Federal judge orders documents naming Jeffrey Epstein's associates to be unsealed

More than 150 people are expected to be identified in early January.

December 19, 2023, 1:01 PM

A federal judge in New York has ordered a vast unsealing of court documents in early 2024 that will make public the names of scores of Jeffrey Epstein's associates.

The documents are part of a settled civil lawsuit alleging Epstein's one-time paramour Ghislaine Maxwell facilitated the sexual abuse of Virginia Giuffre. Terms of the 2017 settlement were not disclosed.

Maxwell is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence after she was convicted of sex trafficking and procuring girls for Epstein, who died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

PHOTO: Jeffrey Epstein in a photo released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice.
Jeffrey Epstein in a photo released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice.
New York State Sex Offender Registry, FILE

Anyone who did not successfully fight to keep their name out of the civil case could see their name become public -- including Epstein's victims, co-conspirators and innocent associates.

Judge Loretta Preska set the release for Jan. 1, giving anyone who objects to their documents becoming public time to object. Her ruling, though, said that since some of the individuals have given media interviews their names should not stay private.

The documents may not make clear why a certain individual became associated with Giuffre's lawsuit, but more than 150 people are expected to be identified in hundreds of files that may expose more about Epstein's sex trafficking of women and girls in New York, New Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and elsewhere. Some of the names may simply have been included in depositions, email or legal documents.

PHOTO: Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of RADAR MAGAZINE at Hotel QT on May 18, 2005.
Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of RADAR MAGAZINE at Hotel QT on May 18, 2005.
Patrick Mcmullan/Getty Images, FILE

Some of the people have already been publicly associated with Epstein. For instance, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is publicly named in the judge's order. Certain minor victims will remain redacted.

Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein, was convicted in 2021 of conspiring with Epstein to recruit, groom and abuse minors. In February, she asked the court to overturn her conviction and 20-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors subsequently urged a federal appeals court in June to uphold the conviction.

From 1994 to 2004, Maxwell and Epstein worked together to identify girls, groom them and then entice them to travel and transport them to Epstein's properties in New York, Florida, New Mexico, and elsewhere, prosecutors said. The girls -- some of whom were as young as 14 years old -- were then sexually abused, often under the guise of a "massage," they said.

Giuffre alleged in her lawsuit against Maxwell that Maxwell recruited her at the age of 16 to years of sexual servitude to Epstein. She also accused Maxwell and Epstein of directing her, between 2000 to 2002, to have sex with a number of their prominent associates, most famously Britain's Prince Andrew. The lawsuit was settled in May 2017, just before a trial was to begin.

Prince Andrew had repeatedly denied the allegations and attacked Giuffre's credibility and motives. He agreed to settle a sexual assault lawsuit from Giuffre last year for an undisclosed sum.

"Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre's character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks," according to a letter filed from Giuffre's lawyer. "It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others."

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