dailymail.co.uk | 26 October 2020
- Ghislaine Maxwell is in New York jail facing trial on child sex trafficking charges
- Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam Maxwell was also questioned in July 2016
- Transcript from British socialite’s first interview was published last Thursday
- Lawyers for Maxwell are now expected to fight to keep the second one private
Prince Andrew came under further pressure today over a second deposition given by Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madam for his paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein.
The British socialite, who is jail in New York awaiting trial on child sex trafficking and perjury charges, was questioned three months after being grilled for seven hours.
The transcript from that first interview was published last Thursday, and lawyers for Maxwell are now expected to fight to keep the second one from July 2016 private.
But the 58-year-old’s team will face a battle with lawyers for Epstein’s victim Virginia Roberts who are expected to argue it should be published in full, reported The Sun.
Ms Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, claims she had sex with the Duke of York three times when she was aged 17, but he strenuously denies the allegations.
A source close to the case told the Sun that Maxwell was asked to answer questions she did not answer in the first interview in the April, and that Andrew ‘did come up’.
But a source close to the 60-year-old Duke told MailOnline: ‘The Duke has done nothing unlawful and therefore has nothing to fear from the unsealing of any documents from any court case at any time. The truth will out, and soon.’
Documents from the first interview released last Thursday revealed Andrew repeatedly labelled Ms Giuffre ‘a liar’, claiming ‘everything she said is a lie’.
The exchange was in a phone call between the two as scandal swirled around them when Ms Giuffre made bombshell claims she was forced to sleep with the prince.
It came out in the 465-page deposition that Maxwell had fought tooth and nail to keep under wraps before a court ordered it be released.
The names of all of those in Epstein’s circle, including Prince Andrew, were redacted but previous accounts given by Epstein victims, plus an index at the back of the papers, allow them to be identified.
Maxwell was questioned in 2016 as she defended herself in a defamation claim, having called Miss Roberts a liar. The case was later settled out of court.
Over seven hours, the British socialite was quizzed extensively about her relationship with Epstein, her knowledge of ‘sexual trafficking’, sex with minors, non-consensual sex and sex involving Miss Roberts.
She was also asked questions about whether she recruited girls for Epstein to have sex with, ‘sex toys’ and dressing up, explicit images, ‘orgies’ and nudity at Epstein’s homes.
Her lawyer Jeffrey Pagliuca jumped in to object to the questions 435 times, but Maxwell, daughter of disgraced media tycoon Robert, never once asserted her right not to self-incriminate.
Maxwell’s most personal account to date is one she hoped would never see the light of day as she sits in prison awaiting trial on child sex trafficking and perjury charges. Her lawyers argued releasing it now would condemn her before she goes before a jury next year.
Maxwell insisted she and her friends were innocent of the accusations against them – even as she did her utmost to avoid actually answering the questions of lawyers.
She spent the interview, a sworn testimony, obfuscating, evading and positing outraged denials.
As she seeks to defend herself from charges that she was heavily involved in the abuse, the new revelations of her determination to protect Epstein and destroy his main accuser could have a crucial bearing on her forthcoming trial.