As the debate regarding Ghislaine Maxwell's alleged complicity in sex-trafficking rages on, her 2016 deposition has been released to the public, and federal prosecutors are filing two counts of perjury against her for allegedly lying under oath.
Maxwell's lawyers sought to block the release of her deposition on the grounds that it would hurt her defense in other criminal proceedings. This concern was denied when the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinforced US District Judge Loretta Preska's decision to make the information public.
In Preska's own words:
In the context of this case, especially its allegations of sex trafficking of young girls, the court finds any minor embarrassment or annoyance resulting from Ms. Maxwell's mostly non-testimony ... is far outweighed by the presumption of public access.
Although important details of the transcript have been redacted, one interaction documented by NPR involves Sigrid McCawley, the lead attorney of Virginia Giuffre (who has accused Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell of underage sex trafficking,) questioning Maxwell:
Q. How old was the youngest female you ever hired to work for Jeffrey?
A. I have not any idea exactly of the youngest adult employee that I hired for Jeffrey.
Q. When you say adult employee, did you ever hire someone that was under the age of 18?
After being asked if she had invited anyone under the age of 18 to Jeffrey's homes, Maxwell said that she was not aware of inviting anyone other than friends with children. McCawley proceeded to ask if Maxwell had invited Giuffre to Jeffrey's house when she was under the age of 18, with Maxwell responding that she had "held herself out as a masseuse and invited herself to come and give a massage."
Maxwell's claimed that Guiffre's mother had driven Virginia to the house and that she had been outside talking to her mother for the duration of Guiffre's time inside Epstein's house. Maxwell seems to contradict her previous statement of never hiring someone under the age of 18, however, by saying that Virginia Roberts (Giuffre) "was a masseuse aged 17."
This statement was preceded by Maxwell accusing Virginia of lying "100 percent about absolutely everything that took place in that meeting. She had lied repeatedly, often and is just an awful fantasist."
The first count of perjury cites an interaction from the deposition in which Maxwell allegedly gave false testimony:
Q. Did Jeffrey Epstein have a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages? If you know.
A. I don't know what you're talking about.
Q. List all the people under the age of 18 that you interacted with at any of Jeffrey's properties?
A. I'm not aware of anybody that I interacted with, other than obviously [the plaintiff] who was 17 at this point.
The second count of perjury was made on the grounds of her denying any knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein being involved with sexual activities with anyone other than herself, a statement which prosecutors claim is not truthful:
Q. Other than yourself and the blond and brunette that you have identified as having been involved in three-way sexual activities, with whom did Mr. Epstein have sexual activities?
A. I wasn't aware that he was having sexual activities with anyone when I was with him other than myself.
Q. I want to be sure that I'm clear. Is it your testimony that in the 1990s and 2000s, you were not aware that Mr. Epstein was having sexual activities with anyone other than yourself and the blond and brunette on those few occasions when they were involved with you?
A. That is my testimony, that is correct.