Fourth batch of Jeffrey Epstein court files unsealed

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A fourth batch of court documents from a lawsuit connected to the late disgraced American financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were unsealed, a week after thousands of pages of bombshell files were made public which contained the names of noted celebrities including former US President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew, late theoretical physicist Steven Hawking and jailed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, according to media reports.

Monday’s release of 17 unsealed files follows thousands of pages of documents that were already made public on January 10, 11 and 12, with the final ones expected on Tuesday, reports CNN. The documents are part of a 2015 civil defamation suit brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an American woman who claimed Epstein sexually abused her as a minor and that Ghislaine Maxwell, the late financier’s former girlfriend, aided in the abuse.

Maxwell is currently serving a 20-year jail term for crimes she committed with Epstein. The unsealing stems from a December 18, 2023 court order from the judge overseeing the lawsuit, a response to the media’s legal efforts to publicly release the documents. Monday’s files include allegations by the accuser, Sarah Ransome, who claimed to have seen sex tapes filmed by Epstein, reports the BBC.

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According to Ransome, the tapes showed Clinton, Prince Andrew and British billionaire Richard Branson. But she said that she wanted to retract the allegations. In 2019, a New Yorker magazine report said that Ransome had admitted fabricating the claim. No evidence of the tapes she mentioned has ever emerged. She had also said that Epstein abused her when she was an aspiring model and fashion student, and further alleged that a friend of hers had sex with former US President Donald Trump in the late financier’s home in New York.

Ransome claimed alleged she was recruited by Maxwell into his sex-trafficking ring in 2006 when she was 22 years old. She received a settlement in 2018 after suing Epstein and Maxwell for an undisclosed amount, the BBC reported. Clinton, Prince Andrew, Trump and Branson have all previously denied any wrongdoing in relation to Epstein. The other big names that have surfaced in the previous unsealed files include famed magician and illusionist David Copperfield; Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Cameron Diaz, Bruce Willis and Kevin Spacey.

Epstein was indicted in 2019 on federal charges of operating a sex trafficking ring in which he allegedly sexually abused dozens of underage girls. He pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008 and died in jail by suicide in 2019 as he awaited federal sex-trafficking charges.