More information about Ghislaine Maxwell's relationship with late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is coming after a court document containing potentially sensitive details was unsealed on Thursday morning in New York at the last minute before a court-imposed deadline, reports The Guardian.
About a dozen files related to the charges against Maxwell have been unsealed, including one in which Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers allege Maxwell dodged a question "about allegedly ‘adult’ sexual activity related to Jeffrey Epstein." The deposition, which she gave during past civil litigation, was unsealed after an appeals panel ruled it could be released, and ordered it be released as soon as possible.
Maxwell’s lawyers had lobbied for the appeals panel to overturn Manhattan federal court judge Loretta Preska’s ruling in July that the 418 pages of sworn testimony be released, but the judges decided Monday that Preska rightly determined the public had a right to access those documents and transcripts, saying Maxwell’s attorneys' arguments lacked merit.
The British socialite was arrested in July for her role in alleged sexual trafficking of young and underage girls for Epstein, as well as conspiracy and perjury involving Epstein's crimes. She has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case. Her attorneys argued previously that Maxwell's deposition from a 2015 civil suit being unsealed "will lead to a violation of [her] due process right to a fair trial by an impartial jury" in her criminal proceedings. The civil suit that the documents stem from originated when Giuffre sued Maxwell for allegedly defaming her, saying she had lied when telling police Maxwell had groomed her under false pretenses before working with Epstein to force her to have sex with men such as Britain's Prince Andrew. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has denied Giuffre’s claims.
"It is apparent to me since the suicide of Mr. Epstein that there has been an immense amount of media speculation about so much in his life," the royal said in a statement in August 2019. "This is particularly the case in relation to my former association or friendship with Mr. Epstein. Therefore I am eager to clarify the facts to avoid further speculation."
Prince Andrew said while he knew Epstein for 20 years before his jailhouse suicide, "I saw him infrequently and probably no more than once or twice a year." Despite staying at "a number of his residences," Andrew continued that "at no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."
"I have tremendous sympathy for all those affected by his actions and behaviour," the prince continued. "His suicide has left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. ...I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behavior."