Less than two weeks before her trial, Ghislaine Maxwell is fighting for documents from the settlement fund for victims of sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
It’s unclear which specific records the British socialite and accused procurer of underage girls is seeking, but Jordana Feldman, the administrator of the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program, opposes her request.
On Friday, Feldman’s lawyer filed a letter in Manhattan federal court stating she “intends to move to quash defendant Maxwell’s subpoena directed to her.” A representative for Feldman declined to comment, and her attorney didn’t return messages.
The legal scuffle comes as Maxwell battles for certain evidence—including Epstein’s address book of high-flying contacts and a box containing a sex toy—to be barred from her six-week trial, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 29.
The victims’ fund, which closed in August, functioned as an independent and voluntary alternative to litigation and resulted in nearly $125 million paid out to more than 135 victims of Epstein. As part of the program, applicants provided documentation and were interviewed by Feldman and other administrators. If they received and accepted a settlement offer, the women were required to waive the right to sue Epstein’s estate and “related entities and/or individuals,” including Maxwell.
Earlier this year, Maxwell’s legal team attempted to subpoena Boies Schiller Flexner, a law firm that represents multiple victims of Epstein, to obtain its submissions to the claims program on behalf of accusers. (Among other items, the defense also sought cowboy boots Epstein gifted to Annie Farmer, who is Minor Victim 2 in Maxwell’s indictment, as well as Farmer’s teenage diary.)
In recent court filings, Maxwell’s attorneys again referred to the compensation program when impugning future testimony from Minor Victim 4. They asked Judge Alison Nathan to prohibit evidence on the victim’s identification of Maxwell in a photo array in June 2021.
“It was not until 2020, after making a multi-million dollar claim to the Epstein Victim Compensation fund, that [federal prosecutors] interviewed and then in 2021 showed her photos—the majority of which were men or women much younger than Ms. Maxwell,” Maxwell’s lawyers argued last month.
“Of course, no one thought to ask if her lawyers had shown her photos of Ms. Maxwell as part of her multi-million-dollar request or if she had seen any of the many photographs displayed on the internet of Ms. Maxwell,” they added.
Last December, Maxwell’s camp lashed out at Farmer and asked a judge not to dismiss her civil suit against Maxwell and Epstein’s estate until she disclosed her settlement offer from the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program.
“The amount of money [Farmer] obtains from the Epstein program is very much a matter of public interest and will go to the very core of [her] credibility during the upcoming criminal trial,” Maxwell’s lawyer, Laura Menninger, wrote.
“The fact that [Farmer] seeks, money from the Estate and from Ms. Maxwell, in the millions of dollars, at the same time she is a government witness in an upcoming criminal trial on the same topic is reason enough to suspect that her newly asserted memories of abuse—without corroboration—are not based on the truth or a desire for ‘justice’ so much as her desire for cash,” Menninger added. “To be clear, Ms. Maxwell adamantly denies [Farmer’s] allegations.”
Sigrid McCawley, Farmer’s attorney, replied that instead of “amicably” resolving the case, Maxwell “submitted a vicious, victim-blaming letter attacking” the accuser.
“Maxwell is not the one compensating Ms. Farmer, and she should have no opinion on why Ms. Farmer is being compensated by the Estate,” McCawley wrote in a letter. “In fact, Maxwell should be quite pleased that she is escaping civil liability in this case without having to pay a dime…”