A personal email account belonging to longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was hacked, possibly compromising personal details and information that could be damaging if leaked, court papers show.
Continue Reading Below
Details about the breach were revealed in a Dec. 5, 2019, letter – made public on Jan. 17 – from Maxwell’s attorney to United States District Court Judge Loretta Preska.
The lawyer, Ty Gee, described in the seven-page missive he believes hackers discovered the email address in court documents recently released pertaining to a lawsuit filed in 2015 by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre had slapped Maxwell with the defamation suit for allegedly calling her a liar.
Gee’s letter slams New York’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals for releasing roughly 2,000 slightly redacted court materials without consulting either party and making “serious mistakes" in the process.
“[I]t redacted Ms. Maxwell’s email address (which linked to her own domain) in one location but not another,” the letter states. “Shortly afterward hackers breached the host computer.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if any information was stolen or if the hacker has been identified.
The defamation case, which was settled, was brought to light as both parties debate whether documents pertaining to Epstein should be unsealed as law enforcement continues to investigate the activity of his alleged conspirators. The documents could also be useful to the accusers, as many have filed lawsuits against the now-deceased financier’s estate.
In September, multiple attorneys asked the judge not to release court records pertaining to Epstein, or to redact their clients' names. One lawyer revealed at the time that as many as "1,000 names" could be implicated if the documents were unsealed.
Epstein, a previously convicted sex offender, was arrested in July 2019 on child sex trafficking and conspiracy. But his case was dismissed in August after he was found dead in his Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.
Medical examiners determined he had committed suicide by hanging, but forensic experts and federal investigators are still investigating many of the circumstances.
A number of Epstein’s accusers have named Maxwell as an associate and conspirator. In December, Roberts told BBC’s "Panorama" she was instructed by Maxwell to have sex with Prince Andrew during a trip to London in March 2001 when she was 17.
“Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that made me sick,” she said, later adding: “Well there was a bath and it started there and then it led into the bedroom and it didn’t last very long, the whole, entire procedure. It was disgusting. He wasn’t mean or anything but he got up and said, ‘Thanks.’”
The BBC also revealed a 2015 email from the duke to Maxwell, in which he writes that he has questions “about Virginia Roberts.”
Maxwell later responded: “Have some info – call me when you have a moment…”
Andrew "emphatically denied" Giuffre’s claims. The Duke of York told the same network in November he had no recollection of meeting the then-teenager. He was unable to explain a photograph that showed him with his arm around Roberts.
Following his November BBC appearance, Andrew, 59, announced in a statement he would be stepping "back from public duties for the foreseeable future," with the permission from his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," he wrote, in part. He added: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein."