Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell are appealing the release of unseen transcripts in a civil case against her — arguing the testimony had been improperly turned over to federal investigators mounting a criminal case against her.
In a Wednesday court filing, Maxwell’s attorneys argued the deposition she gave as part of a now-settled 2015 defamation lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre should remain sealed until they can appeal to the Second Circuit Court of appeals.
Judge Loretta Preska ordered the depositions unsealed at a court hearing last week, but gave Maxwell’s legal team a week to appeal the decision.
In Wednesday’s filing, lawyers for Maxwell argued Giuffre’s legal team acted as “agents of the Government” in the defamation case, because they turned over the confidential material to prosecutors who were building a criminal case against her.
Giuffre claims she was groomed by Maxwell to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein and other high-powered men. She sued Maxwell for defamation after the former socialite publicly stated the sexual abuse allegations were fabricated.
Maxwell’s attorneys wrote in the filing Wednesday that a judge had already rejected a proposal from Giuffre’s side to allow law enforcement to view confidential material in the defamation case.
“The language agreed upon, and made an Order of this Court specifically excluded an exception for law enforcement. Had the language not been made an order of the Court, Ms. Maxwell would have proceeded in a different fashion,” they wrote in the court document.
“She relied on this language and the protection afforded to her by this Court under established Second Circuit law,” they added.
Federal authorities charged Maxwell with perjury, among other crimes, because she allegedly lied in the depositions she gave in the defamation case.
Her lawyers are asking Judge Preska to reconsider her order to unseal the depositions based on their view that the material was improperly turned over to law enforcement.
If that is rejected, they’re asking her to give them two days to appeal to the Second Circuit Court before they are made public.
On Aug. 9, 2019, a federal appeals court unsealed 2,000 pages of documents related to the Guiffre-Maxwell defamation case. The next day, Epstein committed suicide in his jail cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
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