“Hundreds of people” could be named in sealed documents in a lawsuit by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers against the disgraced financier’s alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, lawyers said in court Wednesday.
Maxwell’s lawyer, Jeffrey Paglica, revealed to U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska that “hundreds of other people” might be implicated if the new documents were unsealed without proper vetting. The filings pertaining to the 2015 federal defamation case between Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre and the British socialite.
In the suit, Giuffre accused Maxwell of procuring young girls for sexual abuse by Epstein and his powerful friends and says Maxwell recruited her when she was 16 years old and working at Mar-a-Lago. (The two sides settled in 2017 and Maxwell denied all allegations.)
“There are hundreds of other people implicated,” Paglica said on Wednesday, adding the docket in the case contains “over 900 filings” and includes an address book with “about 1,000 names.”
Preska was set to rule Wednesday on whether to unseal the new documents from the civil case, but both parties admitted they had not come into court with an agreement on how to screen them. The 45-minute hearing concluded after Preska asked both parties to come up with a tentative plan in two weeks to create a system to categorize the thousands of pages of documents.
While it is not immediately clear who could be named in the documents, Paglica stated the filings include information about Epstein’s alleged victims and his friends. The materials also includes video depositions of 29 people, he said.
“In these 29 depositions there are dozens if not hundreds of names of other people,” said Jeffrey Pagliuca, an attorney for Maxwell. “There are hundreds of pages of investigative reports that mention hundreds of people.”
The hearing came one day after an anonymous man urged Preska not to release his name and the identities of others accused or named in the documents—claiming the exposure may tarnish their reputations. Last month, a federal appeals court unsealed more than 2,000 pages of documents related to the defamation case, which included accusations against political leaders and celebrities. (The men named in those documents have not been charged with a crime and all denied the allegations.)
“[John] Doe is not, and has never been, a party of any judicial proceeding involving Ghislaine Maxwell or Virginia Giuffre, or in any proceeding relating to Giuffre's allegation that Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused her,” the letter states, adding that the anonymous client does not have any knowledge about the allegations against Epstein.
The man’s lawyers, who were in court Wednesday, warned in their letter that a media frenzy could follow if the names were released. The documents, they claim, could detail a “range of allegations of sexual acts” between Giuffre and friends of Epstein’s, “some famous, some not” and reveal “the identities of non-parties who either allegedly engaged in sexual acts with [Giuffre] or who allegedly facilitated such acts.”
Doe’s lawyers attended the hearing along with an attorney for Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and legal counsel for the Miami Herald. The Herald and others had asked a federal judge to release all sealed or redacted documents in Giuffre’s case.
Giuffre has long claimed that Epstein kept her as his underage “sex slave” and loaned her out to his famous friends, including Dershowitz. Dershowitz has denied the allegations and some of the recently unsealed documents seem to show inconsistencies in Giuffre’s claims against him.
Andrew Celli, his lawyer, told the court Wednesday Dershowitz believes there "should be maximum disclosure at maximum speed” and wants all documents to be unsealed.
“I don't care,” Judge Preska replied, earning laughter in the court.
Epstein, 66, was found dead by suicide in his jail cell at Manhattan Correction Center last month. The sex offender was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges for allegedly abusing dozens of underage girls over two decades. Prosecutors have said they are planning to continue to investigate his alleged co-conspirators, including Maxwell.