Federal court takes steps to unseal documents in Jeffrey Epstein related case

A three-judge panel in New York has taken the first step to unseal documents related to the Jeffrey Epstein case. From the Miami Herald:

The three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave the parties until March 19 to establish good cause as to why they should remain sealed and, failing to do so, the summary judgment and supporting documents will be made public. The court reserved a ruling on the balance of the documents in the civil case, including discovery materials.

“We’re grateful that the court ruled the summary judgment papers are open and they are moving to expedite having them unsealed,’’ said Sanford Bohrer, the attorney representing the Miami Herald, which filed the motion last year to have the entire case file opened. The Herald’s appeal is supported by 32 other media companies, including the New York Times and Washington Post.

This is not the case against Jeffrey Epstein but a lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre (pictured above) against Epstein’s right-hand woman Ghislaine Maxwell. The case was filed in 2015 and settled in 2017.

Giuffre claimed in the lawsuit that she was recruited by Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, when she was 16 years old. Giuffre had been working at the resort’s spa when Maxwell approached her and asked her whether she wanted to become a masseuse for Epstein. Giuffre claimed that the massages were a ruse for Epstein and Maxwell to sexually abuse her and other underage girls, some of whom were trafficked to other influential people, from 1999 to 2002.

Maxwell settled the case before trial, resulting in several millions paid to Giuffre, sources have told the Herald.

One sideline to this case is that Roberts claims she was lent out by Epstein to have sex with other people including Alan Dershowitz who later became one of Epstein’s attorneys. Dershowitz has denied that claim and is also seeking to have the documents unsealed because he believes it will help prove his innocence. Maxwell is fighting to keep the documents in the case sealed.

Separately, last month a judge ruled that the non-prosecution agreement with Jeffrey Epstein violated the law which required victims in the case to be notified. That agreement was made by Epstein’s lawyers and Alexander Acosta who is currently Trump’s Labor Secretary.

This video about Virginia Roberts was part of the Miami Herald’s investigation into Jeffrey Epstein.