A federal judge has ordered the unsealing and release of dozens of documents in a now-settled civil suit involving Ghislaine Maxwell, the jailed and accused co-conspirator of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
But the judge has afforded the longtime Epstein associate a measure of privacy by ruling that salacious portions of testimony about her sex life will remain private.
The Tuesday hearing presided over by Judge Loretta A. Preska involved the potential release of 156 new documents in a settled lawsuit between Maxwell and Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and the biggest point of contention was a July 2016 deposition by Maxwell.
That deposition was forced on her after she was deemed unresponsive when she sat before Giuffre’s lawyers in an April 2016 deposition.
Much of that grilling, made public in October, had to do with her sexual behaviour and that of Epstein.
A first batch of documents released in late July featured an email from 2015 in which Epstein scolded Maxwell, telling her she had “done nothing wrong and I would urge you to start acting like it”.
Preska acknowledged that the public thirst for “prurient” details about Maxwell might go unquenched, but determined that Maxwell’s sex life was adult consensual behaviour that should remain her private business.
The judge gave all parties until January 27 to unseal and make public a voluminous number of documents.
The documents include the names and testimony of people who until now have been known as Doe 1 and Doe 2, individuals who have talked about their testimony and do not object to it being made public.
One of the two Does is believed to be Juan Alessi, who worked for Epstein since the early 1990s and was butler at his Palm Beach mansion.
He has publicly acknowledged giving testimony, and in a May 2020 interview with Britain’s Mirror newspaper called Maxwell “the devil” and said that she “absolutely knew what Epstein was doing”.
Also being made public are Palm Beach County police documents and all references in documents to Alan Dershowitz, the celebrity lawyer who represented Epstein and with whom Giuffre alleges she was forced by Epstein and Maxwell to have sex.
Dershowitz strongly denies the allegation and also has duelling defamation suits with Giuffre.