Court says Ghislaine Maxwell's testimony in Epstein trial can be public

Elias Hubbard
October 20, 2020

A US appeals court on Monday rejected Ghislaine Maxwell's effort to block the release of an April 2016 deposition concerning her relationship with the late financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

A lower court had ruled Maxwell's 2016 testimony regarding Epstein could be released, and the Second Circuit court agreed.

Her lawyers had appealed a judge's July ruling to allow release of the transcripts of two depositions in which she answered questions before the lawsuit was settled. The judge had concluded that there was a presumption of public access to deposition materials.

"We have reviewed all of the arguments raised by Defendant-Appellant Maxwell on appeal and find them to be without merit", the three-judge panel wrote.

Maxwell was arrested in July on charges related to the sexual abuse of young women by Epstein and has since been held at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.

She has also pleaded not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement in the deposition.

That civil case was filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre and settled in 2017. Trump and his then-girlfriend, Melania Knauss, were also photographed with Epstein and his occasional girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is now in prison for her participation in sex trafficking during her time with Epstein.

Maxwell's lawyers had argued that the depositions, which are the only on-the-record evidence she has given of her association with Epstein, were given on the understanding that they would be regarded as confidential.

Epstein was awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of operating a sex trafficking ring from 2002 to 2005 at his Manhattan mansion and his Palm Beach estate.

Epstein is reported to have said: "The girl I was with because she was French asked me, 'What does white trash mean?'"

Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Giuffre, in a statement called the 2nd Circuit ruling "an important step towards vindicating the public interest in understanding the scope and scale of Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring and the efforts made to hide it".

Messages seeking comment were left with lawyers for Maxwell and the Miami Herald, which intervened to secure the public release of documents.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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