Transcripts of interviews conducted with alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell that referenced her former boyfriend, the dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and contain intimate details about her sex life, should be made public no later than 9 a.m. ET Thursday, a New York judge ordered Tuesday.
The controversial transcripts, long sought-after by some of Epstein’s victims and the media, are expected to shine an unprecedented light on Maxwell and Epstein’s life together and come from two days of depositions in 2016 for a since-settled libel case filed against Maxwell by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Maxwell’s legal team has argued the deposition contains “intimate” information about her sex life and other personal matters. Federal prosecutors say they believe Maxwell may have perjured herself during the testimony.
The transcripts run to more than 400 pages.
Tuesday’s order by District Judge Loretta Preska marks what appears to be a final and resounding defeat to Maxwell’s persistent attempts to keep the deposition secret.
On Monday, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that Preska properly decided that the public had a right to access documents from legal proceedings and that transcripts should be unsealed because arguments by Maxwell’s lawyers were meritless.
Her lawyers have argued that the unsealing of the deposition could interfere with Maxwell getting a fair trial next year; Preska has firmly come down on the side of those seeking its unsealing.
Preska on Tuesday gave Maxwell’s team an opportunity to make “minimal redactions” to block personally identifiable information that would reveal the names of non-parties or their families, but directed “the material previously ordered unsealed shall be posted on the docket no later than 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2020.”
Before Maxwell pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding Epstein’s sexual abuse and committing perjury this year, she was sued by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre for defamation in 2015, after Maxwell denied Giuffre’s claims of abuse.
The civil case was settled in 2017, but Maxwell’s April 2016 testimony in that case will now, despite her lawyers’ best efforts, be made public.
According to court papers previously filed by her lawyers, in the deposition Maxwell made statements about “consensual, and intimate conduct with other adults.”
Maxwell has been incarcerated since her arrest at a luxury mansion in New Hampshire in early July after dodging police for several months. She is being held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center after she was denied bail in July.
If convicted, she could face as much as 35 years in prison.
Epstein, 66, was arrested and charged with sex trafficking. He died by suicide in August 2019 at a federal jail in Manhattan.
In 2008 in Florida, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution. He spent 13 months in jail, paid settlements to victims, and remained a registered sex offender.
—An earlier version of this report inaccurately said the Maxwell deposition would be released at 9 a.m. Thursday. The judge’s ruling states it must be made public by that time.