- A judge unsealed identities of anonymous “John Does” in Ghislaine Maxwell litigation.
- Several names were of Jeffrey Epstein victims, not powerful associates.
- One, a subject of “intense media coverage,” was allowed to remain anonymous and pursue an appeal.
A judge agreed to make public the names of several “John Does” who tried to keep their identities secret in the long-running litigation between Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell and Virginia Giuffre, an Epstein victim.
One of them, however — identified as “John Doe 183” in court filings — will remain anonymous despite being the subject of “intense media coverage” and was repeatedly named in Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial.
Loretta A. Preska, the semi-retired federal judge overseeing the case, said in a court hearing Friday afternoon that John Doe 183’s name ought to be made public but that she would stay her own ruling to permit the person to pursue an appeal.
“That Doe’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein has been a subject of intent media coverage, and Doe 183’s name has appeared in numerous places in unsealed portions of Ms. Maxwell’s criminal trial transcript,” Preska said in the Friday hearing. “In the court’s view, there’s no reason to redact Doe 183 from the documents.”
Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted in December for trafficking multiple girls to Epstein for sex, and for sexually abusing several of them herself. (Epstein died in jail while awaiting trial for related charges in 2019.) Evidence presented in her trial drew connections between her and Epstein and numerous powerful acquaintances, including former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew (who settled his own lawsuit with Giuffre), journalist Mike Wallace, and astronaut John Glenn.
Alan Dershowitz, another former acquaintance of the now-dead pedophile financier, who also settled a lawsuit with Giuffre, has long sought to unseal material from the lawsuit as well, claiming it would disprove Giuffre’s misconduct allegations against him.
While the public has largely speculated that the 16 “John Does” who lodged objections to making their identities public were all powerful acquaintances of Epstein and Maxwell, that isn’t the case.
Two of the people whose identities were unsealed Friday include apparent victims of Epstein, who Preska said should no longer remain anonymous because of the public nature of their accusations.
One is Emmy Taylor, who filed a lawsuit this summer against a journalist she said misrepresented her experience with Epstein and Maxwell. The other was Sarah Ransome, who wrote a book about her experience, granted numerous media interviews, and spoke at Maxwell’s sentencing hearing. A third victim, Preska ruled Friday, would have their identity remain sealed because of the “ongoing trauma” from their experience.
The other people whose identities were unsealed, Preska said, had only marginal connections to Epstein and Maxwell. That includes hotel magnate Thomas Pritzker, the cousin of Illinois governor JB Pritzker. Preska said his name came up in the context of a deposition where the witness said they didn’t recognize him.
The filings arose from a lawsuit Giuffre filed against Maxwell in 2015 in Manhattan federal court accusing her of defamation when the British socialite called Giuffre a liar. It settled in 2017 but has enjoyed a long afterlife stretching to more than 1,200 docket entries as Giuffre has sought to unseal thousands of pages of deposition transcripts and other documents filed in the case.
With the exception of “John Doe 183,” Friday’s hearing ends the saga of the anonymous “John Does.”
After Maxwell was convicted of sex-trafficking girls with Epstein in December 2021, she dropped her objections to keeping the names of certain “John Doe” parties secret. Sixteen of those anonymous parties, however, lodged their own objections to making their names public. Preska previously ruled, in April, whether to unseal the other eight people who initially lodged objections.
She ultimately un-redacted the names of hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin and his wife Eva Dubin, longstanding friends of Epstein’s, and their butler Ronald Rizzo, according to Inner City Press. Eva Dubin testified at Maxwell’s trial, providing details about her friendship with Epstein in the 1980s and 1990s.
Preska ruled that the others were either not relevant or only marginally relevant to the litigation.