A New York judge may reveal as soon as Tuesday nearly 200 names related to the Jeffrey Epstein-Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking conspiracy, revealing or validating the identities of dozens of the disgraced financier’s associates who were previously only identified as John and Jane Does in court documents.
Nearly nine years after victim Virginia Giuffre filed a single defamation claim against Maxwell, the late British press baron Robert Maxwell’s daughter, in 2015, which in turn produced the names in legal depositions, a deadline for objections to the names’ unsealing expires at midnight on Monday.
Judge Robert Sweet of the US District Court denied Maxwell’s move to have the case dismissed a year later, in 2016. Sweet found that Guiffre “was a victim of sustained underage sexual abuse between 1999 and 2002” and that “the veracity of a contextual world of facts more broad than the allegedly defamatory statements.” In 2017, the parties reached a settlement out of court.
Along with the names that will soon be made public, this source gave rise to a number of civil lawsuits, one of which involved Guiffre and Prince Andrew of Britain. The lawsuit was settled out of court for an estimated $12 million without any admission of liability on the part of the plaintiffs for “sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” The prince has consistently vehemently denied any misconduct.
A federal sex trafficking case against Maxwell was initiated as a result of the defamation lawsuit. Maxwell was found guilty of five of the six crimes and given a 20-year prison sentence in December 2021.
However, it’s probably excessive to assume that the identities from the fading defamation lawsuit will be made public in the event of criminal charges. 2019 saw Epstein take his own life while awaiting trial, and following Maxwell’s conviction, federal prosecutors made it apparent that they were finished.
Even still, many prominent people will undoubtedly be seriously embarrassed by US District Judge Loretta Preska’s 51-page ruling outlining her reasoning for choosing to keep redacting the names of around 180 John and Jane Does offers or to unseal them.
Many of the names on the list will already be well-known to the public as colleagues, workers for Epstein and Maxwell, or pilots on his aircraft. It might also list the names of Epstein’s purported victims who were brought to residences such as a ranch outside of Santa Fe, a house in New York, a villa in Palm Beach, and a private island in the US Virgin Islands.
The names of the John Does, who are expected to include a former US president, actors, professors, and the now-reclusive British prince, will be the focus of much scrutiny.
“Jane Doe 162” is a witness who stated she was 17 years old when she was in Epstein’s estate in New York with Andrew, Maxwell, and Giuffre, according to ABC News on Monday.
According to court papers, former US president Bill Clinton—dubbed “Doe 36” by ANC News—is referenced in more than 50 of the redacted filings. Although Giuffre did not accuse Clinton of any misconduct, she insists that she met him on the island, which Clinton has denied ever having been there.
However, private flight records maintained by one of Epstein’s pilots revealed that, in the years following his resignation in 2001, Clinton took numerous flights on Epstein’s aircraft, including travels to Paris, Bangkok, and Brunei.
Giuffre’s attorneys reportedly contacted Clinton’s attorneys regarding a deposition, but they were informed that Giuffre’s testimony would not be beneficial, according to ABC. A “transparent ploy by Guiffre to increase media exposure for her sensational stories through deposition side-show,” according to Maxwell’s attorneys, who also rejected the notion.
However, Epstein was frequently mentioned in relation to Clinton. This was the case in a 2002 article published in New York magazine, where Clinton, through a spokesman, described Epstein as “both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of 21st-century science.”
According to Clinton, he severed his relationship with Epstein in 2005 following allegations that Epstein had lured minors to his Palm Beach residence for erotic massages. Epstein entered a guilty plea to state charges of procuring a minor and soliciting prostitution, received a reduced sentence, and was mandated to register as a sex offender once the federal inquiry was withdrawn.
Following Epstein’s 2019 arrest, Clinton released another statement in which he claimed to have “known nothing” about Epstein’s offences, to have not spoken to Epstein “in well over a decade,” to have “never been to Little St James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”
Much of the attention is now on the financier’s conduct after he was released from jail in Florida and returned to New York to repair his reputation, even though the depositions may provide a deeper interpretation of Epstein and Maxwell’s interactions before Epstein’s solicitation conviction.
Epstein continued to expand his network, as evidenced by his calendar diaries, which were leaked to the Wall Street Journal this year amid lawsuits involving Epstein between the US Virgin Islands and two US banks.
The CIA director, William Burns, and White House Counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, were among the prominent names that surfaced. Lesser-known individuals included activist and left-leaning professor Noam Chomsky, billionaire venture capitalist Reid Hoffman, and former Harvard president and Obama’s National Economic Council director, Lawrence Summers.
Among them were Woody Allen, Bill Gates, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, former Norwegian prime minister Thorbjørn Jagland, and former head of Barclays, Jes Staley.
A Maxwell and Epstein acquaintance claimed to the Guardian last year that there was little difference in Epstein’s pre- and post-conviction behavioural habits. They responded, “He was not a changed man.” “However, you must realise that he believed he had done nothing wrong and that, provided he had the means to do so, he could act however he pleased.”
Obviously, 2023 didn’t exactly go as planned
After the wild ride of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, our prime minister here in the UK, Rishi Sunak, had promised us a government of stability and competence, not to mention professionalism, honesty, and accountability. Do you recall Liz? She appears to be a long-gone comic act these days. Rather, Sunak descended even more into the Conservative psychodrama through the looking-glass.
There have been no better pictures elsewhere. Donald Trump is currently a lot of people’s pick to win the US presidency once more. The conflict in Ukraine has continued with little sign of resolution. It’s all too easy to see how the rest of the world could become weary of the fight and lose interest. In addition, there is the Middle East conflict and the climatic catastrophe.
But optimism is renewed with a new year. Numerous nations, including the US and the UK, are holding elections. We must have hope for change. that a better solution is achievable. The Guardian will keep reporting on happenings worldwide because it feels particularly vital right now. However, maintaining a news gathering organisation is not inexpensive.
Thus, if you are able to, I kindly ask that you donate money this year. Well, you can if you’d like, but not directly to me. Instead, address the Guardian. We can keep up our goal to seek the truth wherever it may be found by contributing as little as $2 a month to The Guardian.
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Cheers to a prosperous new year!