What was in the deposition Ghislaine Maxwell fought to keep sealed?

British socialite insists she never witnessed ‘inappropriate underage activities’ by Jeffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell
US investigators allege the ex-girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein played ‘critical role’ in grooming underage girls

Hundreds of pages of documents relating to Ghislaine Maxwell’s relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein have been released following a protracted legal battle.

A 2016 deposition given by Maxwell during a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit involving one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, was unsealed on Thursday, moments before a court-imposed deadline.

In the transcript, the socialite claims she never witnessed “inappropriate underage activities” by the billionaire financier, who was found hanging in his Manhattan cell last year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

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And there were no underage girls on his private island of Little St James, according to Maxwell, who is also now in prison in New York after being arrested this summer for alleged sex crimes, conspiracy and perjury linked to Epstein.

Asked if Epstein had a “sexual preference for underage minors”, she replied: “I cannot tell you what Jeffrey’s story is. I’m not able to.”

The socialite was also asked why she continued to maintain contact with Epstein after he was convicted of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor in 2008. She said she thought it was a “nice thing” to do and described herself as a “very loyal person”.

Maxwell had tried to block the unsealing of the deposition by arging that the move would violate her “due process right to a fair trial by an impartial jury”. She denies all the charges against her and will go on trial next year.

In the documents from the previous case, she claimed “never to have asked Giuffre to have had sex with anyone”, saying: “Just for the record I have never at any time, at any place, in any moment ever asked [her] to have sex with anybody.”

Maxwell is said to have “pounded the table in an inappropriate manner” as she discussed Giuffre’s allegations, the Daily Mirror reports.

Asked about claims that she had given a man - reportedly Prince Andrew - a puppet that he then used to grope girls, Maxwell responded: “I never gave him a gift of a puppet.” She was non-committal when asked repeatedly if Epstein was friends with Bill Clinton, responding: “I wouldn’t be able to characterise it like that, no.”

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.