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Over her objection, Ghislaine Maxwell's testimony about massages is unsealed

FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing where she was denied bail for her role aiding Jeffrey Epstein to recruit and eventually abuse of minor girls, in Manhattan Federal Court, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. July 14, 2020 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg/File Photo


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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ghislaine Maxwell denied under oath to having given anyone including the late financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein a massage, according to testimony released on Thursday that the British socialite fought to keep sealed.

The testimony was excerpted from a July 2016 deposition in a long-settled lawsuit by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.

It is the basis for part of a perjury charge in a six-count indictment charging Maxwell with helping Epstein recruit three teenage girls for sex from 1994 to 1997.

Maxwell's lawyers had argued that prosecutors obtained the deposition illegally, and releasing the testimony would make getting it suppressed harder because prosecutors could claim it became public anyway.

But on Monday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, who oversees Giuffre's case, found that Maxwell had only a "minimal" privacy interest in the 20-line excerpt, and could discuss suppressing it with the Manhattan judge in the criminal case.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In the excerpt, Giuffre's lawyer David Boies asked Maxwell whether she gave massages to anyone other than Epstein at any of the financier's properties.

Maxwell responded that she does not give massages, prompting an exchange included in her indictment.

"Is it your testimony that you've never given anybody a massage?" Boies asked.

"I have not given anyone a massage," Maxwell responded.

"You never gave Mr. Epstein a massage, is that your testimony?"

"That is my testimony."

The perjury charge, one of two in Maxwell's indictment, also covered Maxwell's denying knowledge of whether Epstein possessed sex toys, or had sex in the 1990s and 2000s with anyone other than herself and two other women.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled for July. Epstein killed himself in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021


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