Ghislaine Maxwell: Hackers 'breached' computer belonging to Jeffrey Epstein associate, attorney says

Attorney says court made 'serious mistakes' when releasing previously-sealed records in defamation case 

Chris Riotta
New York
Thursday 23 January 2020 20:07 GMT
Virginia Giuffre tells Panorama Ghislaine Maxwell patted her on the back and said she'd 'made Prince Andrew really happy'

Lawyers for the woman accused of procuring underage girls to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein told a judge that hackers “breached” her computer after a court failed to redact her email address in filings it released last year.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer Ty Gee said in a December letter to Judge Loretta A Preska that, “despite the Second Circuit’s best efforts, it made serious mistakes” when redacting thousands of pages of records associated with a defamation lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre.

Ms Giuffre’s 2015 lawsuit argued that Ms Maxwell publicly called her a liar for claiming that the British socialite approached her at the age of 15 and encouraged her to sleep with the convicted sex offender.

Lawyers for Ms Giuffre and Ms Maxwell were engaged in a years-long fight to unseal a trove of papers related to the case, with Ms Maxwell arguing the records should remain secret, until a court deemed the previous sealing was unjustified.

In releasing the papers, the court “redacted Ms Maxwell’s email address (which linked to her own domain name) in one location but not another”, Mr Gee’s letter read, adding: “Shortly afterward hackers breached the host computer.”

The letter also addressed other apparent issues with the court’s release of the case filings.

“For example, it redacted a non-party's name in one location but not another,” the letter continued, “so the media immediately gained access to that name.”

The letter, which was made public earlier this week, did not state who may have been responsible for hacking Ms Maxwell’s computer.

It did, however, argue that currently sealed records should remain secret and out of the public eye, citing privacy concerns and claiming those pages may contain “untrustworthy, unreliable and incorrect information”.

Ms Maxwell has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing after the court filings said she was involved in procuring underage women to have sex with Epstein, even going so far as training the young girls who said they were sexually abused by Epstein.

Ms Giuffre said she was “trafficked” by Epstein and his associates, and claimed she was made to have sex with his high-profile associates, including Prince Andrew.

“This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked. This is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty,” Ms Giuffre told BBC Panorama.

Previously reported emails showed Prince Andrew emailing Ms Maxwell in 2015: “Let me know when we can talk. Got some specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts.”

“Have some info,” she reportedly responded, adding: “Call me when you have a moment.”

Prince Andrew also denies having any involvement in Epstein’s sexual abuse and said he does not remember meeting Ms Giuffre, despite a photo showing him and Ms Maxwell with her when she was underage.

Epstein died of an apparent suicide in federal prison last year. The FBI has since launched an investigation into his death.

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