Epstein Client List Started Being Unsealed on Wednesday, Raising Abuse Allegation Stakes

There has been a lot of anticipation since the United States District Court Judge Loretta Preska issued an order on December 18th ordering the unsealing of documents relating to Jeffrey Epstein’s and Ghislaine Maxiwell’s clients, which were produced as part of a civil suit brought by Virginia Giuffre against the madam. The documents were supposed to be released on January 2, the first working day after the judge granted a 14-day appeals stay, but not a single one was released.

Preska released an order on Wednesday, January 3. She outlined the current status of the case. The parties informed Preska that documents would be uploaded “today” to the docket.

Why the delay?

The judge’s decision was appealed by Doe 107 on December 20th. On December 21st, Judge Preska gave Doe 107’s attorney until the 22nd of January to provide any information related to Doe 107’s claim that she might be in danger if her documents were unsealed.

The request of Doe 107 for a 30-day extension has been approved. Doe 107 must submit, before January 22, 2024, an affidavit to the Court, for review in camera, that (1) supports her assertion that there is a risk she will be physically harmed in her country, and (2) provides details about the hate mail received. Doe 107’s attorney may also provide any additional factual evidence by this date to support Doe 107’s assertion that the unsealing of relevant records could put her in danger.

It’s strange that the major news organizations still expected records to be unlocked/released by January 2, 2024.

The order that granted Doe 107 the time she requested to prepare an affidavit relating to her circumstances would not necessarily affect other “do”, but there may have been confusion over whether the remaining documents should be unsealed.

Preska’s order of December 18 did not anticipate that all the records relevant would be ready for release on January 2. The order states:

The Court repeats its previous recitations of the applicable laws and descriptions of unsealing processes as outlined in the transcripts of January 19, 2021 No. 1196), 1 July 2021 (dkt. no. 1220), April 19, 2022 (dkt. no. No. 1254) and November 18, 2020 (Dkt. no. 1283). As outlined in this document, the Court’s findings regarding the Does after its detailed review of the documents are as follows: The Court delays its order for 14 days to give any Doe impacted the chance to appeal. After that, counsel will be asked to consult, prepare documents for unsealing under this order, and post them on the docket. The Court orders that the documents will be unsealed by this order.

Doe 107 was not specifically mentioned in the order of December 18, so her lawyer she wasn’t certain if she had been “impacted Doe”, which could also have led to confusion regarding unsealing/releasing documents.

We’ve learned now that Doe 110 has also requested to keep documents sealed with her name. Records outlined in the December 18 Order, except those relating to Does 107 and 110, will be filed in the docket.

The full text of Preska’s January 3 filing reads:

ORDER: On December 18, 2023, the Court entered an order (Dkt. no. 1315) summarizing its findings following a particularized review of the documents noted therein and immediately staying its order for fourteen days to allow any impacted Doe an opportunity to appeal. The Court received inquiries from two Does seeking to remain under seal. The first of these two Does is Doe 107, whom the Court granted an extension of time until January 22, 2024, to submit support for her assertion that unsealing would cause her physical harm. (See dkt. no. 1318.) The second inquiry was submitted by Doe 110 and is currently under review by the Court. Except for the documents relating to these Does, the parties have informed the Court that they will begin filing the unsealed records outlined in this Court’s December 18 Order later today. The Court will render its determination on the documents relating to Does 107 and 110 in due course. SO ORDERED.

As soon as we receive any new filings, we will notify you.