- On Friday, Judge Loretta Preska ordered dozens of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein’s associates to be unsealed.
- The bombshell papers are part of a defamation case that victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre brought against Ghislaine Maxwell, the financier’s madam and facilitator.
- The judge overruled objections from Tom Pritzker, billionaire executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels.
- In his submission to the court, Pritzker argued that releasing material related to him would cause irreparable damage to his privacy and reputation.
- A total of 16 ‘Non-Party Does’ objected to the release of the files being made public, but half have already been dealt with by the federal court in New York.
- The latest batch of individuals, referred to as Does 12, 28, 97, 107, 144, 147, 171 and 183 are related to the remaining eight.
A judge ruled that the public interest in dozens of court documents relating to Jeffrey Epstein’s associates will be made public, even though it infringes on their right to privacy.
On Friday, Judge Loretta Preska ruled that the material concerning eight people should be unsealed despite one subject claiming it could ‘wrongfully harm (his) privacy and reputation.’ The documents mention a British woman among those Accused of taking part in the sexual abuse of minors–Ghislaine Maxwell’s former personal assistant.
Judge Preska overruled objections from Tom Pritzker, the billionaire executive chairman of the Hyatt Hotels, and ordered material related to him be made public.
Maxwell is being sued for defamation by accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and these documents are part of the 2016 case that was eventually settled.
The mountain of material has been gradually released since 2019, with the first batch arriving two days before Epstein’s suicide. The release came after several media organizations requested it.
A total of 16 people who were not included in the original lawsuit objected to the release of court files to the public. Of those, eight have already been dealt with by the federal court in New York, and now the remaining eight are being addressed.
The latest batch relates to Does 12, 28, 97, 107, 144, 147 , 171 , and 183 .
Judge Preska said that last year, during Maxwell’s trial for trafficking underage girls to Epstein, much of the ‘purportedly sensitive information’ had already been made public. This led to her being jailed for 20 years.
After scrolling through dozens of papers, she requested that they be unsealed. These included files related to the British woman who has adamantly professed her innocence in relation to her work under Maxwell.
In July, she filed a lawsuit against Miami Herald journalist Julie Brown over her book on the Epstein scandal.
Judge Preska observed that the woman has been referred to in other publicly accessible forums and that the lawsuit reiterated some of the supposedly defamatory statements made in the book.
“This document will be unsealed,” Judge Preska said.
According to the court, documents related to Doe 183 are allowed to be made public as they have been receiving a lot of media coverage and were mentioned in Maxwell’s trial.
However, Judge Preska ordered a stay on the release of this material until November 28 so that the Doe could appeal if they choose to.
Doe 107 fought to keep their materials sealed, insisting that Epstein’s case was irrelevant to them and opening up would be an ‘unnecessary invasion of privacy.’
In contrast, Judge Preska ruled that the public’s right to access outweighed any ‘generalized concerns’ about privacy and ordered their material unsealed, reasoning that it was ‘not particularly salacious.’
In his submission to the court, Pritzker stated that if material related to him was made public, it would cause him ‘wrongful harm (to his) privacy and reputation.’
However, Judge Preska said there was no justification for keeping the material sealed and that it was only a passing reference.
Although Judge Preska didn’t yield to all of the objections, she did make some concessions.
Preska stated: ‘Certain details contained within certain documents that are not public…objecting Does have set forth a sufficient interest to preserve sealing’.
Documents related to Doe 12 remained sealed as Judge Preska said they were a ‘classic outsider’.
Doe 12 is ‘peripheral to the events at issue’ and is ‘neither victim nor associated with Epstein or Maxwell’.
Documents concerning Doe 28 will stay sealed because they are a ‘victim of sexual assault who continues to experience trauma from these events.’
However, information related to Doe 147 – whom Judge Preska identified as Epstein victim Sarah Ransome – should be unsealed.
Judge Preska said that Ransome was a ‘victim of sexual trauma and abuse’ by Epstein and Maxwell, but she chose to testify publicly at Maxwell’s sentencing.
She wrote a book about her experience and an op-ed in the Washington Post.
Judge Preska commented that Ransome had ‘exposed herself to the public regarding these issues’.
The judge gave no indication of when the material would be released to the public, but said it was likely to be weeks away.
Maxwell neither objected to nor spoke about the documents to the court, as opposed to what she had done with previous batches of documents.
The documents already made public contained two depositions given by Maxwell in 2016 as part of the defamation case.
Over the course of seven hours, Maxwell was questioned about a variety of topics including her sex life to her relationship with Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Epstein.
At one point, she denied having a ‘laundry basket of sex toys’ at Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.
When asked about having three-way sexual massages with Epstein and his sexual ‘idiosyncrasies’ such as nipple pinching.
When asked if she ever provided Roberts with ‘schoolgirl outfits’ for her to wear during a massage, Maxwell responded: ‘I have no idea what you are talking about.’
In other parts of the deposition, Maxwell called Giuffre an ‘awful fantasist’ and became so angry at one point that she banged her hand on the table.
Roberts’ memoir, which was unsealed along with other material, detailed how Epstein flew her around the world and loaned her out to his powerful friends.
She described how she was forced to have sex with Andrew in London when she was 17, at Epstein’s New York mansion and his private island in the Caribbean.
Earlier this year, Duke settled a civil lawsuit brought by Roberts. The details of the settlement were not made public, but it is estimated to be around $12million.
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