US court unseals Maxwell-Epstein emails in child sex trafficker case

01 August 2020
US court unseals Maxwell-Epstein emails in child sex trafficker case
Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein in New York, USA, 02 July 2020. Photo: EPA

A New York court has unsealed emails between accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell and her former partner, the disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

They show correspondence between the pair in 2015, despite Maxwell's lawyers claiming earlier this month that she had no contact with Epstein in more than a decade.

"You have done nothing wrong and I would urge you to start acting like it," Epstein wrote in January 2015, as more allegations of sexual abuse against him surfaced.

"Go outside, head high, not as an escaping convict. Go to parties, deal with it," added Epstein, a convicted sex offender who killed himself in prison last year while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Maxwell, the daughter of late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking minors for Epstein, who she was intimately involved with in the 1990s.

Prosecutors accuse the 58-year-old of recruiting and grooming girls as young as 14 to be abused by Epstein. Victims say they were farmed out to some of Epstein's wealthy associates.

Maxwell is also accused of sometimes participating in the abuse. She faces six counts, including perjury, and faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

The 58-year-old was denied bail and is in custody in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting trial, which is tentatively scheduled to start in July next year.

The emails were among dozens of documents unsealed late Thursday relating to a defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre against Maxwell in 2015.

Maxwell's lawyers repeatedly had tried to block their release, arguing that they could prejudice her trial.

In an email on January 24, 2015, Maxwell appears to try to distance herself from any intimate relationship she had with Epstein, a former hedge fund manager.

"I would appreciate it if shelley would come out and say she was your g'friend -- I think she was from end 99 to 2002," Maxwell wrote Epstein.

It is not clear who Shelley is.

Giuffre says in her deposition that Epstein and Maxwell were "joined hip by hip."

"Ghislaine Maxwell brought me into the sex trafficking industry. She's the one who abused me on a regular basis. She's the one that procured me, told me what to do, trained me as a sex slave, abused me physically, abused me mentally.

"She's the one who I believe, in my heart of hearts, deserves to come forward and have justice happen to her more than anybody. Being a woman, it's disgusting," Giuffre said.

Maxwell denied the allegations during her deposition in the case in 2016, calling Giuffre an "absolute liar."

Giuffre claims she had sex with Britain's Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old after being procured by Epstein. The Royal vehemently denies this.