Victim’s attorney accuses Epstein estate of attempts to ‘stonewall’ lawsuit

first_imgStephanie Keith/Getty ImagesBY: JAMES HILL, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — An attorney for a woman who claims to be the first known child sex-abuse victim of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell is accusing the legal team representing Epstein’s estate of withholding evidence and attempting to prevent the testimony of a key witness, according to a letter sent to the judge overseeing her lawsuit on Wednesday.“This behavior flies in the face of fairness, professionalism and much needed justice,” wrote Robert Glassman, the lawyer for the accuser, who filed the suit under the pseudonym Jane Doe.According to the letter, attorneys for the estate have failed to turn over “a single page of evidence” in the three months since being served with pre-trial requests. The estate missed a previously agreed-upon deadline to begin producing documents in the possession of the estate that contained Doe’s name and information, Glassman wrote, and he claimed they abruptly called off a scheduled deposition of Darren Indyke, one of the estate’s co-executors and a long-time lawyer for Epstein and his affiliated companies.The estate is “engaging in obstructionist litigation tactics intended to stonewall and deprive Jane Doe of plainly relevant discovery,” Glassman wrote, in asking for a conference with the court. “It is clear that absent court intervention, the Epstein Estate will not comply with its basic discovery obligations.”Doe has already turned over more than 190 pages of documents to the estate earlier this month, according to the letter, but balked at the estate’s request for what Glassman called “largely irrelevant and, quite frankly, outrageous information” from Doe. Glassman claimed that among the requests were documents referencing “any and all medical procedures and consultations she has ever had throughout her lifetime, including while she was a minor,” even if such medical care was unrelated to Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged abuse of her.Bennet Moskowitz, a lawyer for Indyke and Richard Kahn, the estate’s co-executors, declined to comment on the allegations raised by Glassman’s when reached Wednesday by ABC News.But in a response filed in court Thursday, an estate attorney called Glassman’s letter “very premature” and a misrepresentation of what had occurred.The estate claims that Indyke’s deposition was taken off the calendar to allow time for Maxwell’s lawyer, who had just entered the case, to confer with all parties about setting new schedules, and contended that production of documents in their possession was being held up only because Doe’s lawyers had yet to agree to a confidentiality order “which must occur before we produce documents that refer to [Doe], who filed this case anonymously, by her real name.”That is for [Doe’s] benefit,” wrote estate lawyer Mary Grace Metcalfe.Glassman told ABC News Thursday that he hadn’t agreed to delaying Indyke’s deposition and that he sees no need to for a confidentiality agreement to protect the identity of his client because there is a prior court order which deals with that.“We’re interested in taking this case to trial and getting the evidence that we need in order to prepare the case for that time,” Glassman said, “And it appears that they’re more interested in sitting in their offices writing letters and objecting to everything that we’re trying to do.”Lawyers for the estate have previously asked the court to dismiss some of Doe’s claims as beyond the statute of limitations. The lawyers for the co-executors have also encouraged Doe to participate in an alternative resolution program established by the Epstein estate, which launched last month after protracted delays.The details in Doe’s lawsuit, which was filed in January against the Epstein estate and Maxwell, are substantially similar to the allegations pertaining to one of the three minor victims included in the federal charges against Maxwell, who is accused in a six-count indictment of assisting, facilitating and contributing to Epstein’s alleged abuse of three minor girls between 1994 and 1997.“Jane Doe was their first known victim and was subsequently abused by Epstein and Maxwell for years as a young girl, suffering unimaginable physical and psychological trauma and distress,” her complaint said.Maxwell pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing earlier this week and was ordered held without bail pending trial in July 2021. A week after Maxwell’s July 2 arrest in New Hampshire, her attorney filed an answer to Doe’s lawsuit, denying the claims while also noting the overlap between the lawsuit and the criminal case against Maxwell in New York.“Ms. Maxwell’s denials of factual allegations [in Doe’s lawsuit] shall be interpreted the same as pleading not guilty to the various counts in any criminal indictment,” wrote Laura Menninger, a lawyer who has represented Maxwell in civil litigation for five years.According to Doe’s civil complaint, she first met Maxwell and Epstein in 1994 as a 13-year-old student at a music camp in Michigan. A months-long grooming process continued, she alleges, after she returned home to Florida, where Epstein had a seaside estate on Palm Beach Island.Doe’s father had recently passed away, the complaint said, creating an opportunity for Epstein and Maxwell to fill the void.“Epstein gave himself the name of Doe’s ‘godfather’ while Maxwell acted like an older sister to her,” her complaint said. “They took her to movies, went shopping with her and lounged around Epstein’s estate with her.”Doe, now 39, alleges the abuse escalated over the next few years as Epstein and Maxwell asserted more and more control over her life and aspirations. Epstein paid for voice lessons, private high school tuition and even co-signed a lease on a New York City apartment for Doe and her mother, according to her complaint.She claims the abuse occurred at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York and his ranch in New Mexico, and that she would often travel to those locations with Epstein and Maxwell on one of Epstein’s private jets.“Epstein’s system of abuse was facilitated in large part by his co-conspirator and accomplice, Maxwell, who helped supply him with a steady stream of young and vulnerable girls,” the complaint said, “many of whom were fatherless, like Jane Doe, and came from struggling families.”Doe’s case is one of just a few civil actions against the Epstein estate that are being actively litigated. Most of the pending lawsuits have been put on hold by alleged victims while they submit their claims to the alternative resolution program.Epstein’s estate is valued at more than $655 million, according to a May 5 filing in probate court in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned a private island compound that served as his primary residence since 2010.The criminal indictment against Maxwell is likely to further complicate Doe’s efforts to obtain evidence and testimony necessary to pursue her civil claims. It is expected that Maxwell will eventually seek to pause the case, at least as it pertains to her, while the criminal case against her is pending.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

