Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers say she should have a secret bail hearing or else her friends will get death threats

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Jacob Shamsian
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FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell, longtime associate of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, speaks at a news conference on oceans and sustainable development at the United Nations in New York, U.S. June 25, 2013 in this screengrab taken from United Nations TV file footage. UNTV/Handout via REUTERS
Ghislaine Maxwell speaks at a news conference at the United Nations in New York Reuters
  • Lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell have asked for a new bail hearing for her — this one to be kept secret.

  • They say they want to submit letters from friends and family in support of her bail application, and that making such letters public would open them up to threats.

  • They cited anonymous social media posts as examples of the kinds of death threats Maxwell has received, and that her associates could receive as well.

  • Maxwell was already denied bail in July, but now her lawyers are trying again.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell are trying to keep the details of her bail hearing under seal, arguing that making the details public would subject her friends and family members to harassment and death threats.

They asked Judge Alison Nathan, who's overseeing the Jeffrey Epstein associate's criminal case, to hold a private hearing to review all bail materials. The new bail package, they say, will include "sensitive and private information that, if made public, would be highly damaging to both Ms. Maxwell and third parties."

The attorneys made the request in a letter dated November 25, which appeared to have been filed under seal on December 4. Judge Nathan unsealed the letter on Monday, writing that she "sees no basis for the sealing of this letter."

A portion of the letter, as well as parts of a second letter from Maxwell's lawyers that Nathan unsealed Monday, remains redacted.

Maxwell was already denied bail once before

Maxwell was arrested in July and charged with a litany of crimes related to her association with the now-dead disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, including coercing minors to travel to engage in sex acts, participating in sex acts with underage girls herself, and lying in a deposition about her actions. She's pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Maxwell was denied bail in July, but is now making a second attempt with "substantial information that was not available to present at the initial hearing" as well as guarantors for the bail "who were unable to come forward at that time," her lawyers wrote in the letter.

Bail hearings and the legal arguments surrounding them are typically public. Maxwell's lawyers say they intend to file letters from Maxwell's friends and family in support of her new bail application, and that making such information public could lead to harassment.

"The letters contain personal details [that] would invite the identification and harassment of sureties and other third parties, including minor children," Maxwell's lawyers wrote. "They are legitimately afraid that if their identities become public, they will be subjected to the same relentless media scrutiny and threats that Ms. Maxwell has experienced for more than a year."

Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link in Manhattan Federal Court, in New York City on July 14, 2020. Reuters/Jane Rosenberg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

They cited anonymous social media posts as evidence of the kinds of death threats made against Maxwell.

"Numerous social media posts have advocated killing Ms. Maxwell as a perverse form of 'justice' for her alleged role in Epstein's sex trafficking crimes," they wrote in the second letter.

The new bail application will also include a report detailing Maxwell's finances, the letters say.

Last week, Nathan asked both Maxwell and prosecutors to submit arguments with "narrowly tailored" redactions over a potential new bail hearing. Nathan said she'd decide on whether to hold a private bail hearing after December 18.

Prosecutors have also recently been arguing with Maxwell over whether she has enough time to review documents related to her case while she remains jailed at the Metropolitan Detection Center in Brooklyn while under coronavirus lockdown.

Read the original article on Insider