After being found guilty of aiding Jeffery Epstein’s sex trafficking of young girls, Ghislaine Maxwell has given up a legal fight against revealing the names of others possibly involved in the illicit operation.
The revelations would come from separate litigation involving Virginia Giuffre, a victim of Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring who filed a defamation lawsuit against Maxwell in 2016.
In a court filing on Wednesday, Giuffre asked a federal judge to unseal the names of eight “John Does.” These anonymous individuals weren’t parties to the lawsuit and whose lawyers have kept their names secret out of concern of embarrassment or media attention.
Giuffre’s filing argued it’s time for that secrecy to end.
“The Court’s unsealing process has been quite consistent: with the exception of a narrow set of circumstances which are generally not present here, documents have been unsealed notwithstanding generalized concerns about annoyance or embarrassment,” reads Giuffre’s filing. “As this Court has recognized, generalized aversion to embarrassment and negativity that may come from being associated with Epstein and Maxwell is not enough to warrant continued sealing of information. This is especially true with respect to this case of great public interest, involving serious allegations of the sex trafficking of minors.”
Maxwell, a British socialite and one-time girlfriend of Epstein, had previously supported keeping the “Does” anonymous. But Maxwell reversed course in a court filing on Wednesday.
“Each of the listed Does has counsel who have ably asserted their own respective
privacy rights,” reads the filing. “Ms. Maxwell therefore leaves it to this Court to conduct the appropriate review consistent with the Order and Protocol for Unsealing Decided Motions.”
None of the “Does” so far have filed responses addressing Giuffre’s filing. It will be up to Judge Loretta Preska whether the documents are unsealed.
Giuffre has previously called on Maxwell to name names, saying in a 2020 Twitter post, “I know you only care about yourself & you hold all the secrets!”
In December, Maxwell was found guilty of five of the six counts she faced for her role recruiting underage girls for the six ring of Epstein, a since-deceased financier who cultivated friendships with influential politicians and business tycoons.
It’s not clear who the unsealed documents would name. But the filings came the same week a judge allowed a separate sexual assault lawsuit from Giuffre against Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, to move forward. Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her in London, New York and on Epstein’s private island when she was a 17-year-old trafficking victim.
Attorneys for Prince Andrew, 61, attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed because of a 2009 settlement with Epstein that protected anyone “who could have been included as a potential defendant.”