In 2016, Ghislaine Maxwell was questioned on her involvement with Jeffrey Epstein, accused pedophile and sex trafficker who allegedly committed suicide in jail in 2019. That long-sought deposition has finally been unsealed, and we looked into the details of what was said. Maxwell’s legal counsel has long sought to keep the deposition sealed believing it would bias any fair trial, but a judge disagreed.
Ghislaine Discussed Her Role in Epstein’s Life
It’s long been both suspected and alleged that Maxwell was Epstein’s partner in crime, and that she farmed vulnerable underage girls to prime them for him to abuse. Maxwell, in her deposition, denies those allegations. According to the 2016 records, Maxwell says her role was much more formal and innocent than her accusers allege. Virginia Giuffre is one of Maxwell’s most prominent, and certainly the most public, accuser. It’s Giuffre’s lawyer, Sigrid McCawley, whose questioning of Maxwell is the source of today’s document release.
Per Newsweek, Maxwell told McCawley, “‘There were six homes. As I sit here, I hired assistants, I hired architects, I hired decorators, I hired cooks, I hired cleaners, I hired gardeners, I hired pool people, I hired pilots, I hired all sorts of people.
‘In the course and a very small part of my job was from time to time to find adult professional massage therapists for Jeffrey.’
She added: ‘From time to time I would visit professional spas, I would receive a massage and if the massage was good I would ask that man or woman if they did home visits.'”
What Do Her Accusers Allege?
In July, records were released of interviews with Giuffre. In the interviews, Giuffre details the abuse she suffered at Maxwell’s hand, and as a result of her grooming and predatory behavior.
Per the Guardian, when asked about the other girls Maxwell abused, Giuffre responded “‘Well, there’s a lot of girls that were involved. We weren’t on a first-name basis with each other. I wouldn’t be able to give you lists of names of girls. It was continuous,’ Giuffre answered.
Shortly after saying Epstein’s US Virgin Islands estate was ‘a place where orgies were a constant thing that took place’, Giuffre said she ‘had to’ perform oral sex on Maxwell, in Epstein’s presence by the pool.
When asked whom Maxwell directed her to have sex with, Giuffre said: ‘I’m going to continue to tell you that they both directed me to do it. It was part of my training. They both told me: ‘You’ve got tickets to go here. This is who you’re meeting, and this is what you’re doing.’
‘I’m trying to tell you that they both did, Ghislaine and Jeffrey both directed me. They both paid me and they both directed me,’ Giuffre said when pressed.
‘You have to understand that Jeffrey and Ghislaine are joined hip by [the] hip, OK? So they both trafficked me. Ghislaine brought me in for the purpose of being trafficked. Jeffrey was just as a part of it as she was. She was just as a part of it as he was,’ Giuffre said. ‘They trafficked me to many people. And to be honest, there is people I could name, and then there’s people that are just a blur. There was so much happening.
‘Ghislaine Maxwell brought me into the sex-trafficking industry. She’s the one who abused me on a regular basis. She’s the one that procured me, told me what to do, trained me as a sex slave, abused me physically, abused me mentally,’ Giuffre also said.”
Maxwell Becomes Contentious Over Allegations of Underage Interactions
McCawley asked Maxwell if any of the girls she interacted with were underage, and Maxwell displayed anger. Per Newsweek, “She said: ‘First of all, Virginia Roberts who you are referring to was a masseuse aged 17, we all now know, so your story that you keep pushing out to the press that she was a 15-year-old—you and I both know was a lie, correct.’
She was also asked whether she trained Giuffre to give sexual massages for Epstein.
Maxwell said: ‘No and it’s absurd and her entire story is one giant tissue of lies and furthermore, she herself has—if she says that— you have to ask her about what she did.’
She added: ‘I have never instructed Virginia to have sex with anybody ever.’
However, the daughter of former British newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell appeared to dodge a number of questions.
When asked ‘Do you agree that it’s psychologically harmful to have sex with a minor?’ she replied: ‘What are you asking me?'”
Maxwell Preferred to Play with Semantics
Maxwell’s lawyer interrupted often to object to the form of questions, but he almost need not have bothered. Maxwell was aloof, contentious, and preferred to banter over semantics rather than give substantive answers. At one point Maxwell taunted McCawley by asking for clarification on what was meant by the word, “female.”
The reason for recalcitrance becomes obvious when Maxwell at one point explains that she has, at times, considered herself Epstein’s girlfriend.
The Deposition is Heavily Redacted
Context clues have led those familiar with the case to determine that several references include Prince Andrew and former President Bill Clinton. But the redacted form of the deposition leaves questions such as who several of the redacted accusers are.
Highlights From the Deposition
The Toronto Sun broke down the highlights from the deposition;
— “Maxwell refused to answer questions about her sex life with Epstein but does acknowledge a sexual relationship.
— The socialite denied participating in orgies with Epstein and underage girls, including a 13-year-old.
— She denied that Clinton had ever visited Epstein’s Caribbean island, nicknamed by locals as ‘Pedo island.’
— Maxwell shot down a claim that Andrew used a Spitting image puppet to grope Roberts, who was 16 at the time.
— Played dumb when asked about Epstein’s alleged scheme to recruit underage teens from local gyms and malls for ‘sexual massages.’ She said: ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
— Claimed she didn’t know what sex toys are despite Epstein keeping numerous vibrators and dildos in his mansion.”
Some of those stretch belief, making Giuffre’s arguments appear even stronger by comparison. But Maxwell stuck to her guns about her innocence and lack of knowledge of illegal occurrences.
400 Pages of Denial
The deposition is massive and complex, and it’s certain that more dots will be connected in the coming days as lawyers and reporters comb through all of the words. With Maxwell still in lock-up because she’s considered a severe flight risk, the case against her and even the late Epstein is far from over.