By Jordan Ferdman
New York City, New York
On October 22, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ordered that the transcripts from Ghislaine Maxwell’s 2016 depositions be released to the public. The depositions originated as part of Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s defamation lawsuit alleging that Maxwell enabled and assisted her late partner, Jeffery Epstein, with sexual abuse. After Epstein’s 2019 suicide, Maxwell was further scrutinized. The transcripts reveal Maxwell’s steadfast insistence of her innocence.
In the 418-page deposition, Maxwell repeatedly denied that she recruited minors for Epstein to abuse or abused teenage girls herself. At one point, she declared that she “[couldn’t] think of anything [she has] done that is illegal.” When asked specifically about Epstein, she did not provide a conclusive answer.
When Maxwell became so aggravated that she smacked the table, Ms. Giuffre’s lead attorney, Sigrid McCawley, said, “I am going to put on the record, Maxwell very inappropriately and very harshly pounded our law firm table in an inappropriate manner.”
Maxwell’s deposition, which redacted all names of other prominent men, did not reveal any information that might radically alter the public's perception of her or Epstein. Instead, though, her belligerence was indicative of the seemingly never-ending process of seeking justice for the victims in this case.
The first investigation into Epstein’s sexual abuse occurred in 2005. Fifteen years later, after dozens of survivors came forward and a $100 million settlement was reached, both law enforcement and the general public continue to ponder the magnitude and nature of Maxwell’s role. Maxwell described a “very wide-ranging job” that predominantly entailed hiring employees to tend to Epstein’s six homes. She said in the deposition that it was a “very small part of [her] job from time to time to find adult professional massage therapists for Jeffrey.” Many of the girls, now women, who have accused the pair of abuse allege that Epstein and Maxwell often abused under the guise of massage therapy.
Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 and pled not guilty to several charges, including enticement of minors, sex trafficking of children and perjury. The indictment asserted that she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed” to the abuse of girls that she knew were minors between 1994 and 1997. Maxwell is currently at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the same facility Epstein was at before committing suicide.