The Slatest

We Cracked the Redactions in the Ghislaine Maxwell Deposition

Here’s what it says about Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew. Plus: Help us decode more names.

Ghislaine Maxwell said a lot of names that are blacked out in a just-released 2016 deposition.
Photo illustration by Slate. Images by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images and jessicahyde/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

On Thursday morning, a federal court released a 2016 deposition given by Ghislaine Maxwell, the 58-year-old British woman charged by the federal government with enticing underage girls to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein. That deposition, which Maxwell has fought to withhold, was given as part of a defamation suit brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges that she was lured to become Epstein’s sex slave. That defamation suit was settled in 2017. Epstein died by suicide in 2019.

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In the deposition, Maxwell was pressed to answer questions about the many famous men in Epstein’s orbit, among them Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew. In the document that was released on Thursday, those names and others appear under black bars. According to the Miami Herald, which sued for this and other documents to be released, the deposition was released only after “days of wrangling over redactions.”

It turns out, though, that those redactions are possible to crack. That’s because the deposition—which you can read in full here—includes a complete alphabetized index of the redacted and unredacted words that appear in the document. For example, after cracking the redactions, we know that Maxwell was asked about an email that Dershowitz allegedly sent to Epstein. In that email, Dershowitz reportedly wrote that he was “working on several possible articles about unfairness in the legal process that allows false charges to be inserted into legal documents.”

Here’s how to deduce the redacted words, using former President Bill Clinton as an example.

You can see in the index that a word that falls alphabetically between clients and clock appears on quite a number of pages. From this, we know that the word starts with the letters CL.

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Maxwell deposition.

The index indicates that this word shows up on the seventh line of page 135. If we go to page 135, we can see that in this instance the word Clinton has not been redacted.

Maxwell deposition

On other pages listed in the same index entry, the word Clinton has been redacted. See page 104. (The redacted word that appears before Clinton, in these cases, is President.)

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Maxwell deposition

That Clinton example is representative. Maxwell’s most common responses in the deposition: that she doesn’t know anything and that the accusations against her and Epstein are lies.

But it’s still worthwhile to see who Maxwell was asked about, and how exactly she responded.

Consider the example of Alan Dershowitz. The index indicated that there’s a redacted word that comes after airport and before alcohol.

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There’s also a redacted word that comes after depth and before describe.

Maxwell deposition

The A-word and the D-word, the index reports, appear consecutively on pages 211, 299, 368, and 407. Based on context, we can easily deduce that those two words are Alan and Dershowitz. Here’s a redacted case of Dershowitz on page 210. (Virginia Roberts Giuffre has publicly accused Dershowitz of having sex with her while she was underage, which he has denied.)

Maxwell deposition
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And here’s one more example:

Maxwell deposition

We know that one of the blacked-out words, which appears unredacted on line 10 of page two, is Andrews.

Maxwell deposition
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That index entry also indicates that two of those words show up multiple times on page 290.

Maxwell deposition

Roberts Giuffre wrote about an identical incident involving a puppet and Prince Andrew in her memoir. From this, we can deduce that the words here are Andrews and Andrew. (“Do you recollect asking Virginia Roberts to sit on Andrew’s lap with the caricature of Andrew?”)

What else does Maxwell say about Prince Andrew? In an exchange starting on page 105, Maxwell says that she’s known him for “a very long time” but that she never introduced him to Jeffrey Epstein or Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and that Andrew never told her that he’d had sex with Roberts Giuffre. Then there’s this exchange on page 232:

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“So did Prince Andrew tell you that he did not have sex with Virginia Roberts?”

“He doesn’t even know who Virginia Roberts is.”

“Did he tell you that he didn’t have sex with her?”

“It would be difficult to have sex with someone you don’t know.”

Here are some of the other names we cracked:

• Juan Alessi (pages 71, 73, 218 of deposition)

• Doug Band (page 137)

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• Philip Barden (pages 202, 204, 274-275, 346-348, 361, 391, 405)

• Gwendolyn Beck (page 326)

• Rebecca Boylan (page 352)

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• Jean Luc Brunel (pages 99, 116, 166, 167, 379, 380)

• Chelsea Clinton (page 377)

• Eva Dubin (pages 57-58, 339)

• Glenn Dubin (pages 57-58, 61, 237, 303-304, 339)

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• Al Gore (pages 230-231)

• Ross Gow (pages 201-204, 210, 273, 348-349, 353, 361, 391, 405)

• Sarah Kellen (pages 47-49, 56-57, 255, 328-329, 378, 395, 396, 411, 412)

• Shelley Lewis (pages 124, 363-367)

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• Nadia Marcinko, also known as Nadia Marcinkova (pages 40-47, 87, 255, 396)

• Marvin Minsky (page 145)

• Tom Pritzker (page 124)

• Arnold Prosperi (page 141)

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• David Rodgers (pages 129, 410)

• Alfredo Rodriguez (pages 317, 328, 329, 330, 331, 334, 335)

• Kevin Spacey (page 266)

• Emmy Tayler (63-65, 67, 120-121, 126-127, 142)

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• Chris Tucker (page 266)

• Leslie Wexner (pages 117, 314, 379, 380, 381, 403, 404)

Want to help us crack some more redactions? Email us what you find at tips@slate.com.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.


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