Newly unredacted files in a long-running civil case between convicted child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell and Virginia Giuffre, who accused Maxwell and her one-time partner Jeffrey Epstein of trafficking her when she was a child, shed some light on how Maxwell handled the accusations before they landed her in prison.
Maxwell was sued by Giuffre in 2015 after she called Giuffre a liar for giving interviews to the press testifying about her abuse. Their case generated thousands of pages of documents and hundreds of docket entries. Maxwell and Giuffre settled the case in 2017, but members of the press led by the Miami Herald filed interventions to unseal many of those files, which were initially submitted confidentially.
While the unredacted files will take weeks to sift through, a preliminary look through them reveals that while the revelations piled up, Maxwell raged.
In one email in 2015, Maxwell wrote to two associates expressing her frustration about her inability to call Giuffre a liar without facing legal penalties.
“I am out of my depth to understanding defamation and other legal hazards and don’t want to end up in a lawsuit aimed at me from anyone if I can help it. Apparently even saying Virginia is a liar has hazard! I have never been in a suit criminal or civil and I want it to stay that way,” Maxwell wrote.
“I am trying to stay out of litigation and not have to employ lawyers for years as I get lost in US legal nightmare. I stand no legal risk currently on these old charges and civil suits against Jeffrey,” she added ironically.
Some of the documents detail Maxwell’s efforts to fight off the mounting legal challenge that Giuffre’s litigation posed to her.
In some of the unredacted documents, lawyers for Giuffre incredulously recount how Maxwell argued that she “never arranged for or asked [Giuffre] to have sex with anyone.”
That same document also details a deposition Maxwell gave in April 2016 where lawyers for Giuffre say Maxwell continued to be uncooperative and even had a “physical outburst that knocked the court reporter’s computer off the conference room table.”
It was no surprise that Maxwell was stressed about the revelations in the documents.
Some of the unredacted filings go over some stomach-churning details about how Maxwell allegedly exercised control over young girls to do Epstein’s sexual bidding. In one document, lawyers for Giuffe cite a deposition by Rinaldo Rizzo, an estate manager for Maxwell. He says that on Epstein’s private island, Maxwell withheld a 15-year-old girl’s passport to try to coerce her to have sex with Epstein.
On another occasion, he claims to have seen Maxwell giving a group of 11 girls, with one as young as 14, instructions in a “kissing game” with Epstein.
“The girls were grinding on each other, lifting up their tops, it was very inappropriate,” Rizzo testified.
Some of the statements in those documents defy credibility now that she’s been tried and convicted of child sex trafficking. In one contentious exchange, Maxwell denies having ever had non-consensual sex with anybody.
At least two witnesses at Maxwell’s trial testified publicly otherwise. Annie Farmer, who was crucial in convincing the jury to convict Maxwell after she detailed Maxwell giving her an inappropriately intimate massage and touching her breasts, comes up explicitly in one deposition.
In one deposition, Maxwell insists that she “never had nonconsensual sex with anybody.”
When asked about Farmer, Maxwell doubled down over her lawyer’s objection.
“I just testified I never had nonconsensual sex with anybody ever, at any time, at anyplace, at any time, with anybody,” she said.