The saga surrounding the unsealing of court documents about Jeffrey Epstein, his alleged recruiter Ghislaine Maxwell and their purported trafficking of dozens of underage girls hit a bump Thursday, when a judge invited Epstein’s alleged accusers and abusers to object to releasing more documents, despite widespread public desire to see them.
The case is a settled defamation suit between Maxwell and Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre, and documents used in the case have been unsealed twice in the past year, with more possibly to come.
The records are being unsealed after Giuffre insisted they be part of the public record, and multiple hearings to discuss their release have been held, with Maxwell’s lawyers strenuously objecting.
According to the judge’s order, the following are allowed to object to the release of documents: people who provided evidence in the case, people who “allegedly engaged in sexual acts” with Giuffre or “other alleged victims,” people “whose intimate, sexual, or private conduct” is in the sealed records and other alleged Epstein victims.
The order comes after a trove of documents were released July 31, revealing that Maxwell and Epstein were in contact after Maxwell claimed she hadn’t spoken to the dead, disgraced financier for years.
The July 31 document dump also revealed that Maxwell acted as a “helicopter pilot” to Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and reportedly flew former President Bill Clinton there (though he previously denied ever having been there to Forbes).
In August 2019, the first round of documents were unsealed, and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, billionaire Glenn Dubin, modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell and the late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky were all named as alleged participants in Epstein’s sex ring.
Richardson, Dubin and Mitchell previously denied the allegations in statements to Forbes.
Former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. Giuffre alleged that she was forced to have sex with him, Maxwell and Epstein’s other famous and powerful friends, such as Prince Andrew. Both men deny the allegations. Dershowitz has attacked Giuffre repeatedly in a separate defamation case, calling her a “certified, complete, total liar.”
What we don’t know
How many people fall under the categories allowed to object to Thursday’s order. During a September 2019 hearing, Maxwell attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca said “hundreds of other people” could be implicated in the still-sealed documents.
Maxwell is being held in isolation at a Brooklyn federal lockup awaiting trial for charges of enticing and transporting minors as part of Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring, along with committing perjury during 2016 depositions that are part of the Giuffre defamation case. Maxwell has entered a not guilty plea and denied all previous allegations. In the hours leading up to the July 31 document unsealing, Maxwell’s lawyers seemed to try every trick in the book to prevent their release, including multiple requests to delay and letters to the judge requesting reconsideration. Maxwell was arrested July 2, about 10 months after she largely disappeared from the public eye following Epstein’s July 2019 arrest and August 2019 suicide. At the time of his death, Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges in a Manhattan prison. He was accused of trafficking and sexually abusing dozens of underage girls at his luxury properties in New York City, Palm Beach, Florida, New Mexico, and the Virgin Islands.
On August 18—the same day Clinton was set to speak at the virtual Democratic National Convention—photos surfaced that appeared to show him receiving a neck massage from another alleged Epstein victim, Chauntae Davies, who was 22 at the time.
Ghislaine Maxwell Records Trove Names Jeffrey Epstein, Alan Dershowitz—And More Documents Could Be Released (Forbes)
Jeffrey Epstein Court Documents Implicating ‘Hundreds Of Other People’ Could Be Released (Forbes)
Unsealed Jeffrey Epstein Documents List New Allegations Against Powerful Men (Forbes)