A US judge is set to decide whether Ghislaine Maxwell’s secret testimony about her sex life should be revealed to the public.
The British socialite testified in 2016 in her defence as she was sued by Virginia Giuffre (nee Roberts), who claims she was groomed by Maxwell, sexually abused by paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and trafficked to some of their friends.
Maxwell’s testimony – along with many other documents in the civil case – remained sealed after the case was resolved, but a judge will decide on Thursday whether to make it public.
Maxwell, 58, has denied allegations she lured young girls so Epstein, her former boyfriend, could sexually abuse them. She was denied bail by a judge in New York and remains in custody at a notorious jail in Brooklyn.
She is due to stand trial in July 2021 and could be jailed for up to 35 years if convicted. She has pleaded not guilty to all six charges she faces.
The charges relate to three girls she allegedly trafficked in the 1990s.
Her solicitor is trying to stop her secret testimony from being released, and recently filed an argument saying the questioning in 2016 was “intrusive” about her sex life, and she only answered the questions because she had “a strong expectation of continued confidentiality”, DailyMail.com reported.
Her legal team claims the release of the “extremely personal” files could taint a jury pool.
It is also asking a judge in Maxwell’s criminal case to put a gag order on Audrey Strauss, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, claiming her comments to reporters have been prejudicial.
Ms Giuffre claims she was 16 when she first met Maxwell at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where she was working for the summer. She claims the socialite groomed her and she became a “sex slave” for Epstein and some of his friends.
She sued Maxwell for defamation in federal court in New York in September 2015, resulting in the socialite being questioned in 2016.
The case was settled in 2017 before it reached trial. More than 2,000 pages of evidence have since been made public,but about 900 court filings remained sealed or redacted.
Ms Giuffre, now 36 and living in Australia, has asked for the files to be made public as part of separate civil lawsuits, including one against Maxwell.
In response to Ms Giuffre’s allegations, Maxwell has always denied any sexual abuse occurred.
Ms Giuffre previously claimed she had sex with Prince Andrew, then a pal of Epstein and Maxwell, on three occasions, including when she was 17, still a minor under US law.
Andrew, 60, categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre.
Epstein, 66, was found hanged last August 10 in a New York jail last year while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking allegations. His death was ruled a suicide.
In her unresolved criminal case, prosecutors have accused Maxwell of helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse girls as young as 14 from 1994 to 1997 and lying about her role in depositions in 2016.
Arrested at her rural New Hampshire home on July 2, Maxwell has been charged with six criminal counts, including four related to transporting minors for illegal sexual acts and two for perjury.
She has pleaded not guilty.