London – Ghislaine Maxwell will appear in a Manhattan courtroom on Friday under a “protective order” to keep parts of her case secret.
A gagging clause is being drawn up to protect “the privacy and identity of third parties”, documents state.
The measures will cover alleged victims of Maxwell, who is said to have acted as Epstein’s “madam”, luring schoolgirls into his clutches.
However, the terms of the proposed legal order are so wide that they may also afford “privacy” to the paedophile’s high-profile associates. As well as Prince Andrew, the financier’s famous friends included Bill Clinton, Woody Allen and Donald Trump.
Maxwell will use Friday’s court appearance to ask a judge to free her on bail while awaiting trial. She is also likely to be asked if she wishes to plead guilty or not guilty to six counts, including that she trafficked three underage girls for sex, groomed them for abuse and then lied to cover her tracks.
The British socialite was transferred to New York on Monday from a county jail in New Hampshire. She had been locked up there since last Thursday after the FBI stormed her woodland hideaway.
She is now at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, which one former warden described as “one of the most troubled, if not the most troubled facility” in the US.
Following Epstein’s prison suicide, Maxwell is likely to be under 24-hour surveillance to ensure she lives to face trial.
The Southern District of New York attorney’s office has said it will insist she remains locked up because – as a multi-millionaire with three passports facing up to 35 years in jail – she could go on the run if granted bail.