Virginia Giuffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, who accused him of keeping her as a “sex slave” with the assistance of his long-time associate Ghislaine Maxwell, has told a US appeals court that Maxwell’s desire for privacy fails to justify the sealing of her deposition and keeping it out of the public eye.
Giuffre’s lawyers put out the argument in a court filing with the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals before the Sept. 22 oral arguments around the publication of the now settled defamation lawsuit against the socialite.
Several documents related to the case were unsealed in July, and Maxwell is appealing against the US district judge’s order to release other case materials. That also includes her April 2016 deposition by a second accuser of Epstein.
Ms Giuffre's lawyers, Sigrid McCawley and David Boies, told the Manhattan-based appeals court that "Maxwell's vague argument about privacy interests cannot justify total closure of the deposition materials … and overcome the public's presumption of access."
The 58-year-old Maxwell — a confidante to Epstein — has pleaded not guilty in a case which sees her helping Epstein recruit girls so that he could abuse them The case revolves around the recruitment of three underage girls between 1994 to 1997. She is also under trial for denying involvement with the late pedo financier under oath — an act of perjury.
The trial in this case is scheduled to begin next July — until then, Maxwell is under protective custody.
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Maxwell has said that her deposition has sensitive, intimate, and personal information — the release of which could cause negative and irreversible publicity. She added that doing so would also undermine her constitutional right to remain silent on the matter and to even have access to a fair trial under an impartial jury.
Giuffre’s lawyers, however, have said that unsealing the documents would not lead to Maxwell making self-incriminating statements as according to them, she "was deposed twice in 2016, and twice at that time failed to invoke her right to remain silent.”
The lawyers also added that they saw no basis to Maxwell’s speculation that it would affect the jury pool, especially in large metropolitan areas like New York.
"The size and heterogeneity of such communities make it unlikely that even the most sensational case will become 'a cause celebre' where the whole community becomes interested in all the morbid details," the lawyers said, while quoting a decision from another federal appeals court.