KEY POINTS

  • The judge in Maxwell's criminal case ordered the deposition released
  • Maxwell's lawyers had argued it would prejudice her upcoming trial
  • Maxwell claimed numerous memory lapses when asked about specifics and called the plaintiff a liar

Ghislaine Maxwell denied in a contentious deposition released Thursday that she hired sometimes underage girls as part of her job with the late financier and accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, saying she had no idea how old anyone was.

Maxwell, 58, faces federal charges she helped facilitate a sex abuse ring involving minors. The girls were ordered to have sex with Epstein, who committed suicide in 2019 while in custody, and other rich and powerful men at Epstein’s homes. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to recruiting and grooming girls as young as 14 stretching back to the mid-1990s.

Trial is set for July.

The more than 400-page deposition by the British socialite was given in April 2016 in a civil defamation suit by Virginia Giuffre, who claimed Epstein kept her as a sex slave with Maxwell’s assistance.

Maxwell repeatedly accused Giuffre of lying, as well as repeatedly saying she could not recall when asked about specific instances and individuals. She also denied knowing the names of Epstein’s companies even though she worked for him for more than 15 years.

Maxwell denied knowing Epstein had served time for sexually abusing a minor, and she refused to say whether she believed he had committed the crime.

Manhattan U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ordered a redacted transcript released by 9 a.m. EDT. Maxwell had argued release of the transcript would violate her constitutional rights and impede her ability to get a fair trial.

“If the unsealing order goes into effect, it will forever let the cat out of the bag,” and “intimate, sensitive, and personal information” about Maxwell might “spread like wildfire across the Internet,” her lawyers argued.

Memory lapses

The deposition features sparring over semantics, evasions and refusals to answer. Asked when she first recruited “a female to work for Mr. Epstein,” Maxwell sought clarifications before admitting her first hire was in 1992, a woman “about 40 or 50.” Later she said she had no idea about the age of the youngest female she ever hired and responded “never” when asked if any of her female hires was underage.

Maxwell denied ever hiring masseuses or exercise instructors, saying Epstein did that for himself. She admitted, however, that when she went to a spa or health club for her own massage, she would inquire whether the masseuse or exercise instructors made house calls.

Jeffrey Epstein's accusers describe Ghislaine Maxwell (L) as the registered sex offender's right-hand confidante, acting both as paramour and madam at the behest of the multi-millionaire's proclivities Jeffrey Epstein's accusers describe Ghislaine Maxwell (L) as the registered sex offender's right-hand confidante, acting both as paramour and madam at the behest of the multi-millionaire's proclivities Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Laura Cavanaugh

Maxwell said it was “impossible” for her to remember whether she asked Giuffre to help recruit young girls.

She said she had no way of knowing whether underage girls were giving Epstein massages when she was on the grounds of his Palm Beach, Florida, home. Furthermore: “I’m not responsible for what Jeffrey does, and I don’t always pay attention to what happens in the house. I’m very busy.”

Asked about various teenagers who were hired to give Epstein “massages,” Maxwell said repeatedly she had no idea how old the girls were and that she would have been “shocked” to learn he had had sexual contact with girls as young as 13.

“I never recruited girls,” she said. Later she added: “I totally resent and find it disgusting that you use the word recruit. I already told you: I don’t know what you are saying about that and your implication is repulsive.”

She also said she had no idea whether Epstein had a sexual preference for underage girls.

No orgies

Maxwell denied ever being involved in an orgy, being aware any sexual assaults had taken place or of having nonconsensual sex with anyone. She also denied knowledge of any bribes offered to family and friends of accusers to refute orgy and sexual assault allegations.

Maxwell admitted taking pictures of semi-clad or nude people at Epstein’s homes, but denied the pictures were inappropriate, saying they were similar to what could be found in “mainstream magazines.”

“I took very few and they were always by request. This was a picture you could put on your – gift to your parent or to your grandparents to put on their mantel. It would be a very benign sort of attractive picture where you wouldn’t see anything,” Maxwell said.

At one point there was a lengthy exchange about whether Maxwell had ever seen puppets at Epstein’s homes. Maxwell repeatedly asked for clarification of what was meant by a puppet before finally admitting she had seen a hand puppet shaped like a woman’s breast.

Maxwell was arrested July 2, accused of contributing to the abuse of dozens of teenage girls from 1994 to 1997, nearly a year after Epstein’s arrest. She also is accused of lying under oath.