A US District Court Judge in New York has ordered a racy 418-page deposition given by former Jeffrey Epstein madame Ghislaine Maxwell in a now-settled civil law suit to be released by 9 a.m. Thursday morning, Law & Crime reports.
Judge Loretta Preska initially ordered the release of documents from the lawsuit, filed against Maxwell by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giufre in 2015, in July, and hundreds of pages of documents have been released — but not the deposition Maxwell gave over two days in April 2016 in which she reportedly gave details about “consensual, intimate conduct with other adults,” according to court papers.
An appeals court upheld Preska’s ruling on Monday, writing that Preska was correct “in rejecting Maxwell’s meritless arguments that her interests superseded the presumption of access,” as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Preska’s order for the release of the deposition by Thursday morning came in her third order of the day on Tuesday, Law & Crime said. The first simply ordered the documents released “as soon as is practicable.” That order was followed in quick succession by a filing from Giufre’s attorney that they were prepared to begin release immediate and letter from Maxwell’s attorney saying she was having trouble reaching her client to find out about further possible appeals and asking for further redactions.
Preska then filed a second order signing off on Giufre’s motion, telling her to proceed with the document filing, only to come back with the third order, saying she had been unaware of Maxwell’s filing when she released the second order. In her final order, Preska wrote “counsel shall confer, and the material previously ordered unsealed shall be posted on the docket no later than 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2020.”
The Miami Herald sued for the release of the documents on behalf of investigative reporter Julie K. Brown, CrimeOnline has reported. Brown’s November 2018 series “Perversion of Justice” detailed how former US Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, then a US Attorney in south Florida, brokered a sweetheart deal that allowed Epstein to escape any serious consequences of a conviction for procuring a young girl for prostitution.
Epstein died in his Manhattan jail cell of an apparent suicide last August while he was awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges. Maxwell was arrested at her New Hampshire hideaway this summer and is currently in jail in Brooklyn awaiting trial on sex trafficking and perjury charges.
Giuffre has said Maxwell recruited her for Epstein while she was working at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in 2000. She says that she was abused by Epstein and that Maxwell participated in the abuse, allegedly forcing Giuffre to have sex with Prince Andrew and others when she was a teen. She sued Maxwell for defamation after the 58-year-old British socialite accused Giuffre of fabricating the allegations. The suit was settled for an undisclosed sum.
Preska was known to have been considering requests by some people allegedly named in the deposition to redact their names to limit reputational harm. In her order on Tuesday, Preska wrote that the redactions should be “as limited in scope as is workable … to hasten the unsealing process and to avoid any last-minute disputes.”
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[Featured image: Ghislaine Maxwell in 2014 (Corredor99/MediaPunch /IPX via AP)]