Ghislaine Maxwell cannot force Epstein accuser to disclose settlement payment: US judge by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her impeachment hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in New York

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) – A woman who claims she was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein and is expected to testify against Ghislaine Maxwell in her criminal trial does not need to disclose how much she is being compensated to settle claims against Epstein’s estate, A US state judge ruled on Wednesday. Federal District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan ruled in favor of Annie Farmer, who, like many Epstein prosecutors, attempted to dismiss her claim against the deceased financier’s estate to obtain a confidential settlement from the victim’s compensation program. Maxwell’s lawyers opposed a dismissal, saying a large settlement would give Farmer a reason to lie, and that the British socialite needed the dollar amount to properly question her if she testified. But the judge said a firing would not unduly harm Maxwell. “If you want information to use in the court of public opinion, you must get it elsewhere,” Schofield wrote. “Similarly, if you want information to use in your defense in the criminal case, then you should try to obtain the information using the procedures available in that case.” Maxwell’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Farmer did not immediately respond to similar requests. She has accused Maxwell of “blaming the victim” without merit and said that Farmer intended to testify truthfully in any future proceedings. Maxwell, 59, is being held in a federal jail in Brooklyn after pleading not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom three underage girls for sex between 1994 and 1997. Farmer has said he was 16 when Epstein abused her, and she is one of the alleged victims discussed in Maxwell’s criminal complaint. Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

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