Depositions related to Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex life will remain secret for at least a little longer after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday heard arguments on whether to unseal the materials but delayed issuing a decision.
The three-judge panel did not disclose when it would rule on the possible release of the seven-hour, 418-page deposition.
Maxwell’s lawyer, Adam Mueller, repeated an argument that releasing the materials would result in a wave of negative media and make it impossible for her to receive a fair trial in her federal sex-trafficking case.
The secret documents relate to testimony Maxwell, 58, gave in a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit filed against her in 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Maxwell made statements about “consensual, and intimate conduct with other adults,” according to court papers.
She relied on a promise of confidentiality when she agreed to be deposed, Mueller told the panel.
He added that many of the questions posed to Maxwell were leading and revealing, akin to “when did you stop beating your wife?”
“Did she or did she not deny knowledge of any activity involving underage minors?” asked Judge Jose Cabranes. Mueller declined to answer the question.
In her separate criminal case, Maxwell is charged with perjury for allegedly lying under oath during the 2016 deposition.
U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, who is overseeing the litigation over the release of the materials, had ordered the documents unsealed in July. Maxwell’s lawyers appealed the decision leading to Tuesday’s hearing.
Giuffre’s attorney David Boies argued that the public is entitled to the full release of the materials.
At one point, Judge Rosemary Pooler asked an attorney for the Miami Herald, who has been fighting for the deposition’s release, “Miss Maxwell may be a victim as well isn’t that true?”
The newspaper’s lawyer Christine Walz said she disagreed with the characterization, but added it was irrelevant to whether the documents should be released.
In another hearing before the 2nd Circuit Tuesday, Maxwell’s lawyers asked the panel to overturn U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan’s decision blocking her from using evidence turned over in the criminal case to fight the unsealing of the deposition in the civil matter. Nathan is overseeing the British socialite’s sex-trafficking case.
The panel said they’d issue their decision in both hearings at a later unspecified date.
Maxwell was arrested over the summer on a six-count federal indictment charging her with grooming three underage girls to be sexually abused by her and Jeffrey Epstein. The late financier committed suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges last year.