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Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers filed for what some are calling a gag order. What is Maxwell trying to hide? Here's what you need to know.

What is Ghislaine Maxwell trying to keep hidden from the internet?

Ghislaine Maxwell has been kept in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn without bail ever since her arrest. (The very same detention center NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere is being kept in.)

While court sessions may be somewhat slow in coming thanks to the pandemic – the expected date for her trial to begin is sometime in July of next year – that doesn’t mean there’s no news to report. This week Maxwell’s lawyers filed for what some are calling a gag order.

The request

Maxwell’s lawyers appealed to the Judge asking for her to put a stop to Maxwell’s accusers posting evidence to the internet in order to “boost their civil lawsuits”.

They claim the accusers should be kept to the same rules of secrecy as prosecutors and defense lawyers. In fact, orders such as this, which would prevent the release of information of “nude, partially nude or otherwise sexualized images, videos or other depictions of individuals” are not uncommon in cases such as Maxwell’s.

The response

Despite what seems like a fairly reasonable request from Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense lawyers, it’s being reported that prosecutors are in disagreement about the request.

Maxwell’s lawyers further claimed many potential witnesses and their lawyers have already made public statements, and that there is “substantial concern that these individuals will seek to use discovery materials to support their civil cases and future public statements”.

Is it related to new evidence?

As the defense lawyers have already noted – a lot of information about Ghislaine Maxwell and the case has already been made public. People are ravenous for every detail they can get their hands on. So why ask for the gag order now?

Recently, what is being called, “an extensive collection of extremely personal documents” in a civil case against Maxwell has been ruled as being able to be unsealed.

The records are being described by lawyers as, “extremely personal, confidential and subject to considerable abuse by the media”. Included in these documents are supposedly “intrusive questions about her sex life”.

The documents

The original ruling which will allow the documents to be unsealed is being appealed. The judge presiding over the case who decided the documents could be unsealed said, “In the context of this case, especially its allegations of sex trafficking of young girls, the court finds any minor embarrassment or annoyance resulting from Ms. Maxwell’s mostly non-testimony . . . is far outweighed by the presumption of public access”.

The documents are believed to include correspondence between Maxwell and Epstein in 2015 that may be related to Virginia Giuffre – one of Maxwell’s accusers.

One of Giuffre’s lawyers also said the documents contain, “testimony about Jeffrey Epstein’s transcontinental sex-trafficking operation and documents concerning various public agencies’ utter failure to protect and bring justice to his victims”.

What now?

Unless Maxwell’s lawyers can convince the judge to keep the documents sealed it seems the information will soon be readily available to the public.

Maxwell will continue to be held without bail as she awaits her trial in 2021 where she and her lawyers will attempt to maintain her innocence, since she has pleaded not guilty to all charges filed against her.

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