Dozens of court documents relating to Jeffrey Epstein’s VIP clients and associates, including a billionaire businessman, will be released to the public after a federal judge ruled the public has a right to know who was involved in Epstein’s elite pedophilia ring.
Judge Loretta Preska on Friday ruled that public interest outweighs the right to privacy for those involved. The judge ruled that the material concerning eight people should be unsealed despite one billionaire claiming it could “harm (his) privacy and reputation.”
Judge Preska has not set a timeline for the release of the material however the release is likely to be weeks away. Subjects named in the documents have until November 28 to appeal the decision to release the information to the public.
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Among those whose names are mentioned in the documents are a British woman, Ghislaine Maxwell’s former personal assistant, who was accused of taking part in the sexual abuse of minors.
Judge Preska overrode objections from Tom Pritzker, the billionaire executive chairman of the Hyatt Hotels, and ordered material related to him be made public.
While Pritzker had argued disclosure of the record could damage his reputation, Judge Preska overruled his objections. In previously unsealed court records, Giuffre claimed Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with wealthy, high-profile men including Pritzker, Britain’s Prince Andrew, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and billionaire hedge-fund manager Glenn Dubin.
The documents are part of a defamation case brought against Maxwell by accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2016 that was later settled.
DailyMail reports: The trove of material has been released on a rolling basis after with the first set coming in 2019, two days before Epstein killed himself, after numerous requests from media organizations.
A total of 16 ‘Non-Party Does’ objected to the release of the files being made public and the first set of eight have already been dealt with by the federal court in New York.
The latest batch related to the remaining eight, referred to as Does 12, 28, 97, 107, 144, 147, 171, and 183.
Judge Preska said that much of the ‘purportedly sensitive information’ had already been made public last year during Maxwell’s trial for trafficking underage girls to Epstein, which led to her being jailed for 20 years.
She ran through dozens of documents and ordered them to be unsealed.
They included material related to the British woman who has strongly denied any wrongdoing in relation to her work for Maxwell.
She filed a lawsuit against Miami Herald journalist Julie Brown in July about her book on the Epstein scandal.
Judge Preska noted that the lawsuit repeated some of the allegedly defamatory statements made in the book and that the woman has been referred to in other publicly available material.
‘This document will be unsealed’, Judge Preska affirmed.
Documents related to Doe 183 were to be made public as they have been the ‘subject of intense media coverage’ and cropped up in Maxwell’s trial.
However, Judge Preska put a stay on the release of this material to November 28 so that the Doe could appeal if they wanted.
Doe 107 claimed that unsealing their material would ‘connect’ them to the Epstein and ‘unnecessarily invade (their) privacy’.
Judge Preska disagreed and ordered their material unsealed, noting that the public’s right to access outweighed any ‘generalized concerns’ about privacy and the material was ‘not particularly salacious.’
In his submission to the court, Pritzker claimed it would ‘wrongfully harm (his) privacy and reputation’ if material related to him was made public.
But Judge Preska said there was ‘no basis’ for keeping the material under seal, adding that it was just a fleeting mention.
Judge Preska did make some concessions to the objectors.
She said: ‘Certain details contained within certain documents that are not public…objecting Does have set forth a sufficient interest to preserve sealing’.
Documents related to Doe 12 remained sealed as Judge Preska said they were a ‘classic outsider’.
Doe 12 is ‘peripheral to the events at issue’ and is ‘neither victim not associated with Epstein or Maxwell’.
Documents relating to Doe 28 will remain sealed as they are a ‘victim of sexual assault who continues to experience trauma as a result of these events’
But material related to Doe 147, who Judge Preska identified as Epstein victim Sarah Ransome, should be unsealed.
Judge Preska said that Ransome was a ‘victim of sexual trauma and abuse’ by Epstein and Maxwell but she testified publicly at Maxwell’s sentencing.
She published a book about her experience and wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about it.
Judge Preska noted that Ransome had ‘put herself out into the public forum relating to these issues’.
The judge did not set a timeline for when the material should be made public, but it will likely be weeks away.
Unlike with previous batches of documents, Maxwell did not oppose them and made no representation to the court.
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