Ghislaine Maxwell’s sworn testimony on her ties with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein must remain sealed to ensure she receives a fair hearing in her own criminal case, her lawyer told a federal appeals court.
Attorney Adam Mueller urged the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday to reverse an earlier federal court ruling to unseal Maxwell’s deposition. The British socialite is charged with enabling Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls – some allegedly as young as 14 years old – but denies any wrongdoing.
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The revelation of “intimate, sensitive, and personal” details in the deposition will violate Maxwell’s right against self-incrimination, Mueller argued, adding that those facts may also imperil a fair trial as jurors may show prejudice towards his client.
We’re concerned about preserving the status quo. There’s going to be a public criminal trial, and this will all be aired in open court… We think that vindicates the public interest as well.
Maxwell’s 418-page testimony was provided during a civil defamation suit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who claims Epstein kept her as a “sex slave” and that the British socialite acted as an accomplice. The deposition was filled with suggestive questions, her lawyer said, arguing that some of Maxwell’s answers could be just as “revealing” as an admission of wrongdoing.
Meanwhile Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, insists the deposition should be unsealed in an “even-handed way” to ensure no context is lost, arguing there is a “substantial presumption” of public access to the material.
Financier Jeffrey Epstein, who had many friends among US elites, died in an apparent suicide at a Manhattan jail last year as he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. His former confidant Maxwell was arrested in July and remains in custody, as the 58-year-old was deemed an unacceptable flight risk.
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