Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has stopped protecting the secrecy of eight ‘John Does’ involved in Virginia Giuffre’s 2015 defamation case against Epstein. Maxwell will now leave it up to the court to decide to unseal the eight names or continue to keep them under wraps.
Giuffre claimed Epstein sexually abused her while she was a minor and that Maxwell helped facilitate the abuse. The case was settled in 2017, but unsealing the names would undoubtedly lead to life-changing revelations about the eight John Does. It’s suspected that several Hollywood big shots and political heavyweights are likely on the list.
Maxwell was found guilty last month in a New York federal court on five federal charges related to her assisting Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls in the ‘90s and early 2000s. The charges include sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three related counts of conspiracy. She faces up to 65 years in prison as a result of her conviction. Her attorney plans to file an appeal at a later date.
“After careful review of the detailed objections submitted by Non-Party Does 17, 53, 54, 55, 73, 93 and 151, counsel for Ghislaine Maxwell writes to inform the Court that she does not wish to further address those objections,” wrote Laura Menninger, Maxwell’s attorney. “Each of the listed Does has counsel who has ably asserted their own respective privacy rights. Ms. Maxwell, therefore, leaves it to this Court to conduct the appropriate review.”
Finally – some measure of justice comes to this case that affected numerous young girls, some as young as 14 years old when they were trafficked and sexually abused by Epstein or one of his wealthy male cohorts.
“[G]eneralized aversion to embarrassment and negativity that may come from being associated with Epstein and Maxwell is not enough to warrant continued sealing of information. This is especially true with respect to this case of great public interest, involving serious allegations of the sex trafficking of minors,” Guiffre attorney Sigrid McCawley wrote in a brief filed last Wednesday.
“Now that Maxwell’s criminal trial has come and gone, there is little reason to retain protection over the vast swaths of information about Epstein and Maxwell’s sex-trafficking operation that was originally filed under seal in this case.”
McCawley stated that the court didn’t uphold similar objections to unsealing their names and protecting the anonymity of others involved and that keeping their names sealed to protect them from embarrassment and a negative association with Epstein or Maxwell wasn’t just.
“Upon review of the objections of those Does, it is apparent that their objections essentially mirror objections to unsealing that this Court has already rejected: that unsealing certain documents might be embarrassing, would expose non-parties to media attention and could result in some unfortunate association between the non-parties and Jeffrey Epstein or Ghislaine Maxwell,” McCawley wrote. She went on to add that at least two of the eight John Does do not oppose to their names being unsealed.