A federal judge delayed the unsealing of a deposition of Jeffery Epstein’s former girlfriend and alleged accomplice to allow her time to appeal its release.
US District Judge Loretta Preska denied Ghislaine Maxwell’s request to block the release of depositions from a 2016 civil lawsuit Wednesday but delayed the unsealing until Monday so Maxwell could ask an appeals court to review the matter, according to court documents.
Maxwell, 58, was charged by federal prosecutors in early July for allegedly helping recruit, groom and ultimately sexually abuse minors as young as 14 as part of a yearslong criminal enterprise with Epstein. She pleaded not guilty and was ordered jailed pending trial. She also is charged with two counts of perjury.
The deposition Maxwell’s legal team is fighting to keep sealed is connected to a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed Epstein sexually abused her while she was a minor and that Maxwell aided in the abuse. The case was settled in 2017.
Maxwell denied knowing if Epstein had a scheme to recruit underage girls for sex in the deposition.
Unless an appeals court rules against it, the deposition and documents relating to it will be unsealed on Monday. Additional documents Judge Preska ruled on last week will be unsealed Thursday as scheduled.
Those documents include emails and depositions by others, including Giuffre and anonymous women who also claim to have been abused by Epstein.
In her ruling last week, Preska said that the public’s right to have access to the information carried heavier weight than the “annoyance or embarrassment” to Maxwell.
“In the context of this case, especially its allegations of sex trafficking of young girls, the court finds any minor embarrassment or annoyance resulting from Ms. Maxwell’s mostly non-testimony … is far outweighed by the presumption of public access,” she said.
However, in that ruling Preska did say that some information will remain sealed. Several medical records included in the court filings will remain sealed, and the multiple anonymous women – “Jane Does” who accused Epstein of abuse but have not publicly spoken out – will continue to have their identities redacted in the documents, she said.