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A stunning decision made last week by deceased pedophile and child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, may possibly signal the beginning of the end for Epstein’s many suspected cohorts.
Maxwell’s attorney, Laura A. Menninger, submitted a letter last week to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York judge overseeing her client’s case, Judge Loretta Preska.
In the letter, Menninger wrote that her client was dropping her objection to the unsealing of past court documents containing the names of Epstein’s cohorts, who for the time being are known publicly only as “John Does.”
One of Epstein’s most famous accusers, his former alleged sex slave Virginia Roberts Giuffre, sued Maxwell years ago, accusing the infamous madam of having recruited her to work as Epstein’s masseuse when she was only 15.
After the suit was settled in 2017, Giuffre lobbied for the related court documents to be unsealed, but Maxwell joined Epstein’s yet-unnamed cohorts in opposing these efforts.
In the letter submitted last Wednesday, Menninger wrote that going forward, Maxwell wants to leave it up to the individual “John Does” to fight to keep the documents sealed.
“Ghislaine Maxwell writes to inform the Court that she does not wish to further address those objections. … Each of the listed Does has counsel who have ably asserted their own respective privacy rights. Ms. Maxwell therefore leaves it to this Court to conduct the appropriate review consistent with the Order and Protocol for Unsealing Decided Motions,” the letter reads.
Insider notes that this doesn’t “necessarily mean that all names will be released. Preska will consider the arguments set forth by each of the anonymous ‘John Does,’ which have been made in court filings that have not all been made public.”
But Maxwell’s decision to let them fend for themselves certainly doesn’t bode well for them.
Giuffre has over the years already succeeded in getting some of the documents unsealed, such as a transcript of a 2011 question-and-answer session between her and one of her lawyers. Unsealed in 2020, that document contained some damning quotes about former President Bill Clinton.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) July 31, 2020
According to Insider, one of the “John Does” has claimed the unsealing of his identity would cause great “annoyance and embarrassment.” Another one has warned that if he’s outed, he’ll be “hounded” by the press and unable to maintain a “private life.”
Giuffre’s legal team meanwhile is pushing ahead, arguing that Maxwell’s recent conviction means there’s no legitimate reason to keep the documents sealed anymore.
“Now that Maxwell’s criminal trial has come and gone, there is little reason to retain protection over the vast swaths of information about Epstein and Maxwell’s sex-trafficking operation that were originally filed under seal in this case,” her attorneys reportedly wrote to Judge Preska last week.
While it’s not entirely clear what all names may emerge if and when the documents are unsealed, most suspect that Prince Andrew’s name will be among them.
Indeed, on the same day that Giuffre’s legal team reached out to Preska, another U.S. federal judge, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan for the Southern District of New York, rejected the disgraced British royal’s attempt to dismiss Giuffre’s lawsuit against him.
Sarah Krissoff, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York who’s dealt with similar cases before, said in a statement to NBC News that the prince’s best bet would be to just settle with Giuffre before he’s outed any further.
“Given Judge Kaplan’s denial of the motion to dismiss and with case now moving into the discovery phase, it would be prudent for Prince Andrew’s team to reconsider and explore the possibility of a settlement. Otherwise, this case is most likely heading towards a very public trial. It is unlikely that Prince Andrew wants that to happen,” she reportedly said.
It may, however, already be too late. A day after the ruling, Queen Elizabeth II stripped him of his military titles and royal patronages.
Queen Elizabeth finally gave Prince Andrew the royal boot, stripped his title in stone-cold way https://t.co/c9qiDk5euG
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 14, 2022
“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
According to the New York Post, the Queen relayed the news to him personally.
“During a private audience, the monarch told Andrew he will no longer be known as His Royal Highness ‘in any official capacity’ — and that he will be left to fight his lawsuit in the US as a private citizen,” the outlet reported.
Plus, according to reports, Giuffre doesn’t want money — she wants “vindication,” which is technically a synonym for “revenge” …
With Prince Andrew kicked out of Firm, most lawyers told us the duke will likely settle with Virginia Giuffre, whose lawyer says she wants vindication, not just money. https://t.co/MCTtzox052
— William Booth (@BoothWilliam) January 15, 2022
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