Ghislaine Maxwell has urged a US appeals court to block the release of a deposition about her sex life.
Ms Maxwell says the release of information could destroy her ability to get a fair trial against criminal charges that she aided late financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of girls.
Ms Maxwell filed the request with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan one day after a federal judge rejected her claim that her need for confidentiality outweighed the public’s right to see the April 2016 deposition.
“Absent a stay from this court, it will forever let the cat out of the bag,” Ms Maxwell’s lawyers wrote.
The potentially damaging deposition is scheduled for release on August 3, unless the appeals court orders a stay or requests further arguments.
Ms Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997, and committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.
The deposition was taken in a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit against the British socialite by Virginia Giuffre, who had accused Epstein of having kept her as a “sex slave” with Ms Maxwell’s assistance.
It is among more than 80 documents that US District Judge Loretta Preska ordered released from that case.
The judge rejected Ms Maxwell’s contention that her arrest on July 2 and indictment were “compelling” reasons to continue sealing her deposition, and a deposition by an unnamed Epstein accuser.
Ms Maxwell’s lawyers have accused Ms Giuffre of leaking the deposition, and “in conjunction with the government” setting a “perjury trap” for their client.
They said Ms Maxwell had been promised confidentiality before being forced to answer many “personal, sensitive, and allegedly incriminatory questions”, only to be wedged when prosecutors quoted from the deposition in her indictment.
Ms Maxwell was arrested on July 2 at a New Hampshire home where prosecutors said she was hiding out.
She was denied bail and is being held in a Brooklyn jail after the judge overseeing her criminal case called her a flight risk.
Epstein was found dead at age 66 last August in a Manhattan jail, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges for abusing women and girls in Manhattan and Florida from 2002 to 2005.
He had pleaded not guilty.