Ghislaine Maxwell denied from keeping Epstein testimony secret

Clay Curtis
October 20, 2020

A secret, years old and potentially damaging deposition from alleged sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell must be released to the public, a federal appeals court in New York City ruled on Monday.

Her lawyers had appealed a judge's July ruling to allow the release of the transcripts of two depositions in which she answered questions before the lawsuit was settled.

The mandate is a victory for Virginia Giuffre, who has publicly accused Maxwell, Epstein and others of sexually abusing her when she was a minor.

The appeals court also denied Maxwell's request to consolidate the appeal over the defamation documents with other legal battles she is waging.

On Monday, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit struck down Maxwell's attempt to block release of the documents, including a 418-page deposition by her, that were ordered released by Judge Loretta Preska of the US District Court for the Southern District of NY in July.

But Maxwell's lawyers said bad publicity from disclosing "intimate, sensitive, and personal details" from the deposition could undermine her ability to defend against criminal charges that she enabled Epstein's sexual abuses.

Epstein killed himself aged 66 in prison a year ago while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.

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epa08546198 The Metropolitan Detention Center where Ghislaine Maxwell is being held awaiting the outcome of her bail hearing, in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 14 July 2020.

Appealing to the court to keep the documents sealed Maxwell, the daughter of media magnate and former Labour MP, Robert Maxwell, said that publishing the testimony would jeopardise her own defence against the criminal charges she is facing. The judge had concluded that there was a presumption of public access to deposition materials.

A trial is scheduled for next July. And in July, Maxwell, 58, was charged on several counts related to sex trafficking of minors and perjury.

Lawyers for Giuffre and the newspaper were not immediately available for comment.

He was arrested in 2019 on child sex-trafficking charges, and roughly a month later, he was found unresponsive in his jail cell.

That argument evidently went nowhere with the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday.

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