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Legal battle to unseal documents from Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre's defamation case continues

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Fresh clues about those involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring have been revealed in the legal battle to unseal documents from accuser Virginia Giuffre’s defamation case against alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell, DailyMail.com can disclose.

The revelations came as attorneys for Maxwell and Giuffre laid out a plan on how to notify the individuals named in documents and give them a chance to object to their identities being made public, in New York federal court filings last Thursday. A day later, a sealed document was added to the case.

On the whole, the two sides have agreed on how to inform the individuals, called ‘non-parties’ to the case, with a formatted letter and a 14-day window to respond to the court.

The non-parties are those ‘whose privacy, reputational or other interests may be implicated by the unsealing of the Sealed Materials’. 

A judge ruled to keep under seal documents in Virginia Giuffre's defamation case against Jeffrey Epstein's alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell. The individuals mentioned in the documents are called'non-parties' and there are four general categories that the so-far unnamed individuals fall into

A judge ruled to keep under seal documents in Virginia Giuffre’s defamation case against Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell. The individuals mentioned in the documents are called ‘non-parties’ and there are four general categories that the so-far unnamed individuals fall into

The 2015 civil lawsuit was filed by Giuffre after Maxwell, Epstein's former girlfriend and consort who allegedly recruited underage girls for the financier, publicly denounced her as a liar for her allegations that she was forced into sexual servitude and pimped out to other powerful men including Prince Andrew

The 2015 civil lawsuit was filed by Giuffre after Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and consort who allegedly recruited underage girls for the financier, publicly denounced her as a liar for her allegations that she was forced into sexual servitude and pimped out to other powerful men including Prince Andrew

There are four general categories that the so-far unnamed individuals fall into.

Some have been identified as ‘allegedly engaging in sexual acts’ with Giuffre or other victims, or facilitating abuse.

The 2015 civil suit was filed by Giuffre after Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and consort who allegedly recruited underage girls for the financier, publicly denounced her as a liar for her allegations that she was forced into sexual servitude and pimped out to other powerful men including Prince Andrew. The Duke of York has denied those claims and Maxwell has also denied her involvement.

Others have provided discovery – fact-finding by lawyers while preparing a case – ‘based upon the representation or understanding that the discovery would be subject to the Protective Order previously issued in this action’.

Non-parties also fall into the categories of those whose ‘intimate, sexual or private conduct is described in the Sealed Materials’ and finally, those ‘who are alleged to have been victimized’.

Each member of the list, which will be sealed, is to be assigned a unique pseudonym like ‘Doe #1’. Giuffre and Maxwell have ‘identified to the best of their ability’ addresses or contact information for each one or his lawyers.

It is unclear how many ‘John Does’ make up the list but Judge Preska has ordered that the individuals be notified in batches of five.

Maxwell and Giuffre have agreed to exclude four categories of non-parties from the list – reporters, authors and those involved in the literary world; police and investigators; attorneys and medical professionals.

The court stepped in to approve the list of non-parties because Maxwell and Giuffre ‘did not agree on one or more Non-Parties to be included in the list’.

Attorney Sigrid McCawley, representing Giuffre, told the court that her client believes Epstein’s house staff and employees should not be entitled to notice from the court ‘because their names and associations with Epstein are public and well-known’.

None of the employees ‘were victims of Epstein’s sexual abuse and have not been accused of participating in that abuse’.

Giuffre also sees no need to exclude ‘any non-parties discussed in materials that have already been unsealed..’

Maxwell and Giuffre laid out a plan on how to notify the individuals named in sealed documents and give them a chance to object to their identities being made public, a federal court filing revealed

Maxwell and Giuffre laid out a plan on how to notify the individuals named in sealed documents and give them a chance to object to their identities being made public, a federal court filing revealed

Maxwell and Giuffre laid out a plan on how to notify the individuals named in sealed documents and give them a chance to object to their identities being made public, a federal court filing revealed 

In an email, Maxwell and Prince Andrew discussed Giuffre – despite denials from Andrew that he had never met the then-teenager and that a photo of them together was a fake. Virginia Roberts says this photograph shows her with Prince Andrew at Ghislaine Maxwell's flat (she is pictured in the background) in west London in early 2001

In an email, Maxwell and Prince Andrew discussed Giuffre – despite denials from Andrew that he had never met the then-teenager and that a photo of them together was a fake. Virginia Roberts says this photograph shows her with Prince Andrew at Ghislaine Maxwell’s flat (she is pictured in the background) in west London in early 2001

McCawley states it would be a ‘great burden’ on the court to notify those ‘whose names have already been widely publicized and reported on… who are not victims of Epstein’s sexual abuse… and who have not been accused of participating in that abuse.’

However Maxwell has argued that ‘individuals falling into that category should be notified each time their name appears in a document that could potentially be unsealed and allowed to raise an objection’.

