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Ghislaine Maxwell breaks silence after Epstein files unsealed

Trove of documents newly unsealed are part of a defamation lawsuit brought against Maxwell back in 2015 by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre – documents which years later a judge has finally ordered to be released

Rachel Sharp
Sunday 07 January 2024 08:26 GMT
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Which big names are on the Jeffrey Epstein list?

Convicted sex trafficker and Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell has reacted to the long-anticipated release of a trove of court documents naming several of the dead paedophile’s associates.

Maxwell’s attorneys Arthur Aidala and Diana Fabi Samson released a statement on Wednesday night, after the filings began to be unsealed, in which she continued to insist her innocence and vowed to plough ahead with her appeal.

“Ghislaine Maxwell took no position on the Court’s recent decision to unseal documents in Giuffre v. Maxwell as these disclosures have no bearing on her or her pending appeal,” they said in the statement, shared with The Messenger.

“Ghislaine’s focus is on the upcoming appellate argument asking for her entire case to dismissed. She is confident that she will obtain justice in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

“She has consistently and vehemently maintained her innocence.”

The trove of documents released on Wednesday are part of a defamation lawsuit brought against 62-year-old Maxwell back in 2015 by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre – documents which years later a judge has finally ordered must be unsealed.

Ms Giuffre filed the suit after Maxwell accused her of lying about the years-long abuse she had suffered at the hands of Epstein and some in his inner circle.

Undates photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (VIA REUTERS)

The suit was settled in 2017 but was placed under a protective seal – with the identities of those named in the filings kept under lock and key.

The Miami Herald sued for the release of the sealed documents while Maxwell’s legal team sought to block it.

Around 2,000 pages of documents were first unsealed in 2019, with further documents released over the following years.

But, this current trove of documents remained sealed – and the names of hundreds of people associated with the dead paedophile were kept secret, known only as Jane and John Does.

Then, in a landmark ruling last month, US District Judge Loretta Preska ruled that the trove of documents could be released and the names unsealed in full after 1 January.

While the federal judge ordered the names of several Epstein victims to remain anonymous, she said that there was no legal justification to keep the names of Epstein’s associates redacted as “John and Jane Does”.

This has now paved the way for several famous figures to find themselves tied to the notorious disgraced financier.

Among the names revealed in the first batch of the filings released are former president Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Donald Trump.

In a newly-unsealed deposition, Epstein victim Johanna Sjoberg spoke about what she knew about Mr Clinton’s ties to Epstein.

“[Epstein] said one time that Clinton likes them young, referring to girls,” she testified.

An undated photo shows Ghislaine Maxwell massaging the feet of Jeffrey Epstein (VIA REUTERS)

However, Ms Sjoberg testified that she never met Mr Clinton, never saw him on Epstein’s Caribbean island and never saw him being flown in a helicopter by Maxwell.

There is no indication that the former president is involved in any wrongdoing and is not accused of any crime.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Clinton’s representative for comment. His spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday that it has now “been nearly 20 years since President Clinton last had contact with Epstein” and denied that the former president ever had any knowledge of Epstein’s crimes.

The documents also reveal previously revealed allegations brought by Ms Sjoberg against Prince Andrew.

In 2001, Ms Sjoberg claims the duke touched her breast while they were sitting on a couch inside Epstein’s Manhattan apartment.

Andrew has always strongly denied the allegations against him, while Buckingham Palace previously said all accusations made against the duke are “categorically untrue”.

Several more documents – and names – are expected to be released over the coming days.

Epstein’s island of Little St James where much of the abuse took place (REUTERS)

An individual being named in the documents does not necessarily mean they are accused of any wrongdoing.

Maxwell, 62, is currently behind bars in a federal prison in Tallahassee, Florida, serving 20 years for her part in Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring.

She was convicted in December 2021 of six counts of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of conspiracy related to the other counts.

At her high-profile trial, prosecutors described how Maxwell and Epstein ran a decade-long “pyramid scheme of abuse” from 1994 to 2004 – grooming young girls before sexually abusing them.

Several victims testified in court how Epstein’s former girlfriend preyed on vulnerable underage girls and groomed them to hand them to the late financier to abuse. The victims testified that Maxwell both enabled Epstein in his abuse and took part in some of the abuse herself.

Maxwell is appealing her conviction and continues to profess her innocence in Epstein’s crimes.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in 2019.

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