Why Ghislaine wants ’secret’ sex documents sealed
Lawyers representing accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell will attempt to stop from becoming public, details of a deposition she gave in a civil litigation case about her relationship with billionaire paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell, who is currently being held in a New York prison awaiting trial, has pleaded not guilty to charges she helped the billionaire recruit and groom underage girls as young as 14 years old to engage in illegal sexual acts in the mid-1990s and early 2000s.
The "secret" details relate to a deposition Maxwell gave in 2016 in a civil case brought by Epstein victim and Queensland resident Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says the late billionaire forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew, and others, when she was 17.
Prince Andrew strongly denies all allegations.
New York judge Loretta Preska ruled in July to unseal the deposition.
Epstein accuser Ms Roberts Giuffre alleged that Maxwell introduced her to Epstein, under the allegedly falsified guise that she could get work as a massage therapist.
Ms Roberts Giuffre accused Maxwell and Epstein of forcing her to have sex with wealthy and powerful men including Prince Andrew, several times, allegations which the royal has unequivocally denied.
Maxwell was arrested in July at her New Hampshire hideaway for alleged sex crimes, conspiracy and perjury in connection with Epstein.
The disgraced socialite contended in court papers that unsealing the deposition "will lead to a violation of due process right to a fair trial by an impartial jury".
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty in her criminal case.
Maxwell's legal team said in court documents: "The district court's unsealing order eviscerates the promise of confidentiality on which Ms Maxwell and numerous third parties reasonably relied. It sanctions the perjury trap unfairly set for Ms Maxwell, in violation of the fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination."
When Maxwell sat for the deposition in 2016 she "was compelled to answer numerous personal, sensitive, and allegedly incriminatory questions", her lawyers said, and she did so only under the guarantee of confidentiality.
"If the unsealing order goes into effect, it will forever let the cat out of the bag," her lawyers said.
Originally published as Why Ghislaine wants 'secret' sex documents sealed