Jeffrey Epstein documents to remain unsealed that may reveal acquaintances, judge orders

A federal judge has ordered documents related to late convicted child abuser Jeffrey Epstein and his associates to be unsealed.

In a decision Friday, Judge Loretta Preska ruled that some documents filed in a defamation lawsuit against Epstein’s caretaker and ex-lover Ghislaine Maxwell be released over protests that they would harm the reputations of the people named in the documents.

Preska decided that the public interest outweighed the privacy of the eight “John Does” named in the documents, identified as Does 12, 28, 97, 107, 144, 147, 171 and 183.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.
(Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

One of the eight individuals is Tom Pritzker, the billionaire chief executive of Hyatt Hotels, who said the release of documents linking him to the controversial financier would cause reputational harm, according to Insider.

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Preska largely disagreed with his concerns, saying many of the documents were already available in other legal challenges and that their contents did not indicate malicious activity.

Doe 107 also objected, saying the release of documents linking them to Epstein would be a violation of their privacy.

Another person named in the documents is Emmy Tyler, a former personal assistant to Ghislaine Maxwell who was also accused of facilitating the sexual abuse of her victims.

Tyler, who is part of another lawsuit, contested the settlement. She also pleaded not guilty while working for Maxwell.

Judge Preska said much of the information in the document patch was publicly available from the other lawsuit, so she ordered that it be released.

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Judge Preska ordered that documents related to Doe 183 also be made available, as they were “subject to extensive media coverage,” but intentionally delayed the release until Nov. 28 so the individual would have a chance to appeal her decision.

“In the court’s opinion, there is no reason to remove Doe 183 from the docket,” she said, according to Insider.

The judge also ordered that documents related to Doe 147, which was identified as Epstein victim Sarah Ransome, be unsealed.

Preska said Ransome was a victim of sexual assault, but said she has already testified publicly in another case. Ransome also published a book detailing his experiences. Additionally, she wrote a Washington Post op-ed with some relevant information.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss speaks to the media during a news conference on July 2, 2020, in New York City.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss speaks to the media during a news conference on July 2, 2020, in New York City.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The judge said other information in the documents had already been made available during Maxwell’s trial last year, which led to her 20-year sentence.

The judge, however, kept some under seal, agreeing there was “sufficient interest to preserve sealing.”

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Another individual, named Doe 12 in the documents, was sealed because he was not involved in the abuse or a victim of Epstein or Maxwell, the judge said.

Judge Preska ordered that documents related to Doe 28 remain sealed, adding that the individual is a “victim of sexual assault who continues to be traumatized by these events.”

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Media organizations have requested the release of documents from a 2016 defamation case against Maxwell by prosecutor Virginia Roberts Giuffre. The case was later settled.

Since the settlement, troves of documents have been released on a regular schedule, starting in 2019, days after Epstein’s death.

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