A New York-based federal court directed the legal team of Ghislaine Maxwell to comb through her email correspondence for certain explicit terms and high-profile names linked with the legal case brought forward by Jeffrey Epstein accuser, Virginia Giuffre. Court documents revealed a push and pull dialogue between lawyers on both ends, with Giuffre’s team keen on highlighting notable names within Maxwell’s circle, notably the character of a certain British royal.
The courtroom discussion thickened around a selection of words such as ‘nipple,’ ‘schoolgirl,’ ‘servitude,’ and other sexually suggestive phrases. In particular, the term ‘massage’ underwent scrutiny, since it was allegedly used by Epstein as a code word for sexual encounters with his young female employees who were presented as massage therapists, as detailed by one of Epstein’s accusers whose statements have been disclosed.
However, Maxwell’s legal representatives rebuffed an excess of one hundred proposed names, incorporating a series of Epstein accusers, associates and other related persons, stating that these monikers were so commonly-used that they would likely lead to the flagging of irrelevant messages. They also disputed the search of ‘common words,’ names of attorneys, and other trigger terms.
According to the defense team, the name ‘Bill’ did not only represent a common name but could additionally yield receipts corresponding to every bill received, dispatched, or discussed by their client. Digital forensics expert Frank Thornton reports that such discord over the parameters of the search terms is fairly routine in the context of a legal dispute.
Information concerning these lists often come forward from the testimonies of the witnesses who possess emails making use of these specific terms or names. After conducting a review, the judiciary might have taken the decision that a formidable portion of the list diverges from the case at hand, providing no genuine ground for transferring it to the opposing party.
Several phrases appearing odd to the ordinary onlooker might actually offer fascinating insight into the workings of the legal system. These phrases and other words exemplify the way in which legal software can efficiently parse a vast volume of documents, looking for subjects that deviate from the specified keywords. Thornton points out one such example: ‘joint* w/3 defend*,’ which could reveal emails referring to a potential ‘joint defense privilege’ between Epstein and Maxwell.
Another term targeted with the ‘w/3’ stipulation was ‘high* w/3 school*,’ ‘school* w/3 girl*’ and ‘sex w/3 toy*.’ The legal representatives of Giuffre were also on the lookout for references to law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, along with state and federal prosecutors.
Documents under review included redacted and sealed files that have retained their confidential status, years after the conclusion of the 2015 legal dispute between Giuffre and Maxwell. In December, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska commanded the unsealing of these records but permitted two weeks for appeals by any of the masked ‘John’ and ‘Jane Doe’ characters.
Documents totaling 191 files were shared by Giuffre’s lawyers from an estimated stash of 215, revised from original predictions of 240. Many of Epstein’s acquaintances kept a high profile. With some names uncovered via other methods despite their absence from public records relating to the lawsuit, it’s important to note that not every individual named has been implicated in any misconduct.
Throughout the civil lawsuit, attorneys for Giuffre alleged stalling tactics by Maxwell and Epstein, who were said to be non-cooperative during depositions, and falsely withholding documents during the discovery phase. In 2017, a settlement was reached between Giuffre and Maxwell. In the wake of a 2008 plea deal for Epstein, which was viewed as lenient, Maxwell maintained her standing among the wealthy elite.
Even after Epstein’s passing in jail in 2019 amid charges of federal sex trafficking, photographs reveal her mingling with influential individuals at VIP gatherings, galas, and other noteworthy functions. Her attendance at these events alongside celebrities and high-ranking public figures was well-documented leading up to her arrest in early 2020.
In the criminal case brought against Maxwell, she received a 20-year term for her involvement in the grooming and sex trafficking of Epstein’s victims. Currently, she is challenging this verdict and has opted to remain silent on the fresh release of documents.