Ghislaine Maxwell loses court battle to keep 2016 testimony private in Jeffrey Epstein case

Sean Morrison
·2-min read

Watch: Ghislaine Maxwell can't keep Epstein testimony secret

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s testimony in a lawsuit related to Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse activities can be made public, an appeals court has ruled.

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

A three-judge appeals panel that heard arguments last week concluded that Maxwell's arguments for secrecy were meritless.

Excerpts from seven hours of depositions were ordered to be released along with over 2,000 pages of other documents.

Maxwell, 58, is scheduled for trial next July on charges that she helped recruit girls, including one as young as 14, for Epstein to abuse in the 1990s.

She has pleaded not guilty and has been held without bail since her early July arrest. If convicted, she could face up to 35 years in prison.

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was charged in the US with facilitating Jeffrey Epstein's sexual exploitation of girls: PA
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was charged in the US with facilitating Jeffrey Epstein's sexual exploitation of girls: PA

Epstein killed himself in a federal jail last year as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

A lawyer for Maxwell had argued that the depositions should not be made public because they are evidence in the criminal case brought against her.

The depositions were taken in April and July 2016 in a civil case brought by one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Giuffre.

Maxwell's lawyers said the depositions should remain secret because they form the basis of perjury charges in the indictment against Maxwell.

Maxwell was asked during one deposition whether Epstein had a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Maxwell responded, her lawyer noted in making his arguments for secrecy.

Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Giuffre, in a statement called the 2nd Circuit ruling "an important step towards vindicating the public interest in understanding the scope and scale of Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring and the efforts made to conceal it".

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