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Ghislaine Maxwell: court unseals documents related to dealings with Epstein

The Guardian logo The Guardian 5 days ago Victoria Bekiempis
Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell are posing for a picture: Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

A cache of documents in civil litigation against the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was unsealed on Thursday night, including early 2015 correspondence with her longtime confidant Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender.

“You have done nothing wrong and i woudl [sic] urge you to start acting like it,” Epstein wrote in a 25 January 2015 email to Maxwell. “go outside, head high, not as an esacping[sic] convict. go to parties. deal with it.”

The exchange followed a request from Maxwell, who was romantically linked to Epstein, to be distanced from his dating life.

“I would appreciate it if shelley would come out and say she was your g’friend - I think she was from end 99 to 2002,” she had written the day before.

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Federal authorities arrested Maxwell on 2 July and charged her for allegedly participating in Epstein’s sex trafficking. Maxwell, daughter of the late publishing baron Robert Maxwell, pleaded not guilty on 14 July.

She is being held in jail pending trial, which is scheduled for next July.

Maxwell’s attorneys in the civil suit had argued to keep these records under seal, maintaining previously that “this series of pleadings concerns [attempts] to compel Ms Maxwell to answer intrusive questions about her sex life”. The documents, they argued, are “extremely personal, confidential and subject to considerable abuse by the media”.

Manhattan federal court judge Loretta Preska ruled on 23 July to unseal them, however, saying: “The court finds that the countervailing interests identified fail to rebut the presumption of public access.”

Documents involving Maxwell’s deposition have not been released yet, as her lawyers are appealing their unsealing.

The documents in question stem from Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre’s 2015 civil action against Maxwell.

Giuffre has claimed that Maxwell lured her into Epstein’s orbit at 15 years old, under the guise of offering work as a masseuse. Maxwell met Giuffre at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in south Florida, where the then teen was working as a locker-room attendant.

Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell are posing for a picture: Maxwell was charged in early July. Maxwell’s attorneys in the civil suit have argued to keep the cache of records under seal. © Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters Maxwell was charged in early July. Maxwell’s attorneys in the civil suit have argued to keep the cache of records under seal.

In this suit, which has since been settled, Giuffre claimed that Maxwell had defamed her, by stating that she was a liar for accusing Epstein and Maxwell of sexual impropriety.

An extensive collection of documents in this suit was also unsealed last August. They featured both bombshell claims, and denials that world leaders participated in Epstein’s sex ring. These filings were disclosed shortly after Epstein’s arrest last July. Epstein killed himself in jail last August.

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