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Ghislaine Maxwell might have been Jeffrey Epstein's victim, says judge who can block sex document release

Judge Pooler made the comment during a hearing at the Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in New York
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ghislaine Maxwell, who is reportedly attempting to block the release of secret sex documents before her trial, might actually be a victim of the late Jeffrey Epstein, a judge has noted. Despite the long list of alleged victims claiming Maxwell actively groomed them and took part in their abuse, Judge Rosemary Pooler suggested that the pedophile financier may have also taken advantage of the British socialite, The Sun reported.

The 58-year-old daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell has been accused of acting as Epstein's "madam" and chief enabler. Pooler made the comment during a hearing at the Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in New York held yesterday, as judges try to determine whether a deposition given by Maxwell about her sex life should be made public.

According to The Sun, the 418-page deposition was part of a civil libel case brought on by Epstein survivor Virginia Roberts in 2015 after Maxwell branded her a liar. Roberts has maintained that Maxwell groomed her and instructed her to have sex with Prince Andrew. The British royal, however, strongly denies the claims.

(Getty Images)

During the hearing, Judge Pooler reportedly noted how an investigation by the Miami Herald in 2018 "led to some important work in the protection of young female victims but Miss Maxwell may be a victim as well, isn't that true?" "We do not believe that is true," Christine Walz, a lawyer for the Miami Herald, responded. While the defamation case was settled in 2017, there have been several applications to release the documents pertaining to the case. Maxwell is reportedly fighting against such a release, with her lawyers arguing they would influence her upcoming trial. Nonetheless, the appeals court judges reserved their ruling for later.

In July, the FBI — which had been tracking Maxwell's movements following Epstein's incarceration — arrested her at her New Hampshire mansion 'Tucked Away' where she was in hiding. According to prosecutors, Maxwell helped Epstein procure girls — some as young as 14 — to be used as "sex slaves" from 1994 to 1997. She has since been charged with six counts of perjury and sex trafficking offenses.

The indictment against Maxwell accuses her of "grooming and befriending victims, normalizing inappropriate behavior, being present during abuse to put victims at ease, encouraging victims to accept Epstein's help, encouraging victims to engage in sexual activity," and engaging in the abuse herself. Jennifer Araoz, another Epstein survivor, has said Maxwell was at the "center of his sex trafficking ring," according to The Sun.

Michelle Licata and Virginia Giuffre attend the 2019 Women's Media Awards at Mandarin Oriental on October 22, 2019, in New York City. (Getty Images)

If convicted, Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison. She has been denied bail owing to the severity of the crimes and labeled a serious flight risk due to her wealth and influential connections across the globe. That said, Maxwell is awaiting trial as she is remanded in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn. She denies all allegations against her.

Maxwell started dating Epstein in 1992, shortly after moving to New York following the death of her father. The TerraMar Project founder would fly on the hedge fund honcho's private jet and live with him in his lavish properties before she got her own five-story townhouse in Manhattan. In fact, it was Maxwell who introduced Prince Andrew to Epstein, who died under mysterious circumstances in his prison cell in August 2019.