Virginia Roberts Giuffre deserves so much credit for fighting like hell to get justice for herself and for other victims of Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew. I’ve always thought of Virginia as the tip of the iceberg, but perhaps she’s actually the tip of the spear. In 2015, Virginia sued Ghislaine Maxwell because, at the time, the criminal case into Maxwell and Epstein was nowhere (especially given Epstein’s sweetheart deal in 2008). Virginia sued Maxwell for defamation, the case was settled in 2017, and the records were sealed. Virginia has fought for years to get the information from the lawsuit unsealed, and on Thursday, she was victorious!
A federal judge ruled on Thursday to publicly release documents that have been kept under seal in a case involving Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s one-time girlfriend and alleged accomplice. US District Judge Loretta Preska verbally unsealed the documents in a ruling held via teleconference. She is giving Maxwell’s legal team a week to pursue an appeal to her decision but ordered the court to have the documents ready to be posted “within a week.”
The documents are connected to a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed Epstein sexually abused her while she was a minor and that Maxwell aided in the abuse. The case was settled in 2017. Included in the now unsealed documents are Maxwell’s 2016 deposition related to the lawsuit in which she denies knowing if Epstein had a scheme to recruit underage girls for sex. Other documents include emails and depositions by others, including Giuffre and anonymous women who also claim to have been abused by Epstein.
Preska ruled that several medical records included in the court filings will remain sealed. In addition, she noted that the multiple anonymous women — “Jane Does” who accused Epstein of abuse but have not publicly spoken out — will continue to have their identities redacted in the documents. In her ruling, she said that the public’s right to have access to the information carried heavier weight than the “annoyance or embarrassment” to Maxwell.
“In the context of this case, especially its allegations of sex trafficking of young girls, the court finds any minor embarrassment or annoyance resulting from Ms. Maxwell’s mostly non-testimony … is far outweighed by the presumption of public access,” she said. Parts of the deposition were unsealed last August, a day before Epstein killed himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial for allegedly running a sex-trafficking enterprise.
While Virginia is best known for discussing the crimes where she was trafficked to Prince Andrew, she’s also spoken about how Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her to Alan Dershowitz multiple times. It’s also believed that when Virginia and Ghislaine Maxwell settled the defamation case, Ghislaine ended up paying Virginia “millions” for what amounted to a gag order. Virginia took the money and then immediately began to fight to unseal the documents. Like a boss. Anyway, hopefully the documents will be out next week!
Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.