This is a developing story …
The long and secret testimony of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, has finally been made public.
Four years after his confidential testimony in a victim’s trial, Maxwell’s answers to sworn interrogations could provide a more in-depth examination of Epstein’s trafficking ring ahead of his scheduled criminal trial next year.
The U.S. Circuit Second Court of Appeals on Monday ordered the release of Maxwell’s 2016 statement in a libel lawsuit now settled by Virginia Giuffre, which claims Maxwell and Epstein tricked it into men powerful for years.
Maxwell, 58, fought to keep the 418-page transcript a secret, saying it contained “intimate” information about his sex life – and that disclosure of the records could compromise his ability to defend himself in a criminal case In progress.
In July, federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicted Maxwell in connection with Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. Authorities say the British heiress recruited and cared for girls as young as 14 in the mid-1990s; she is also charged with perjury for allegedly lying about her knowledge of Epstein’s abuse during the 2016 deposition.
The socialite, who has pleaded not guilty, is being held in a Brooklyn federal detention center awaiting trial in July. She risks 35 years behind bars if she is convicted.
Maxwell has long denied any involvement in Epstein’s trafficking business. Her lawyers said she only sat for deposition in Giuffre’s civil case because of a protection order that hid her testimony from the public.
Still, the appeals court upheld U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska’s July decision to release hundreds of documents from Giuffre’s trial.
Giuffre’s attorney, Sigrid McCawley, called the decision “an important step in the defense of the public interest to understand the scope and scale of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring and the efforts to cover it up.
The latest installment of unsealed documents named a host of famous people in Epstein’s orbit, including former President Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew.
In a transcript of a phone call with a lawyer, Giuffre claimed that Clinton visited Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. She said the financier, who died in prison suicide in August 2019, joked that Clinton was indebted to him.
“You know I remember asking Jeffrey what Bill Clinton was doing here [on the island]Giuffre told counsel, according to the document. Giuffre claimed that Epstein laughed at his question and replied, “Well, he owes me a favor.”
In her own deposition, Giuffre claimed that Maxwell sent her to New Mexico to give a “massage” to former Democratic Governor Bill Richardson.
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