23/10/2020 12:16 BST | Updated 23/10/2020 12:32 BST

Six Things We Learned From Ghislaine Maxwell's Previously Unseen Epstein Evidence

Her lawyers say the files – which include statements about Prince Andrew – could harm her trial next year.

Ghislaine Maxwell was dealt a legal blow this week after a court ordered the release of previously unseen evidence she gave almost five years ago. 

The British socialite is awaiting trial next year for allegedly procuring teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse – charges she denies.

A lawyer for Maxwell had argued that the depositions – a term used in the US to refer to transcripts of interviews given as part of a court case – should not be made public, because they are evidence in the criminal case brought against her.

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Ghislaine Maxwell pictured in New York in 2004

They were taken in April and July 2016 in a civil case brought by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre. The 2016 transcript is among more than 2,000 pages of documents that began to be released last year when an appeals court started unsealing papers from Giuffre’s (since settled) defamation case first brought in 2015.

Giuffre has alleged Maxwell recruited her at 17 to be sexually abused from 1999 to 2002.

Maxwel has pleaded not guilty and has been held without bail since her early July arrest. If convicted, the 58-year-old could face up to 35 years in prison.

Epstein killed himself in a federal jail last year as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

Here are some of the things we learned from the unsealed documents. 

1) Maxwell says she never saw Epstein engage in sexual activity with children

Carlo Allegri / Reuters
A deposition that British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell gave in 2016 relating to her dealings with the late Jeffrey Epstein is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Maxwell said: “I never saw any inappropriate under-age activities with Jeffrey ever.” In the transcripts Maxwell also repeatedly denied hiring anyone under the age of 18 for Epstein.

She added: “Just for the record, I have never at any time, at any place, in any moment, ever asked Virginia Roberts, or whatever she is called now, to have sex with anybody.”

2) Prince Andrew is mentioned by name – but it’s redacted

Even though the Duke of York’s name is redacted in the documents, it is surprisingly easy to identify who she was talking about by referencing the documents alphabetical index. Slate reveals other redacted names including former US president Bill Clinton and lawyer Alan Dershowitz. 

3) The infamous Prince Andrew ‘puppet’ does exist

In her book, Giuffre alleges she was groped by Prince Andrew using a Spitting Image-style puppet of himself at Epstein’s New York home. After debating the exact definition of a puppet, Maxwell concedes: “There was a puppet – not a puppet. I don’t know how would you describe it, really,

“Not a puppet – I don’t know how you would describe it. A caricature of [name redacted] that was in Jeffrey’s home.”

She added she did not recollect anything occurring as described by the interrogators.

4) She doubts the authenticity of a photo of Prince Andrew

In the deposition, Maxwell also cast doubt on the authenticity of a photo showing Andrew with his arm around Giuffre, with Maxwell in the background, purportedly taken at Maxwell’s Mayfair home.

Maxwell said the surroundings in the photo looked “familiar”, but also said: “We can’t really establish the photograph and all that,” adding: “I don’t know if that’s true, if that’s a real picture or not.”

5) Her bath is ‘too small for sex’

Maxwell also denied Giuffre’s claims that she had sex with Andrew in the bathtub at her Mayfair townhouse.

“She [Giuffre] then characterised things took place in my bathroom in the bathtub itself,” she said. “The tub is too small for any type of activity whatsoever.”

6) She may have travelled with Virginia Giuffre

Maxwell told lawyers that she never remembered being on Epstein’s private plane with Giuffre.

But flight logs show initials for what appear to be Maxwell, Epstein and Giuffre on a flight from Palm Beach to Teterboro. Maxwell questioned whether the initials “GM” referred to her.