Judge orders speedy release of Epstein's ex-girlfriend's transcripts

Ghislaine Maxwell loses fight to prevent evidence about her personal life being used in Epstein trial

A secret, years old and potentially damaging deposition from alleged sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell must be released to the public, a federal appeals court in New York City ruled on Monday.

The order upheld Preska's decision in July to release the deposition and hundreds of other documents from the 2015 defamation lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers.

Sigrid McCawley, Ms Roberts Giuffre's lawyer, described this week's court ruling as 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".

Maxwell's attorneys sought to seal exactly 418 pages of her 2016 testimony by arguing that it would unfairly prejudice the jury in her upcoming criminal trial over sex trafficking charge after a lower court authorized the deposition's disclosure earlier this year.

Giuffre, who said Maxwell brought her into Epstein's trafficking circle, and the Miami Herald, led the effort to get the documents unsealed.

Epstein was accused of recruiting and grooming dozens of underage girls as young as 14 to engage in illegal sexual acts.

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The order by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan is a defeat for the British socialite, who said releasing the deposition could undermine her ability to defend against criminal charges she enabled Epstein's sexual abuse of girls.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said in a July ruling the public's right to have access to the information carried heavier weight than the "annoyance or embarrassment" to Maxwell.

They said the British socialite thought her deposition would remain confidential, and that releasing it would violate her constitutional right against self-incrimination, and imperil a fair trial because jurors might hold its contents against her.

Authorities arrested Maxwell in July after she was found in New Hampshire and sent to a Brooklyn jail.

The cases in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are Giuffre v. Maxwell, No. 20-2413, and U.S. v. Maxwell, No. 20-3061.

A medical examiner ruled that Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while he was awaiting trial for sex trafficking crimes.

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