Ghislaine Maxwell deposition transcripts for 2016 case released

Daniel Halper on the case against Ghislaine Maxwell, unsealed court docs

The first of what is said to be more than 400 pages of deposition transcripts that had been sealed in the case involving Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, were released on Thursday morning following a Tuesday court order.

The documents were unsealed after U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ordered their release by 9 a.m. Thursday. They include transcripts of two days of depositions from 2016 of the British socialite, 58, and related documents, along with the deposition transcript of an anonymous accuser.

The depositions were taken as part of a lawsuit brought against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who had accused her of aiding Epstein in the abuse of Giuffre before she was an adult. The lawsuit was eventually settled.

Included among the documents released Thursday morning was Giuffre’s attorneys’ May 2016 motion to the court to compel Maxwell to answer certain questions that she avoided during the deposition.

“During her recent deposition, Defendant refused to answer numerous questions about allegedly “adult” sexual activity related to Jeffrey Epstein. Because this activity is highly relevant to this case, Defendant should be ordered to answer questions about it,” wrote attorneys Sigrid McCawley, rad Edwards and Paul Cassell in their May 5, 2016 letter to the court. “As the Court is aware, this defamation case involves Ms. Giuffre’s assertions that she and other females were recruited by Defendant to be sexually assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein under the guise of being ‘massage therapists.’”

Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (Florida Southern District Court)

The trio wrote that Maxwell refused to answer questions, such as those regarding “what the alleged ‘massage therapists’ were doing at Jeffrey Epstein’s house and the sexual nature of those massages,” and also refused to speak to her own experience giving Epstein massages, court papers show.

“Defendant’s participation in massages with Epstein is a central part of this case,” the attorneys continued. “Ms. Giuffre has explained that during her first sexual encounter with Jeffrey Epstein, it was Defendant who provided instruction on how to do it and how to turn the massage into a sexual event.”

Lawyers for Maxwell, 58, recently argued that the documents reflecting seven hours of interviews over two days should remain sealed, in part to protect her right to a fair trial in July on charges that she helped Epstein traffic and sexually abuse teenage girls in the 1990s.

They noted that portions of the transcripts relate to perjury charges in the indictment she faces. She has pleaded not guilty.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City. (Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Maxwell has been incarcerated since her arrest in early July. If convicted, she could face up to 35 years in prison.


Meanwhile, prosecutors filed papers late Tuesday to insist that 40 pages of materials and 40 pictures related to women abused by Epstein after the period addressed in the indictment should not be released to defense lawyers until eight weeks before trial.

“The premature revelation of this information would give the defendant the opportunity to interfere with the Government’s investigation before it is complete. Such information could allow her to contact and intimidate witnesses, destroy evidence relevant to the investigation, or alert other targets of the investigation,” prosecutors wrote.

Maxwell's lawyers have argued that the materials could be important to her defense and should be turned over sooner.

But prosecutors said showing Maxwell was not part of the abuse of some women could not be used to argue she did not join the abuse of minors from 1994 to 1997.

“The Government has not charged Maxwell with being Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘madam’ and ‘principal facilitator of his abuse,'” they wrote.

Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing where she was denied bail for her role aiding Jeffrey Epstein to recruit and eventually abuse of minor girls, in Manhattan Federal Court, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. July 14, 2020 in this courtroom sketch. (REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg)


Maxwell's arrest came a year after Epstein, 66, was charged with sex trafficking. He killed himself in August 2019 at a federal jail in Manhattan where he was awaiting trial without bail.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates. 

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