A cache of court files related to Ghislaine Maxwell were unsealed Thursday night, despite her legal team's objections.
The 80-plus documents stem from a 2015 civil lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, who accused Maxwell of recruiting her into Jeffrey Epstein's underage sex trafficking ring. Almost 2,000 documents from Giuffre's defamation suit were released nearly a year ago as prosecutors were preparing a case against convicted sex offender Epstein. The lawsuit listed Maxwell and Epstein as defendants. The former settled with Giuffre back in 2017.
Among the newly unsealed documents was a 2015 email exchange between Epstein and his alleged madam Maxwell. In the correspondence, Epstein told Maxwell she "did nothing wrong" and urged her "to start acting like it."
"Go outside, head high, not as an esacping [sic] convict," he continued, "go to parties. deal with it."
Several days before that email, Epstein had sent Maxwell a statement that she could use to distance herself from his 2007 sex abuse case. The statement read in part:
Since JE was charged in 2007 for solicitation of a prostitute I have been the target of outright lies, innuendo, slander, defamation and salacious gossip and harassment; headlines made up of quotes I have never given, statements l have never made, trips with people to places I have never been, holidays with people i have never met, false allegations of impropriety and offensive behavior that I abhor and have never ever been party to, witness to events that l have never seen, living off trust funds that l have never ever had, party to stories that have changed materially both in time place and event depending on what paper you read, and the list goes on.
I have never been a party in any criminal action pertaining to JE
... Whilst I remained on friendly terms with [Epstein] up until his plea, I have had limited contact since.
The email undermines recent statements made by Maxwell's lawyers. In a July court filing, her legal team claimed she had not contacted Epstein for more than a decade prior his 2019 death. Other documents that were unsealed Thursday night include flight logs from Epstein's jets as well as police reports from Palm Beach, where Epstein had lived.
The disgraced financier died from an apparent suicide in his prison cell on Aug. 10 as he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Maxwell was arrested on July 2 of this year and charged with six felony counts, including transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity and conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Maxwell pleaded not guilty on July 14. She remains behind bars and is scheduled to begin trial July 12, 2021.
During a court hearing last week, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska directed the release of documents from the aforementioned defamation case. Maxwell's lawyers appealed the decision, arguing the documents would prevent her from getting a fair trial.
"The unsealing of Ms. Maxwell's deposition transcript would result in substantial negative media publicity and speculation in an internet world," Maxwell's attorney Ty Gee said."The public’s right of access to Ms. Maxwell’s deposition transcript is substantially outweighed by the compelling interest in ensuring her right to a fair trial."