Ghislaine Maxwell judge claims Epstein ‘madam’ may be his VICTIM as he mulls blocking release of secret sex papers
A JUDGE presiding over Ghislaine Maxwell's deposition case has claimed she may be a "victim" of her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein as she mulls blocking the release of secret sex papers.
Judge Rosemary Pooler suggested that Epstein may have taken advantage of Maxwell – despite a long list of accusers claiming she actively helped abuse them.
Maxwell, 58, allegedly acted as disgraced financier Epstein's "madam" and helped him abuse young girls.
The judge made the comment during a hearing held yesterday at the Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit in New York to decide if a deposition given by Maxwell about her sex life should be released.
Maxwell made the 418-page deposition as part of a civil libel case brought against her by Epstein sex slave Virginia Roberts in 2015 after Maxwell called her a liar.
Ms Roberts claims that Maxwell groomed her and that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew. Andrew denies the claims.
Judge Pooler mentioned an investigation carried out by the Miami Herald in 2018 in the lead up to Epstein's arrest, saying that it "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?"
Lawyer for the Miami Herald Christine Walz replied: "We do not believe that is true".
The defamation case was settled in 2017, but there have been applications made to make the documents used in the case public.
Maxwell is fighting against the decision, claiming they would influence her upcoming criminal trial if they were released.
The appeals court judges reserved their ruling.
Maxwell was arrested in July after going into hiding at her New Hampshire home – Tucked Away – by the FBI.
Prosecutors allege that between 1994 and 1997 she helped Epstein to groom girls as young as 14 who were used as "sex slaves".
Maxwell has been charged with six counts of perjury and sex trafficking offences.
The 17-page indictment against Maxwell accused her of grooming and befriending victims, normalising inappropriate behaviour, being present during abuse to put victims at ease, encouraging victims to accept Epstein's help, encouraging victims to engage in sexual activity and taking part herself.
One accuser Jennifer Araoz said Maxwell was at the "centre of his sex trafficking ring."
Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty.
After being denied bail due to the severity of the crimes of which she is alleged and what was deemed a serious flight risk, she is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn until her trial.
Maxwell denies all allegations against her.
Maxwell moved to New York in the early 1990s after her father, the media mogul Robert Maxwell, died.
She started dating Jeffrey Epstein in 1992 and remained in a close friendship until his fall from grace.
The precise nature of their relationship is still not entirely clear.
Maxwell would fly on his private jet, live with him in his mansions and eventually got her own five-storey Manhattan townhouse.
It is through Maxwell that Prince Andrew met the paedophile Epstein.
After Epstein was arrested for sexually abusing minors, Maxwell claimed he was a "kind generous loving man".
Epstein killed himself in his prison cell in August last year.
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