British socialite defamed her by saying that she lied and fabricated sexual abuse allegations against Maxwell and Epstein.
Some records from the Giuffre case, including portions Maxwell’s deposition, were unsealed Aug. 9, 2019, the day before Epstein’s death from a reported suicide.
Maxwell’s lawyers attempted to keep the records secret because the 2016 deposition contains attempts “to compel Ms. Maxwell to answer intrusive questions about her sex life” that are “extremely personal, confidential and subject to considerable abuse by the media.”
“The court finds that any minor embarrassment or annoyance resulting from the disclosure of Miss Maxwell’s mostly non-testimony about behavior that has been widely reported in the press is far outweighed by the presumption of public access,” Preska said during Thursday’s video hearing.
“The court finds that the countervailing interests identified fail to rebut the presumption of public access,” Preska stated. “Accordingly, those papers shall be unsealed.”
The documents also include flight logs from Epstein’s private jets and police reports from Palm Beach, Florida, where Epstein had a home. Epstein’s waterfront property was put up for sale this week with an asking price of $21.995 million. The disgraced financier’s Manhattan townhouse was listed this week for $88 million.
Preska also said medical records and other Epstein accusers who have not publicly revealed their identities, as well as the names of “non-parties,” will remain redacted.
Preska granted Maxwell’s attorney, Lauren Menninger, one week to file a motion with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Maxwell is charged with two counts of conspiracy, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transporting minors for illegal sex acts, and two counts of perjury. She has denied the charges against her.
Maxwell is being held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, across the river from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, which is where Epstein was being held in custody after being charged with sex-trafficking crimes. Epstein, 66, died on Aug. 10. 2019, when he hanged himself from a prison bedsheet, according to the New York City chief medical examiner.
Maxwell is accused of playing a “critical role” of helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls. Maxwell’s trial is scheduled for July 12, 2021.