A Manhattan judge has ruled the release of dozens of records from a 2015 civil lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, a socialite, and associate of Jeffrey Epstein who has been accused of grooming and luring young girls into sex trafficking ring with the late financier.
Prosecutors have alleged that she also participated in some of the abuse.
Maxwell’s lawyers have fought against the release of these records, arguing that this could well jeopardize her ongoing criminal sex abuse case while potentially exposing many ‘non-parties’.
US District Judge Loretta Preska has stated that the public’s right to access large chunks of these documents outweighs Maxwell’s arguments for keeping them sealed.
As previously reported by Reuters, Judge Preska has stated that personal identifying information and names of many ‘non-parties’ will be redacted from the 80 plus documents.
The documents will reportedly not be released immediately, and Maxwell’s legal representatives have been granted one week to file an emergency motion with Manhattan’s federal appeals court to halt the release.
The documents in question are part of a now-settled defamation lawsuit from 2015, which was filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre has accused Maxwell, 58, of having enabled convicted sex offender Epstein to abuse her while she was underage, a claim which Maxwell has denied.
During a recent interview with CBS This Morning, Giuffre described Maxwell as being the ‘mastermind’ behind Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.
“Put it this way, Epstein was Pinocchio and she was Geppetto. She was pulling the strings, she had his money, he had her contacts – but Ghislaine was much more conniving and smart than Epstein ever was.”
Among the files due for release is a seven-hour, 418-page deposition given by Maxwell herself in 2016, during which her lawyers claim she was subjected to ‘intrusive’ questions in regards to her sex life.
Also included in these documents are flight logs and police reports from Florida, where, in 2007, Epstein pleaded guilty to charges of state prostitution charges in exchange for a 13-month jail sentence.