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UPDATE 3-Ghislaine Maxwell files emergency appeal to block release of deposition on her sex life

Thu, 30th Jul 2020 21:49

(Adds court rejecting Maxwell lawyers' request for emergency
conference)

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, July 30 (Reuters) - Ghislaine Maxwell, the
longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein, on Thursday urged a U.S.
appeals court to block the release of a deposition about her sex
life, saying it could destroy her ability to get a fair trial
against criminal charges she aided the late financier's sexual
abuse of girls.

Maxwell filed an emergency request with the 2nd U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals in Manhattan one day after a federal judge
rejected her claim that her need for confidentiality outweighed
the public's right to see the April 2016 deposition, which was
taken in a civil defamation lawsuit.

"Absent a stay from this court, it will forever let the cat
out of the bag," Maxwell's lawyers wrote, noting another judge's
recent refusal to block publication of former National Security
Adviser John Bolton's memoir because copies had already been
circulated.

Late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, who
oversees the civil case, ordered the separate release of dozens
of other documents that the British socialite had wanted sealed,
rejecting her lawyers' bid for an emergency phone conference.

The 2016 deposition is scheduled for release on Aug. 3,
unless the appeals court orders a delay or further arguments.

Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein
recruit and eventually abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997, and
committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.

The deposition came from a now-settled lawsuit against
Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, who had accused Epstein of having
kept her as a "sex slave" with Maxwell's assistance. She wants
the disclosure of more information from her case.

Maxwell's lawyers have accused Giuffre of leaking the
deposition, and "in conjunction with the government" setting a
"perjury trap" for their client.

They said Maxwell had been promised confidentiality before
being forced to answer many "personal, sensitive, and allegedly
incriminatory questions," only to be sandbagged when prosecutors
quoted from the deposition in her indictment.

The lawyers said this included when Maxwell responded "I
don't know what you're talking about" when asked if Epstein had
a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages.

Maxwell was arrested on July 2 at a New Hampshire home where
prosecutors said she was hiding out.

She was denied bail and is being held in a Brooklyn jail
after the judge overseeing her criminal case called her a flight
risk.

"The government has indicted Ghislaine Maxwell. The media
has all but convicted her," Maxwell's lawyers said. "All Ms.
Maxwell is asking is that this court have a fair opportunity to
review the merits of the district court's decision before the
deposition material is unsealed for all time."

Epstein was found hanged at age 66 last August in a
Manhattan jail, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges
for abusing women and girls in Manhattan and Florida from 2002
to 2005. He had pleaded not guilty.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and
Grant McCool)

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