The Duke of York has denied Giuffre's claims and Maxwell has also denied her involvement. Epstein and Prince Andrew are spotted in 2011

The Duke of York has denied Giuffre’s claims and Maxwell has also denied her involvement. Epstein and Prince Andrew are spotted in 2011

McCawley writes that Maxwell’s goal is ‘an attempt to delay and complicate the unsealing process to ensure that no further misconduct becomes available to the public’.

The attorney tells the judge in a letter that although both sides had mostly agreed on the protocol for contacting non-parties, ‘we have come to an impasse on a few key issues’.

Maxwell has excluded two motions – that were previously decided upon by the last judge in the case – from the unsealing process, according to McCawley.

In the first document, Giuffre had accused Ghislaine Maxwell of failing to disclose the existence of an email account.

The second motion sought to prevent Maxwell from using parts of a deposition transcript that Giuffre had intended to use if the defamation case had gone to trial.

Instead the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum in 2017. It is not clear who gave the deposition and what it contained.

McCawley writes that Maxwell refuses to include these documents because they contain ‘an abundance of critical information relating to the issues in this case that Defendant does not want made public’.

Ty Gee, an attorney for Maxwell’s Colorado-based firm, provided the court with a proposed letter to send to the non-parties.

The letter reads: ‘This case involves allegations of sexual abuse and sexual trafficking of minors. Some documents submitted to the Court were filed under seal. You are receiving this Notice because your name appears in one or more sealed court documents in this case…’

The letter goes on to alert the individual that although currently their names are in documents under seal, ‘that document may be unsealed in the future, which means it will be publicly available’.

It goes on to provide two options for the non-parties on how to respond.

They can ‘do nothing’, as the letter states, which means that their name would be at risk of being released into the public domain without their input if the court decides.

Attorney Sigrid McCawley, representing Giuffre, told the court that her client believes Epstein's house staff and employees should not be entitled to notice from the court'because their names and associations with Epstein are public and well-known'

Attorney Sigrid McCawley, representing Giuffre, told the court that her client believes Epstein’s house staff and employees should not be entitled to notice from the court ‘because their names and associations with Epstein are public and well-known’

Alternatively, the individual can ask, within 14 days of getting the letter, to see excerpts of the documents including their name. They are forbidden to share with anyone other than their lawyer.

Any individuals who filed objections will not be identified in the court filing.

Within 14 days of getting the excerpts, they have an opportunity to object to unsealing the documents, in a ‘succinct’ manner and ‘shall state the reasons for the objection’.

Following any individuals’ objections, Maxwell and Giuffre then have an opportunity to respond.

Maxwell, Giuffre and any objecting individual can then request a court hearing after receiving a response to their objection.

Only once this process is complete, the Court will set ‘the time and date it will decide in open court the objections lodged as to each set of motions’.

It is then up to the court to decide whether the sealed items will remain under seal, be unsealed in a redacted form, or be released in its entirety.

Then the process will begin again with the next set of motions.

Judge Loretta Preska, presiding over the case, has previously stated that ‘there is a great deal of public intrigue surrounding the unsealing of the documents at issue here’.

Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in August while facing federal sex trafficking charges.

Epstein had previously been convicted by a Florida state court in 2008 for soliciting sex from a minor in a sweetheart deal given by federal prosecutors, despite dozens of underage girls accusing him of molestation.

Last month, lawyers for Maxwell filed a letter to the court highlighting the risks that hasty unsealing of the documents may cause.

They claimed that the British socialite’s personal emails had been hacked and damaging information, including the names of individuals linked to Epstein’s sex trafficking case, were at risk of being publicly released.

Judge Loretta Preska, presiding over the case, has previously stated that'there is a great deal of public intrigue surrounding the unsealing of the documents at issue here'

Judge Loretta Preska, presiding over the case, has previously stated that ‘there is a great deal of public intrigue surrounding the unsealing of the documents at issue here’ 

Attorney Ty Gee referred to details that were released in error in the 2,000 pages that were made public in August by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

‘Despite the Second Circuit’s best efforts, it made serious mistakes. For example, it redacted a non-party’s name in one location but not another; so the media immediately gained access to that name,’ Gee wrote.

‘As another example, it redacted Ms. Maxwell’s email address (which linked to her own domain name) in one location but not another; shortly afterward hackers breached the host computer.’

The email security breach means that 58-year-old Maxwell’s emails could be sold or leaked to the public and potentially reveal more details about individuals connected to Epstein.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Maxwell used a secret mail server, and not a major service like Google, which can keep emails out of the hands of authorities, but which increased the risk of them being hacked.

Maxwell retreated from public life several years ago and had been living quietly in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts at the home of tech CEO, Scott Borgerson, DailyMail.com revealed in August.

Her current whereabouts are unknown with Giuffre’s attorneys admitting at court last week that they have no idea where she is.

Maxwell and others are being investigated by the FBI as part of the Epstein case, Reuters reported in December, citing law enforcement sources.

 

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