Transcripts of interviews conducted with British socialite and alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell in which she described her relationship with accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and provided intimate details about her sex life were made public on Thursday― the culmination of a monthslong court battle over their release.
The transcripts, which ran to more than 400 pages, come from depositions in 2016 for a now-settled defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused Maxwell of acting as Epstein’s madame and helping him traffick her ― when she was a teenager ― to his famous friends, including allegedly Britain’s Prince Andrew and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
Giuffre also accused Maxwell of sexually abusing underage girls. In the transcripts, Maxwell and her attorney denied any “inappropriate underage activity.”
“So you don’t know in your own mind that Jeffrey Epstein had a sexual preference for underage minors?” prosecutor Sigrid McCawley asked, according to the transcript.
“I cannot tell you what Jeffrey’s story is,” Maxwell said.
In the first of about a dozen unsealed documents, Giuffre’s lawyers accuse Maxwell of refusing to answer questions about her own sexual relationship with Epstein, as well as alleged instructions she gave to his victims.
“[Maxwell’s] role in those massages ― and knowledge of the purposes of those massages ― is a critical piece of evidence showing her state of mind when she attacked Ms. Giuffre’s assertions as ‘entirely untrue,’” the document states. “Ms. Giuffre intends to prove at trial that Defendant knew full well the sexual purpose for which she was recruiting females ― including underage females like Ms. Giuffre.”
Throughout much of the transcript, Maxwell and her attorney are seen dodging questions.
When asked when she first began recruiting girls for Epstein to sexually abuse, Maxwell’s attorney objected to the question.
“The subject matter of this question is confidential and I am designating it as confidential,” he said, according to the transcript.
When asked whether she ever observed a girl under the age of 18 at Epstein’s home who was not one of her friends’ children, Maxwell said: “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“I cannot answer yes or no, it’s not bounded by time,” she said, claiming there was “no way” for her to know.
At several points in the transcript, names of prominent men linked to Epstein are redacted, though it is often clear to whom they are referring. For example, there are lengthy sections that are clearly about Prince Andrew.
According to the transcript, Maxwell also confirmed that she witnessed former President Bill Clinton flying with Epstein on Epstein’s private plane, but said she “wouldn’t categorize” them as “friends” or “acquaintances.”
In multiple instances, Maxwell is seen being evasive, asking prosecutors to repeat questions and quibbling over definitions of words. When asked if Epstein “interviewed” young women who gave him massages, she feigned ignorance.
“You just said that Jeffrey Epstein interviewed, it was your word, interviewed masseuses before they gave massages, is that correct?” McCawley asked.
“The word ‘interview’ is making me — I’m English, so you could have some difficulty understanding the way I communicate,” Maxwell responded.
After Maxwell became frustrated with the questions about Epstein, McCawley noted that “Maxwell very inappropriately and very harshly pounded our law firm table in an inappropriate manner.”
“I ask she take a deep breath, and calm down,” McCawley said, according to the transcript. “I know this is a difficult position but physical assault or threats is not appropriate, so no pounding, no stomping, no, that’s not appropriate.”
Giuffre’s lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2017, but many court documents from the case were blocked from public release by Maxwell’s lawyers, who argued they were “extremely personal, confidential and subject to considerable abuse by the media.”
After Maxwell was charged with several federal crimes earlier this year, including sex trafficking and the enticement of minors, her lawyers said the unsealing of the documents from the case, including her deposition, would make it impossible for the woman to get a fair trial.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska disagreed, however, and ordered hundreds of pages of court documents to be made public ― many of which have already been unsealed.
Among them was a large cache of documents made public last August ― mere hours before Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in his New York City jail cell, where he’d been awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell’s lawyers had continued their efforts to block their client’s deposition from seeing the light of day. But on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, based in Manhattan, ruled that Preska had been correct in her earlier decision to make the deposition public.
“We have reviewed all of the arguments raised by Defendant-Appellant Maxwell on appeal and find them to be without merit,” the court wrote, according to the Miami Herald, which sued for the unsealing of the documents in the Giuffre v. Maxwell case.
Preska had given Maxwell’s lawyers until 9 a.m. Thursday to release the deposition.
Maxwell is being held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center. Her trial is scheduled to take place next summer.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
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