A federal judge is set to decide whether to release a trove of secret court filings related to Ghislaine Maxwell’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Manhattan district judge Loretta Preska on Thursday will discuss the unsealing of five different batches of documents filed during the defamation lawsuit against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre.
Giuffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, has claimed that his former girlfriend Maxwell procured her to have sex with the New York financier and his powerful friends in the early 2000s, when she was a 16-year-old spa attendant. Several other women have come forward with similar claims.
Maxwell has adamantly denied any wrongdoing and accused Giuffre of lying. The alleged “sex slave” sued for libel in 2015, and the lawsuit was settled in her favour for an undisclosed sum. More than 2000 pages of evidence were unsealed last year, but around 900 court filings remained under seal or redacted.
Lawyers for Maxwell want to block the release of hundreds of pages of documents filed as part of Giuffre’s defamation suit. These include Maxwell’s answers to “intrusive questions about (her) sex life”, her attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca wrote last month in a filing objecting to the release of certain documents.
“The subject matter of these [documents] is extremely personal, confidential, and subject to considerable abuse by the media,” he argued.
Lawyers for Maxwell, who pleaded not guilty last week to sex trafficking charges, are also seeking to impose a pretrial gag order on prosecutors, FBI agents and attorneys.
The 58-year-old socialite was denied bail last week after she was assessed as a flight risk, and she remains in jail pending her trial, which is scheduled for July 2021.