Ghislaine Maxwell denied inappropriate action by Jeffrey Epstein in newly released 2016 deposition


Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York speaks alongside William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office, at a news conference announcing charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein in New York City, New York, U.S., July 2, 2020. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo)

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) —  British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell said in a 2016 deposition about her friend the late financier Jeffrey Epstein that she never witnessed “inappropriate underage activities” by him, according to a transcript released on Thursday that Maxwell had fought to keep secret.

Maxwell, 58, pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls as young as 14 to engage in illegal sexual acts in the mid-1990s. She also pleaded not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement in any such scheme when she gave her deposition under oath.

Read the full deposition below:

The April 2016 deposition came from a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, who has said Epstein kept her as a “sex slave” with Maxwell’s assistance.

Maxwell was asked questions about her relationship with Epstein. “I have never seen anybody have sexual intercourse with Jeffrey, ever,” the deposition transcript says, and later denied hiring anyone underage: “I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever.”

In the transcripts, Maxwell repeatedly derided Giuffre, saying: “I never ever at any single time at any point ever at all participated in anything with Virginia and Jeffrey. And for the record, she is an absolute total liar.”

She said she “never instructed Virginia to have sex with anybody ever.”

Maxwell told lawyers that her job with Epstein included hiring assistants, architects, decorators, cooks, cleaners, gardeners, pool people and pilots as part of the upkeep of six homes.

“A very small part of my job was from time to time to find adult professional massage therapists for Jeffrey,” the transcript said.

Questioned by lawyers on whether she hired them, Maxwell replied: “When I meant hire, I didn’t mean hire in the way you are doing it. What I say is that I went to spas and I met people and if they did home visits, Jeffrey would then, in fact, hire them. I’m not responsible for hiring someone. And they were not full-time, so it’s not a correct characterization.”

She was asked if she trained Giuffre to recruit other women to perform sexual massages, Maxwell said: “It′s absurd and her entire story is one giant tissue of lies.”

When asked if she ever offered women employed at Epstein’s properties extra money to massage him, Maxwell did not directly answer the question, saying: “I was always happy to give career advice to people and I think that becoming somebody in the healthcare profession, either exercise instructor or nutritionist or a professional massage therapist is an excellent job opportunity. Hourly wages are around 7, 8, $9 and as a professional healthcare provider you can earn somewhere between as we have established 100 to $200 and to be able to have a job that pays that is a wonderful job opportunity. So in the context of advising people for opportunities for work, it is possible that I would have said that she should explore that as an option.”

Maxwell said in the transcripts she has never had nonconsensual sex.

The deposition motion alleged that Maxwell refused to answer questions about the “allegedly ‘adult’ sexual activity related to Jeffrey Epstein.”

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan directed that a transcript of Maxwell’s testimony and other documents be released Thursday morning.

Lawyers for Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime associate, had argued she believed the deposition would remain confidential and that releasing it would violate her constitutional right against self-incrimination.

The lawyers had also argued that making the deposition public could imperil Maxwell’s ability to get a fair trial, because jurors might hold its contents against her.

“If the unsealing order goes into effect, it will forever let the cat out of the bag,” and “intimate, sensitive, and personal information” about Maxwell might “spread like wildfire across the Internet,” her lawyers said in August.

A trial is scheduled for July 2021.

Maxwell was arrested on July 2 in Bradford, New Hampshire, where authorities said she was hiding on a property she bought in December in an all-cash transaction with her identity shielded.

She is locked up in a Brooklyn jail after the judge in her criminal case called her an unacceptable flight risk.

Maxwell’s deposition and other documents were cleared for release after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Monday rejected her “meritless” arguments that her interests outweighed the presumption the public should see the materials.

Giuffre, who has been one of Epstein’s most visible accusers, and the Miami Herald newspaper, which investigated Epstein’s conduct and successful bid in 2007 to avoid federal sex trafficking charges, had sought the unsealing.

Epstein died by suicide at age 66 in August 2019 at a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges announced the previous month.

He had previously escaped federal prosecution by pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state prostitution charges, an agreement now widely considered too lenient.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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