NEW YORK — A British socialite criminally charged with aiding Jeffrey Epstein in his sexual abuse of teenage girls testified in 2016 that she had no memory of anything amiss on his properties in the 2000s despite the accusations from dozens of women and girls that they were sexually abused by Epstein.
Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, said during a July 2016 deposition for a defamation lawsuit that she learned about abuse claims “like everybody else, like the rest of the world, when it was announced in the papers."
Asked if she tried to learn whether the assertions were accurate, Maxwell was stopped by her attorney from answering in a transcript released late Wednesday along with other documents pursued by the Miami Herald.
Still, she indicated that she left employment with Epstein because she “ceased to be happy in the job and I ceased to be happy spending time with Mr. Epstein.”
She said he “became more difficult to work with.” Asked to be more specific, she said: “Just general. Just doesn’t work,” according to the transcript.
The quote was in the public portion of a transcript of a deposition that resulted from a since-settled lawsuit brought against her by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre. Dozens of pages were blacked out entirely and over 100 pages of the 193-page document had redactions.
The redactions came after U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled that any testimony addressing Maxwell's sexual relations with adults could remain sealed. Lawyers for Maxwell had sought to keep the document sealed on the grounds it could affect potential jurors for her trial next July.
The transcript of a deposition of Maxwell that took place earlier in 2016 was released in October. In it, Maxwell was combative throughout seven hours of questioning. In the second deposition, her lawyer frequently warned her not to answer questions and even threatened to walk out.
In the first deposition, she had denied introducing Britain’s Prince Andrew to underage sex partners and said she could not recall taking Giuffre out for a night of clubbing with Andrew in London.. She also said she had flown on Epstein’s private planes with ex-President Bill Clinton but refused to describe Epstein and the Democrat as friends.
In the second deposition, she was adamant that she never saw Epstein getting massages from teenagers who were not yet adults.
“Did anyone ever complain to you that Mr. Epstein had demanded sex of them?” attorney David Boies asked.
“Never,” Maxwell responded.
Maxwell, who has acknowledged being Epstein's girlfriend for a time in the 1990s, testified that she knew of only three women Epstein had sexual relations with on his properties in Manhattan, New Mexico, Florida, Paris and the Virgin Islands.
She said she knew he received massages at his property on the Virgin Islands because they occurred in the “master cabana” or on the beach, where anyone could see.
“I don’t have any recollection of a specific memory, but it was just on the beach, so there wouldn’t be any privacy,” Maxwell said, though she added that she never arranged for any women who came to visit him to give him a massage.
At one point, Boies said he needed “to ask you some questions about your sexual activities with Mr. Epstein.”
“OK,” Maxwell responded. The next page of the transcript was blacked out.
Maxwell has been held without bail since pleading not guilty in July to recruiting girls for Epstein to abuse in the mid-1990s. Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, killed himself in a Manhattan federal lockup in August 2019 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial.
Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press