New Ghislaine Maxwell papers revive lurid tales
By STEPHEN REX BROWN | New York Daily News | Published: August 1, 2020
NEW YORK (Tribune News Service) — One of Ghislaine Maxwell's worst-case scenarios is now a reality.
While the accused madam for Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reams of newly unsealed papers have revived allegations about Bill Clinton and Alan Dershowitz's association with the multimillionaire sex offender, as well as claims that Maxwell joined "constant" orgies on his private Little St. James island.
Maxwell's legal team fought to block publication of the papers Thursday evening, arguing the new headlines would harm her right to a fair trial. The documents were part of a defamation suit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre against the British socialite. Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Epstein from roughly 2000 to 2002. She says she became Epstein's "sex slave" through Maxwell, whom she met when she was 15 years old.
"The stakes are much higher now. The government has indicted Ghislaine Maxwell. The media has all but convicted her," Maxwell attorney Adam Mueller wrote in papers Thursday.
Miami defense attorney David Weinstein said Maxwell's attorneys could find some solace in the fact that her trial was scheduled for July 2021. But the headlines were still damaging.
"The release at this time is among the worst-case scenarios for Maxwell, as well as a number of other individuals named in the documents," said Weinstein, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in southern Florida.
"The challenges in defending a client when they dominate the headlines is largely felt in jury selection. The PR hit a client takes is collateral to all of this, but again impacts juror's perceptions and not judicial rulings."
Clinton and Dershowitz were among those linked to Maxwell's alleged role in grooming underage girls in Epstein's sexual abuse.
"I remember asking Jeffrey, what's Bill Clinton doing here?" Giuffre told attorneys in 2011, recalling an encounter on Epstein's island hideaway. "He laughed it off and said well he owes me a favor. He never told me what favors they were. I never knew. I didn't know if he was serious. It was just a joke. ... He told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favors. They're all in each other's pockets."
Also on the island with Epstein and Clinton were "two girls from New York" and Maxwell, Giuffre said. The papers include no allegations of sexual abuse by Clinton. A Clinton spokesman has previously denied Clinton ever traveled to Little St. James.
Giuffre testified under oath that Maxwell was a regular presence on Epstein's 70-acre island.
"The island was a place where orgies were a constant thing that took place. And again, it's impossible to know how many," Giuffre said, recalling an orgy by a pool with Maxwell, Epstein and models who were "flown in" and didn't speak English.
Epstein's criteria for victims were "young, pretty, you know, a fun personality," Giuffre said in a separate interview. "They couldn't be black. If they were any other descent other than white, they had to be exotically beautiful."
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of lying under oath and enticing minors to travel for sex in the mid-1990s.
The unsealed papers also revisited allegations that Dershowitz's ties to Epstein went far beyond an attorney-client relationship.
"In addition to being a participant in the abuse of (Giuffre) and other minors, Dershowitz was an eye-witness to the sexual abuse of many other minors by Epstein and several of Epstein's co-conspirators," Giuffre's attorney Brad Edwards wrote in 2015.
Dershowitz was on Epstein's team of lawyers who negotiated the much-criticized 2007 nonprosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in southern Florida that allowed Epstein and his associates to avoid serious punishment.
"Dershowitz helped negotiate an agreement with a provision that provided protection for himself against criminal prosecution in Florida for sexually abusing (Giuffre)," Edwards wrote.
Dershowitz tweeted that he'd wanted the papers unsealed. He's long called Giuffre a liar who has given contradictory testimony.
"There are no new accusations against me in the documents I got unsealed. All her accusations were made in suits she filed years ago. They were false then and now, as shown by her emails and manuscript that prove I never met her," Dershowitz wrote.
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