New details about Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged abuse of underage girls are closer to being made public after a federal appeals court refused to reconsider an order to unseal 2,000 pages of documents in a civil lawsuit related to the disgraced money manager.
The appeals court in Manhattan on Friday denied a last-ditch request by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was close to Epstein for years, to reconsider an order to make documents public from a defamation suit against her.
The documents are part of a 2015 civil lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, a Floridian who claimed Epstein sexually abused her for two years starting in 2000, when she was 16, and that Maxwell participated. In her suit, Giuffre claimed that Maxwell, daughter of the late British publisher Robert Maxwell, defamed her by publicly calling her a liar.
Numerous documents stemming from the case are already public, including documents with allegations against well-known people.
Maxwell had argued the documents should be kept under seal because of the shocking nature of the allegations, including Giuffre’s previously reported claim that Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with the U.K.’s Prince Andrew while she was a minor.
The case attracted public attention last month when a federal appeals court ordered U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska to unseal 2,000 pages of documents that may identify other people described in court filings as “prominent individuals” connected to the case.
Epstein, a convicted sex offender who served 13 months in jail a decade ago after pleading guilty to soliciting a minor, was arrested in early July and charged with sexually assaulting teenage girls from 2002 to 2005. He has pleaded not guilty.
Maxwell has long denied she was involved with Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. Last month, her lawyers told the appeals court that the media’s “furious feeding frenzy” justified keeping the documents sealed and she asked for a rehearing by a full panel of the appeals court
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