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Judge rips into Ghislaine Maxwell as sealed Epstein documents begin to emerge

Ben Wieder and Kevin G. Hall, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

MIAMI -- A much-anticipated batch of newly unsealed documents from a settled defamation suit began trickling out Thursday night over the objections of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of sex trafficking and alleged to be the madam of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

In a 2015 e-mail Epstein advised Maxwell to return to the high-society world the two had inhabited without any shame.

"You have done nothing wrong and i would urge you to start acting like it," Epstein wrote. "(G)o outside, head high, not as an escaping convict. go to parties. deal with it."

Maxwell, awaiting trial in a federal prosecution, had delayed the planned release of the documents from a 2015 civil suit by filing objections at the last minute, provoking the ire of U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska.

The judge ruled last week that the documents should be unsealed.

"The Court is troubled -- but not surprised -- that Ms. Maxwell has yet again sought to muddy the water as the clock clicks closer to midnight," Preska wrote in a filing denying a request from Maxwell's lawyers for an emergency phone conference. They argued, unsuccessfully, that the documents threaten her defense and complained she had already been convicted by the media.


The judge had allowed two key depositions to be exempt from release while Maxwell filed an appeal Thursday with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. But Preska ordered a second large tranche of documents from the case settled in 2017 unsealed and released Thursday night.

Last August, the court unsealed nearly 2,000 documents in the defamation suit involving Virginia Giuffre, who alleges Maxwell recruited her and others who were underage for sex with Epstein and powerful men. The documents provided a detailed picture of Maxwell's alleged obsessive quest to procure girls to satisfy Epstein's insatiable sexual appetite.

And they provided sordid details of Maxwell's alleged involvement.

In one document, the transcript of Giuffre's deposition, she describes how Maxwell brought her and her father from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club -- where they both worked -- to the Epstein mansion, gaining their trust. Giuffre recounts that Maxwell even stripped naked with her the first time she was abused as a minor by Epstein.


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