Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell are trying to stop her accusers from posting evidence online ahead of her trail, according to a proposed protective order submitted to a judge on Monday.
The British socialite’s legal team wants to prevent prosecutors working for women who claim she recruited them for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein from releasing any information, including “nude, partially nude or otherwise sexualised images, videos or other depictions of individuals”.
Ms Maxwell’s lawyers say her accusers should be subject to the same secrecy rules as prosecutors and defence lawyers before the trial, which is scheduled in Manhattan federal court for July 2021.
The joint protective order is routine in sex abuse cases, but the lawyers said in a letter to a judge that prosecutors have refused to agree that witnesses and their lawyers should be subject to the restrictions.
Ms Maxwell’s lawyers said the release of any evidence could also boost pending civil lawsuits between her and “many of the government’s potential witnesses”.
The socialite’s attorneys said several potential witnesses and their lawyers have already publicly commented on the case.
“There is a substantial concern that these individuals will seek to use discovery materials to support their civil cases and future public statements,” the lawyers wrote.
Prosecutors said they will respond on Tuesday.
Ms Maxwell, 58, who has been held without bail since her arrest on 2 July, has pleaded not guilty to charges that she recruited and aided the abuse of three girls by Epstein in the 1990s.
Additional reporting by Associated Press