Hundreds of people could be implicated if court documents in a 2015 defamation case between Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's alleged madam, are unsealed, a lawyer said in federal court Wednesday.
"There are hundreds of other people implicated," Jeff Pagliuca, Maxwell's attorney said, citing court filings associated with the case.
US District Judge Loretta Preska didn't issue a ruling on the unsealing of documents but asked attorneys to confer with each other to create a road map for how to proceed in the unsealing process.
The names of individuals contained in the court documents aren't known, but an anonymous John Doe, who isn't related to the Giuffre-Maxwell case but fears he could be implicated in case documents, pleaded in a Tuesday filing that non-parties to the case should be protected "against potentially life-changing, unfair and irremediable disclosures."
Unsealing references to non-parties would throw those individuals into the middle of a media "frenzy, and unfairly do irreparable harm to their privacy and reputational interests," Doe's attorneys argued in their filing, citing more than 17,000 articles regarding Epstein having been published over the past few weeks.
Non-parties, like John Doe, will be permitted to file objections to the release of documents after an arduous review process by the court and attorneys for the parties, Judge Peska said during Wednesday's conference hearing.
The records include hundreds of pages of investigative reports, at least 29 depositions, and an address book with "about 1,000 names," Pagliuca told the court.
Hundreds of pages of court documents relating to the same defamation case were unsealed in August.
The documents revealed new details of alleged sexual abuse claims by Giuffre against multimillionaire Epstein and several associates -- and included allegations by Giuffre that she was instructed by Maxwell to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former US Sen. George Mitchell, among others. Both Richardson and Mitchell have denied the allegations.
Epstein died by suicide the day after the court unsealed the new details of claims against him.
He had previously pleaded not guilty to charges by New York federal prosecutors of running a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls, some as young as 14 years old.