On 9th August 2019, a motion by Ghislaine Maxwell for a hearing en banc by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was denied, and a mandate issued to unseal the summary judgement record from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Following the mandate, over two thousand pages of documents relating to the underlying defamation suit filed by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell in 21 September 2015 were released by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. During the 2015 action, a total of 167 documents were filed under seal, with a 9 August 2016 order prospectively granting all of the parties’ subsequent sealing requests.
On 24 May 2017, Maxwell and Giuffre came to a settlement, and on 25 May 2017, the case was closed.
During and after the litigation however, three parties – Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz, Michael Cernovich of Cernovich Media, and Julie Brown of the Miami Herald Company – filed motions to intervene and unseal court documents, successively with (i) Dershowitz filing to unseal three documents that he argued demonstrate that Giuffre invented the accusations against him, (ii) Cernovich seeking to unseal the summary judgement record, and (iii) the Miami Herald seeking to unseal the entire docket. The judgement from the Court on 9th August 2019 required the unsealing of the summary judgement record, and individualised review of the remaining sealed materials.
In its judgement, the Court spelled out a number of the risks associated with granting public access to such materials, including the weaponisation of the discovery process to humiliate and embarrass adversaries. There is also a risk that the public uncritically assess allegations or treat allegations made by the parties as fact.
Among the documents released are witness testimony implicating multiple public figures, and flight dockets from 1995 onwards that purport to show Maxwell as a frequent flyer on the Epstein’s planes, along with numerous of the world’s powerful, wealthy and famous. Bill Clinton and the Duke of York are among those to have denied the allegations of wrongdoing. When the allegations relating to the Duke of York’s contact with Giuffre in 2001 became public in 2015, Buckingham Palace strenuously denied that the Duke of York had had “sexual contact or relationship” with Giuffre. Giuffre at that time was 17 years old. (It should be noted that the age of consent in the UK and
In June 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to procuring for prostitution a minor in Florida. Epstein was again arrested in July 2019. On the night of 9-10 August 2019, Epstein was reported to have died in his prison cell in Manhattan.
The documents are available in full via the following link: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6250471-Epstein-Docs.html#document/p1.