'Deal with it,' Epstein told Maxwell in unsealed emails

New York (AFP) - A New York court has unsealed emails revealing that disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein tried to reassure accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell by telling her she had "done nothing wrong."

They show that the pair corresponded in 2015, despite Maxwell's lawyers claiming in a bail appeal this month that she had no contact with her former partner in more than a decade.

"You have done nothing wrong and I would urge you to start acting like it," Epstein wrote on January 25, 2015, as more allegations of sexual abuse against him surfaced.

"Go outside, head high, not as an escaping convict. Go to parties, deal with it," added Epstein, a convicted sex offender who killed himself in prison last year while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Maxwell, the daughter of late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking minors for the multimillionaire Epstein, with whom she was intimately involved in the 1990s.

Prosecutors accuse the 58-year-old of recruiting and grooming girls as young as 14 to be abused by Epstein and farmed out to some of his wealthy associates.

Maxwell is also accused of participating in the abuse. She faces six counts, including perjury, and up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

The 58-year-old is in custody in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting trial, which is tentatively scheduled to start in July next year.

The emails were among dozens of documents unsealed late Thursday relating to a now-settled defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre against Maxwell in 2015.

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Maxwell's lawyers tried to block their release, arguing they could prejudice her trial.

In an email on January 24, 2015, Maxwell appears to try to distance herself from any romantic relationship she had with Epstein, who befriended countless celebrities over the years, including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

"I would appreciate it if shelley would come out and say she was your g'friend -- I think she was from end 99 to 2002," Maxwell wrote to Epstein.

It is not clear who Shelley is.

- 'Sex slave' -

On January 21, 2015, Epstein sent Maxwell what appears to be a statement she should use to defend herself.

"I have been the target of outright lies, innuendo, slander, defamation and salacious gossip and harassment," it says.

In her deposition, Giuffre describes Epstein and Maxwell as "joined hip by hip."

"Ghislaine Maxwell brought me into the sex trafficking industry. She's the one who abused me on a regular basis. She's the one that procured me, told me what to do, trained me as a sex slave, abused me physically, abused me mentally," she said.

Maxwell denied the allegations during her deposition in the case in 2016, calling Giuffre an "absolute liar."

Many of Giuffre's claims in the documents have been made before, including that she had sex with Britain's Prince Andrew when she was 17 after being procured by Epstein.

The royal vehemently denies this.

She also claims she had sex with high-profile US lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz has repeatedly denied the allegation and the two have sued each other over it.

Giuffre testified that Maxwell instructed her to have sex with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, ex-senator George Mitchell, and French model scout Jean-Luc Brunel, among others.

All have denied the allegations, which are not new.

The names of several other men are redacted in the documents.

Giuffre says she saw former president Clinton at Epstein's private estate on the Virgin Islands, but she does not accuse him of wrongdoing.

She recalls how she was recruited by Maxwell while working at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate around 2000.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages, but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal struck with the then-state prosecutor that Dershowitz helped broker.

While Epstein's death was ruled a suicide, it fueled conspiracy theories, most speculating he was murdered to stop him from revealing compromising information about famous acquaintances.

Maxwell's depositions in the civil case are expected to be released next week.