Lawyers for Ms Giuffre, who has accused Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing her, have long fought to unseal the names of eight “John Does” mentioned in their 2015 civil lawsuit. Maxwell’s attorneys pushed back, but on Thursday they appeared to give up the fight.
“After careful review of the detailed objections submitted by Non-Party Does 17, 53, 54, 55, 73, 93, and 151, counsel for Ghislaine Maxwell writes to inform the Court that she does not wish to further address those objections,” one of Maxwell’s lawyers, Laura Menninger, wrote to Judge Loretta Preska on Wednesday.
The fact that Maxwell is no longer opposing the unsealing does not necessarily mean the names will be released. But Ms Giuffre’s legal team is still working to get the “John Does” identified.
“Now that Maxwell’s criminal trial has come and gone, there is little reason to retain protection over the vast swaths of information about Epstein and Maxwell’s sex-trafficking operation that were originally filed under seal in this case,” Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Ms Giuffre, wrote to Judge Preska on Wednesday.
Last month, Maxwell was convicted of five charges involving the sex trafficking of minors for the benefit of Epstein, her long-time boyfriend. Ms Giuffre did not testify in that trial, but has accused Maxwell and Epstein in other lawsuits and public appearances.
In a lawsuit filed last year, Ms Giuffre also accused Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her as a teenager – a charge that he vehemently denies – after Epstein and Maxwell allegedly brought her to him. It is not known whether the prince is one of the John Does in the 2015 case.
On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth stripped Prince Andrew of his military titles after a judge cleared the sexual abuse case against him to move to trial.
“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”