Wednesday 18 September 2019

Judge to release Epstein papers with names of '1,000 people'

Accused: Jeffrey Epstein took his own life in prison last month
Accused: Jeffrey Epstein took his own life in prison last month

Harriet Alexander

Jeffrey Epstein's friends face an anxious wait after a judge in New York yesterday laid out a schedule for releasing sealed court documents believed to contain the names of 1,000 people.

One unnamed man wrote to the court begging the judge to keep his name out of the public domain, fearing damage to his reputation.

Jeffrey Pagliuca, a lawyer for Epstein's long-term companion Ghislaine Maxwell, said the release of statements from 29 people should be delayed because they include "hundreds of pages of investigative reports that mention hundreds of people".

"There are hundreds of other people who could be implicated," he said.

Judge Loretta Preska is overseeing the unsealing of the 10,000 pages relating to a slander case filed by Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein, against Ms Maxwell, who is accused of being his "madam". She has always denied any wrongdoing.

The case was filed in September 2015 and settled in May 2017.

On July 2, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered that the documents be released, however, for reasons of public interest. The first 2,000 pages were published on August 9, the day before Epstein killed himself, with the second set due to be published within months.

The case files are known to contain claims by Ms Roberts-Giuffre that she was sexually abused by "numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister and other world leaders".

Ms Roberts-Giuffre has claimed that she was "lent out" by Epstein to the Duke of York, and forced to have sex with him.

The duke has always denied the claim, and all allegations against him were struck from the court record in 2015 after being described as "immaterial and impertinent" by a judge.

Mr Pagliuca urged the judge to delay the release, saying he wanted a month to sort the papers. Judge Preska denied his request, adding: "You know we have got to get this done."

© Daily Telegraph London

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