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Questioned in 2016, Ghislaine Maxwell denied providing sex partners for Prince Andrew

Acting U.S. Atty. Audrey Strauss points to a photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at a news conference on July 2.
A photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell is displayed at a news conference on July 2 in New York.
(John Minchillo / Associated Press)

Ghislaine Maxwell, financier Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, denied introducing Britain’s Prince Andrew to underage sex partners in a defensive and combative deposition made public Thursday, calling the prince’s accuser an “awful fantasist.”

“Are we tallying all the lies?” Maxwell asked during the 2016 deposition, saying she could not recall taking Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre out for a night of clubbing with the prince in London. “Her tissue of lies is extremely hard to pick apart what is true and what isn’t.”

The exchange was contained in hundreds of pages of transcripts ordered released by U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska in a civil lawsuit. Many names and several pages in the deposition were blacked out, though information around some names, including the prince’s, made it obvious who was being referenced.

Also, Slate first reported that it could decipher some names, including some redactions involving Andrew and former President Clinton by analyzing the alphabetized listings in a deposition transcript index and matching them with already-public information.

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In the deposition, Maxwell said she had flown on Epstein’s private planes with Clinton but refused to label Epstein and Clinton as friends. There appeared to be no mention of President Trump, who said at a news conference this summer after Maxwell’s arrest: “I just wish her well, frankly.”

Federal officials are so worried that Ghislaine Maxwell might take her own life in custody that they have instituted extra security measures.

Clinton and Trump both have said they hadn’t seen Epstein in years and knew nothing of his alleged misconduct.

Maxwell, 58, has been charged with recruiting three underage girls in the 1990s for Epstein to sexually abuse and committing perjury in the depositions, though the charges don’t relate to Prince Andrew. She has pleaded not guilty.

A message seeking comment was left with lawyers for Maxwell.

Maxwell parried a long list of inquiries about Epstein’s sexual proclivities and her interactions with Giuffre and other young women, insisting that she never saw the financier have sex with anybody.

“She is an absolute total liar, and you all know she lied on multiple things, and that is just one other disgusting thing she added,” Maxwell said, denying having sex together with Epstein and Giuffre.

“I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever,” Maxwell said.

A judge says lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell can’t publicly identify women who accuse her of participating in Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of teenage girls.

Giuffre has accused Epstein of arranging for her to have sexual encounters with numerous wealthy and influential men, including the prince. He and the other men denied her allegations.

Maxwell repeatedly denied hiring anyone under the age of 18 for Epstein.

As for whether she was Epstein’s girlfriend after meeting him in 1991, Maxwell called it a “tricky question.”

“There were times when I would have liked to think of myself as his girlfriend,” she said, adding later in the deposition that her intimate relationship with Epstein was mostly confined to the early 1990s.

Asked whether it was Epstein’s “preference to start a massage with sex,” Maxwell said: “I think you should ask that question of Jeffrey.”

In a deposition of Epstein conducted later in 2016, Epstein mostly invoked the 5th Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination.

“Fifth,” he replied when he was asked whether Maxwell was “one of the main women” he used to procure underage girls for sexual activities.

Preska had ordered the transcripts of seven hours of depositions of Maxwell released by 9 a.m. Thursday. The judge allowed release of the transcripts after rejecting arguments that the interviews for Giuffre’s 2015 defamation lawsuit against Maxwell would jeopardize a fair criminal trial for Maxwell next July.

Maxwell has been held without bail since her July arrest on charges that she procured the underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997.

The 2016 transcripts were among over 2,000 pages of documents that began to be released last year after a federal appeals court began the unsealing of documents from the since-settled defamation case brought by Giuffre. She said Maxwell recruited her at age 17 to be sexually abused by Epstein and Maxwell from 1999 to 2002.

The Miami Herald, whose reporting in 2018 brought fresh scrutiny to Epstein’s alleged crimes, had argued in seeking the unsealing of the transcripts that Maxwell’s fear of embarrassment shouldn’t stop the public from learning of “the sexual abuse of young girls at the hands of the wealthy and powerful.”

Epstein was 66 in August 2019 when he killed himself in a federal jail in Manhattan as he awaited trial on sex-trafficking charges.


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