Ghislaine Maxwell wanted "to think of" herself as Jeffrey Epstein's girlfriend, but found it hard to describe her relationship with the late billionaire paedophile, as follows from a now released deposition pertaining to a 2015 lawsuit brought against the socialite by Virginia Giuffre, the most visible of Epstein's accusers.
When asked to specify if she had ever been dating Epstein, she replied:
"That's a tricky question. There were times when I would have liked to think of myself as his girlfriend . . . Probably in the early nineties".
Speaking back in 2016 at the offices of Boies Schiller Flexner in New York, Maxwell noted she had been paid "between $100,000 and $200,000" as Epstein's employee, further adding he had helped her to buy a townhouse. The latter has been viewed as a reference to a home on the Upper East Side in New York that she later reportedly sold for $15 million. Commenting on why she chose to stand by Epstein at the time he was jailed in 2008 on minor prostitution charges, the British socialite explained her support by saying she felt indebted to the financier:
"I'm a very loyal person and Jeffrey was very good to me when my father passed away, and I believe that you need to be a good friend in people's hour of need", Maxwell said.
According to Epstein accuser Giuffre's lawyer, Sigrid McCawley, present at the deposition, at one point Maxwell literally flew off the handle, when the talk moved on to her alleged facilitation of the billionaire's supposed sex trafficking network. She reportedly shouted insults, and banged the table calling the allegations a "giant, fat, enormous, repulsive, disgusting, inappropriate, vile lie".
Grilled about her first meeting with Ms Giuffre, who was working as a masseuse at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in the 1990s, Maxwell angrily picked up on the assertion that Ms Giuffre was only 15 at the time, saying that she actually was 17, the files have it.
"That is fake, a lie that was perpetrated between all of you to make the story more exciting . . . obviously, manifestly, absolutely, totally a lie", she said, again banging the table.
According to the deposition files, McCawley even had to step in, urging Maxwell to get a hold of herself:
"I am going to put on the record [that] Ms Maxwell very inappropriately and very harshly pounded our law firm table. I ask she take a deep breath and calm down", the lawyer noted.lili
The parties subsequently negotiated a break, after which Maxwell apologised, explaining her anger with years of stress over Giuffre's claims.
The socialite's lawyer, Jeffrey Pagliuca, is also understood to have flared up during the deposition. "You are shouting", Ms McCawley said, asking him to calm down and let her proceed.
The release of Ghislaine Maxwell's 2016 civil deposition on Thursday, 22 October, came after a long legal battle led by the Miami Herald and Virginia Giuffre.
The 418-page transcript was ordered to be made public after two courts ruled against the accused sex trafficker.
"[This] is only a small part", David Boies, a lawyer for some of the reported victims, said. "As the evidence comes out, it will be clear why Ms Maxwell and others who enabled Jeffrey Epstein are fighting so hard to keep it concealed. As our client Virginia Giuffre asserts, they did not act alone", he recounted.
In 2015, four years before Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell, that Ms Giuffre, formerly Roberts, filed a civil lawsuit accusing Maxwell of defaming her in public statements referring to the former's claims of sex abuse as blatant lies. It was settled out of court in 2017, but a court order ruled to keep documents such as the deposition hidden from the public eye.
Struggle for 'Fair Trial'
Ms Maxwell argued against their release citing intrusion into her personal freedom and violation of her privacy. However, this July a New York court ruled the transcripts should be made public, prompting Maxwell's attorneys to appeal the verdict.
Yet, the judge has since concluded there is a presumption of common access to deposition files, which should be made public and open for scrutiny while Maxwell is awaiting trial slated for next summer.
After she was arrested in early July, prosecutors indicted her for soliciting underage victims for the deceased financier, her one-time lover and close pal, with six federal charges in total brought against her.
Since her arrest in New Hampshire, the socialite has been kept in a Brooklyn prison cell, with her legal team complaining about her "onerous" prison conditions. If found guilty of all the said charges, Maxwell, who denies any wrongdoing or knowledge of Epstein's criminal activities, will face 35 years behind bars.