Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, suffered dual setbacks in a U.S. court on Thursday, as a judge authorized the release of new materials related to her, while another judge refused to block prosecutors and lawyers from publicly discussing her criminal case.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan directed the release of large portions of more than 80 documents from a 2015 civil lawsuit against Maxwell- the British socialite now facing criminal charges that she lured girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.
The materials ordered unsealed include flight logs from Epstein’s private jets, testimony from depositions in 2016 in which Maxwell’s lawyers said she was asked “intrusive questions” about her sex life, and police reports from Palm Beach, Florida where Epstein had a home.
Maxwell, 58, is being held in a Brooklyn jail after pleading not guilty last week to charges she helped Epstein recruit, and eventually abuse girls from 1994 to 1997, and committed perjury by denying knowledge of his abuse in depositions.
Preska said the presumption the public had a right to access the documents outweighed Maxwell’s arguments to keep them under wraps, including that they concerned “extremely personal” matters whose release could prove embarrassing or annoying.
The judge gave Maxwell one week to file an emergency appeal, but said both sides should proceed as though the documents will be made public “within a week.”
Earlier, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan rejected Maxwell’s separate effort to block prosecutors, FBI agents, and lawyers for some accusers from making out-of-court statements about her criminal case.
Nathan, who oversees the criminal case, said a gag order was not needed to protect Maxwell’s right to a fair trial, but that she “will not hesitate” to act if needed. Maxwell’s trial is scheduled for July 12, 2021.
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