NEW YORK • Disgraced late finan-cier Jeffrey Epstein was offering advice to Ghislaine Maxwell as late as 2015, according to newly unsealed documents, despite her lawyer’s statement that the British socialite had “no contact” with him in a decade.
“You have done nothing wrong and I would urge you to start acting like it,” Epstein wrote in a January 2015 e-mail to Maxwell, a former girlfriend who said she ran his many properties for years. “Go outside, head high, not as an escaping convict. Go to parties. Deal with it.”
The e-mails between them include what appears to be advice on what Maxwell should say in response to Ms Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that they had recruited her into a sex-trafficking ring when she was 16 and farmed her out to the rich and powerful, including Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Maxwell had publicly lashed out at the claims and Epstein seemed to suggest that she should distance herself from him. He had reached a secret plea deal with Florida state prosecutors in 2008.
“I have never been a party in any criminal action pertaining to JE,” Epstein suggested that Maxwell say, referring to himself. He also suggested she say: “At the time of Jeffrey’s plea deal, I was involved in a very long-term committed relationship with another man and no longer working for Jeffrey.”
The e-mails were included in unredacted court documents released on Thursday.
They were from a 2015 defamation case that Ms Giuffre brought against Maxwell, after the latter denounced her claims as “obvious lies”.
Maxwell, 58, was charged last month with sex trafficking of underage girls with Epstein and perjury. She pleaded not guilty.
In an unsuccessful bid to have Maxwell released on bail, her lawyers claimed in a court filing that “she’d had no contact with Epstein for more than a decade”.
More documents are expected to be released tomorrow, except a 2016 deposition about Maxwell’s sex life which contains potentially embarrassing information.
An appeals court on Friday temporarily delayed the release, after Maxwell argued that it could destroy her ability to get a fair trial. The oral argument for her appeal is scheduled for Sept 22.
Maxwell is accused of grooming girls as young as 14 to be abused by Epstein. Victims say they were farmed out to some of his wealthy associates. She is also accused of sometimes participating in the abuse.
She faces six counts, including perjury, and up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
In a separate unsealed document, lawyers for three alleged victims claimed Epstein used his connections to powerful men – including Prince Andrew – to apply pressure on the US authorities to avoid more serious federal charges for his sex crimes in 2008.
Epstein pleaded guilty in Florida to state charges of soliciting prostitution from minors and then received unusually lenient terms for his imprisonment in Palm Beach County, where he was allowed out to work in his office six days a week.
He was arrested in July last year over a case filed in New York in which he faced sex trafficking charges for abusing women and girls in Manhattan and Florida from 2002 to 2005.
Last August, a federal appeals court released at least 2,000 pages of evidence, including testimony from Ms Giuffre and some of Epstein’s employees. A day later, the 66-year-old financier was found hanged in his jail cell.
BLOOMBERG, REUTERS,AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE