Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyers Fighting To Keep ‘Highly Confidential’ Evidence From Going Public
The attorneys of Ghislaine Maxwell, an alleged madam of Jeffrey Epstein, are fighting to keep ‘highly confidential’ evidence from public eyes.
The 58-year-old British socialite was arrested earlier this month on July 2, under a six-count indictment for grooming young girls and luring them into Epstein’s child sex trafficking ring.
Amid surging media attention around the Manhattan federal court case, her lawyers filed a protective order yesterday, July 27, seeking to prevent ‘highly confidential’ materials from being available in the public domain.
As reported by the New York Post, the protective order noted that the evidence should not be ‘disseminated, transmitted, or otherwise copied’ due to its sensitive nature.
The court papers state: ‘Highly Confidential Information contains nude, partially-nude, or otherwise sexualised images, videos, or other depictions of individuals.’
Behind the scenes, Maxwell’s lawyers have been deliberating which materials should be made available to the public. While it’s mostly remained amicable, one particular disagreement has emerged: the matter of whether the identities of victims who have already spoken out, be it to the media or elsewhere, should be disclosed as part of the case.
The filing adds: ‘The government’s proposed restriction is therefore ‘broader than necessary’ to protect the privacy interests of these individuals who have already chosen to self-identify, and will hinder the defense’s ability to conduct further factual investigation, prepare witnesses for trial, and advocate on Ms. Maxwell’s behalf.’
Maxwell’s lawyers wrote:
The defence believes that potential government witnesses and their counsel should be subject to the same restrictions as the defense concerning appropriate use of the discovery materials – namely, if these individuals are given access to discovery materials during trial preparation, they may not use those materials for any purpose other than preparing for trial in the criminal case, and may not post those materials on the internet.
The lawyers added, as per The Independent: ‘There is a substantial concern that these individuals will seek to use discovery materials to support their civil cases and future public statements.’
Maxwell, who had been hiding out in her New Hampshire home for a year following Epstein’s death in prison, is currently incarcerated without bail, and has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing in connection with recruiting and aiding the abuse of three girls by Epstein during the 1990s.
The judge will be required to approve which specific documents are kept from the public. The prosecutors replied saying they will respond to the order later today.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child, contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000, 8am–10pm Monday to Friday, 9am–6pm weekends. If you are a child seeking advice and support, call Childline for free on 0800 1111.