Hundreds of Names in Sealed Epstein Materials, Judge Told
(Bloomberg) -- A lawyer for alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein told a judge that hundreds of names of people associated with the late money manager should be made public in documents that are currently sealed in a defamation lawsuit.
Sigrid McCrawly, who has represented victims for five years, said at a hearing Wednesday in New York that only social security numbers, medical information and the names of minors should be kept secret as more documents are unsealed in the case, and that everything else should come to light.
“Anybody whose information is in the documents would be notified so they could object,” McCrawley, of the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, said at the hearing.
The names could appear in deposition transcripts and other filings in the case, which settled on the eve of trial in 2017.
The remarks preview a brewing fight over the privacy of people whose names appear in at least two subsets of documents that U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska will consider unsealing, following an appeals court order that many such filings should be made public. Preska said she’ll consider the documents in batches in a process that will take weeks or months.
Hundreds of pages of documents in the 2015 case were already unsealed by the appeals court on Aug. 9, revealing fresh allegations of abuse by men associated with Epstein. Now others are worried. On Tuesday, a man identified only as “John Doe” urged the judge to keep the names sealed or redacted.
The dispute stems from a defamation lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, against his onetime confidante, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre claimed Maxwell recruited her for Epstein and participated in the sexual abuse, and then defamed her by calling her a liar.
On Wednesday, Maxwell’s lawyer, Jeffrey Pagliuca, told the judge that hundreds of names appear in the documents that are still under review, and that the materials also include an address book with about 1,000 names. He said many of the documents should remain sealed because they weren’t entered into evidence before the case settled.
“We don’t know how this was going to play out, frankly,” Pagliuca said.
There was no detail at the hearing about the identity of the people named in the documents, and they may include women who say they are victims of Epstein, his friends and others. After the hearing, victims’ attorney Josh Schiller, also of Boies Schiller, said the names may include people who worked for Epstein, such as drivers or security guards.
Epstein hanged himself in a federal lockup last month after he was arrested on child sex-trafficking charges, resulting in the dismissal of the case against him. Maxwell has denied the allegation that she aided Epstein.
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