Convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell is no longer objecting to the release of the names of eight John Does referenced in a 2015 lawsuit against her from a Jeffrey Epstein accuser.
Virginia Giuffre, who said Maxwell, 60, and Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew, sued Maxwell for defamation in 2015; the lawsuit was settled in 2017, but eight names mentioned in it remain sealed.
In a letter to federal Judge Loretta Preska dated Jan. 12, Giuffre’s lawyer Sigrid McCawley said the objections raised by the John Does amount to “generalized aversion to embarrassment and negativity that may come from being associated with Epstein and Maxwell” and is not enough to keep the information sealed.
Maxwell, a former British socialite and longtime Epstein associate, was found guilty in December of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to engage in sexualized massages and other sex acts with Epstein and his friends. She faces up to 65 years in prison.
“Now that Maxwell’s criminal trial has come and gone, there is little reason to retain protection over the vast swaths of information about Epstein and Maxwell’s sex-trafficking operation that were originally filed under seal in this case,” McCawley wrote. According to CNN, six of the eight John Does have objected to the unsealing of the documents.
Maxwell’s lawyer Laura Menninger said her client would no longer be fighting to keep the identities of the John Does secret.
It will be up to Preska to decide whether or not to unseal the documents; it’s not clear if Prince Andrew is one of the John Does.
In a separate proceeding last week, a federal judge in New York ruled that Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew can go ahead.
Giuffre alleged that she was forced to have sex with the royal in New York City, London, and the U.S. Virgin Islands while she was under the age of 18—encounters she alleges were facilitated by Maxwell.
Following that decision, Prince Andrew was stripped of his military titles and charities.
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