Just hours before a revealing dossier about her sex life was due to be released, Ghislaine Maxwell succeeded in her bid to keep the papers sealed.
Lawyers acting for the disgraced socialite, 58, argued that the revelations could ruin any chance she might have of a fair trial.
The daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell currently faces criminal child sex trafficking charges in New York, having been accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for paedophile millionaire Jeffrey Epstein to abuse.
Judge Loretta Preska last week said that some 80 documents, running to hundreds of pages, should be unsealed.
She ordered litigators to “proceed with unsealing the relevant materials,” and rejected a bid from Maxwell’s legal team who claimed even if the documents had names and other details blacked out they could still identify “non-parties, including alleged victims”.
“The Court is troubled, but not surprised, that Ms. Maxwell has yet again sought to muddy the waters as the clock ticks closer to midnight,” the judge said.
But Maxwell won a legal fight to keep “highly intrusive” documents relating to her sex life sealed with just hours to go before they were set to be released.
The huge file of documents dates back to 2015, and it is reported to contain hundreds of pages of intimate and potentially embarrassing testimony Maxwell gave to investigators as part of Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s 2015 defamation case against her.
Maxwell has unlikely allies in the same of some of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims. They have expressed concerns that videos and photos showing them being sexually abused could be entered into evidence and eventually shown in court during Maxwell’s criminal trial.
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who represents six of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, says her clients are “very concerned” and she hopes prosecutors will provide adequate notice to the victims if any footage of them is to be used in court.
Another lawyer acting for a group of Epstein victims, Spencer Kuvin, added: “Any active prosecution that may involve video tapes or the fear of video tapes being utilised by the prosecution is going to bring about anxiety to my clients.”
He went on to say: “Having said that my clients would want Ghislaine Maxwell to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, as well as any co-conspirators.”