Four more tranches of court records related to late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were revealed Friday.
The records are part of a defamation lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of the disgraced financier, against Epstein’s longtime partner Ghislaine Maxwell, which the two settled in 2017. Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial for federal sex trafficking. charges.
Maxwell is serving a 20-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2021 of aiding Epstein’s sex trafficking of young women and girls. Her appeal will be heard in March.
Friday’s documents detail how Maxwell reacted after Giuffre made explosive allegations in a court case brought by Epstein’s alleged victims against the federal government, which questioned the sex offender’s lenient treatment. It was the first time Giuffre publicly alleged that Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew and other prominent men.
“I cannot understand defamation and other legal dangers and I do not want to end up in a lawsuit directed against me by anyone if I can avoid it,” Maxwell wrote to her lawyer and publicist in a recently revealed email exchange. since January 2015. “I’m trying to stay out of litigation and not have to hire lawyers for years while I get lost in America’s legal nightmare.”
Maxwell’s representatives had already issued a brief statement calling the claims “false” and “obvious lies.”
But Maxwell was apparently anguished about whether she should respond more fully, worrying that it could lead to questions about her connections to famous men.
“Statements that don’t address everything only lead to more questions…what is my relationship with Clinton? Andrew and on,” the email said.
Among the advice he received from his lawyer, “We cannot allow you to sit back and be a conspirator through silence,” his U.K. lawyer, Philip Barden, responded by email. “You have to stand up and deny the allegations or be branded guilty by association and that can lead to other investigations and worse… I know the right thing to do and that is to shout your innocence.”
Barden urged her to respond quickly, calling the silence “reputational suicide” and not to worry about Epstein, who might have his own reasons for remaining silent.
“I can see why JE doesn’t want this, as it may not suit him, but he’s done,” Barden wrote, referring to Epstein by his initials.
However, while Maxwell was reflecting on this, she was also in email communication with Epstein, who asked her via email the next morning, “What did you decide to do?”
Eleven days later, Epstein ordered Maxwell to “ask the press to investigate whether Clinton was ever there. Challenge the press.”
Giuffre’s claim to have met with President Bill Clinton on Epstein Island would later become a contentious issue between Maxwell and Giuffre.
The newly revealed documents showed Epstein remained interested in how Maxwell might respond, writing: “I’ve tried calling. What have you decided?”
Maxwell apparently decided not to say anything else, but she had already said too much, resulting in exactly what she feared: a defamation lawsuit from Giuffre, the same lawsuit from which all of these newly revealed documents originated.
On September 21, 2015, the day Giuffre filed that lawsuit, Maxwell’s UK press agent, Ross Gow, emailed her to say “G, here we go again. VR on our case again “, using the initials of Virginia Roberts, Giuffre’s given name. “Glad to know I’m not a co-defendant. Regards, R,” he added.
Prince Andrew has denied Giuffre’s claims. In 2022 she settled a civil lawsuit she filed against him, without admitting wrongdoing.
The disclosure of documents from court records is expected to continue next week. So far, 191 documents have been made public, out of a planned total of about 250.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.