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A letter sent to a New York judge this week from Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers indicates that they are fighting tooth and nail against one of her accuser’s attempts to drop a civil lawsuit filed against the socialite and Jeffrey Epstein’s estate in 2019.
Annie Farmer, one of three alleged child sex trafficking victims referenced in the federal criminal indictment against Maxwell, would like the civil lawsuit she filed against the jailed British socialite in November 2019 dismissed, but has found her attempt impeded by Maxwell’s legal team, ABC News reports.
Farmer sued Maxwell and late billionaire financier Epstein’s estate in 2019, accusing the pair of grooming and sexually abusing her when she was 16 years old, according to a separate ABC News report. However, last year Farmer decided to present her claims to the Epstein Victims' Compensation Fund, a voluntary program run by his estate to handle restitution claims for those who claim to have been victimized by Epstein, according to ABC News.
Farmer went on to accept an offer from the fund, but that offer requires her to dismiss any pending legal action she may have against Epstein’s estate or any of his former employees. Her November 2019 lawsuit falls under this category.
In accordance with the offer, Farmer has attempted to drop her civil lawsuit, but Maxwell’s legal team has responded with demands of their own.
Laura Menninger, a lawyer for Maxwell, asked a judge in a letter on Tuesday to order Farmer to first hand over an “un-redacted copy of the signed and executed release from the claims program,” according to court documents obtained by ABC News. Maxwell’s legal team is arguing that they need this information in order to protect their client from any possible future legal action.
“In the event [Farmer] attempts to sue her again in any forum at some unknown time in the future, Ms. Maxwell needs a signed and executed release so that she has a legally enforceable document to seek dismissal of any such claim,” the letter reportedly states.
Sigrid McCawley, one of Farmer’s lawyers, said in her own letter to the judge this week that they have offered to provide Maxwell’s team with a copy of the settlement offer from the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund with no information redacted aside from the amount of money Farmer will be receiving. But Maxwell’s lawyers did not agree to those terms, ABC News reports. McCawley has described the actions of Maxwell’s lawyers as “indefensible” and has accused the attorneys of simply seeking to “stall” Farmer’s progress in reaching a resolution with the fund.
Maxwell, 58, was arrested in July and is facing numerous trafficking charges in relation to claims that she aided Epstein and others in the grooming and abuse of minors — claims which she has denied and to which she has pled not guilty. She remains in custody in New York as she awaits trial and endures conditions that her lawyers have claimed are “onerous."
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