10 steps to Brexit to keep David Cameron up at night

first_imgPollsters privately insist nothing much has changed. The fundamentals remain stacked in the prime minister’s favor, they say. For Leave to win, support for Brexit needs to be 10 points further ahead, comfortably topping 50 percent in the polls.But Vote Leave, the official campaign for Brexit, smell blood. They are convinced of victory. Here are the 10 steps that would get them there:1. Discipline breaks downConventional wisdom has been turned on its head. The Remain campaign was supposed to be united and on message, while Brexiteers squabbled. No longer.Seeds of division were planted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to stick to the script, his own MPs believe. Attacking the government’s so-called “project fear,” the Labour leader promised to kill the EU’s free trade deal with the U.S. and ensure Brussels became more interventionist on social policy under his leadership.Remain’s message discipline further frayed live on air last Thursday, as economic warnings were lost in a co-ordinated blizzard of calls to “take back control” from the line-up of Leave campaigners led by former London mayor Boris Johnson.Cabinet minister Amber Rudd attempted to regain the initiative by hurling insults at Johnson, winning headlines, but undermining her ally and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to set out the “positive case.” LONDON — David Cameron was supposed to be cruising to victory. A blizzard of dire economic warnings from across the world had effectively settled the question. The Leave campaign had lost the economic argument and could do nothing but raise fears about immigration.Or so many pundits thought.There is a growing sense of panic among pro-Remain MPs. Something isn’t right. Labour has been spooked by a surge in support for Brexit in its heartlands. Outside London, England does not feel like a country convinced by Remain. Without Labour voters, Cameron cannot hope to carry the country.5. TV debatesOne bad debate does not a Brexit make, but Cameron cannot afford a pattern to emerge.The prime minister emerged relatively unscathed from his first TV interrogation June 2 on Sky, primarily because hardly anyone bothered to watch with England playing Portugal on the other channel. His TV scuffle with Nigel Farage a few days later, watched by 4 million people, went well but did not move the dial.Then came the beating for Remain on Thursday when a co-ordinated assault from the three Brexit MPs saw Boris & Co. emerge triumphant.Downing Street will take solace in paltry viewing figures for the two-hour debate, with just 3 million tuning in — 1 million fewer than a DIY programme on the BBC that night.But if the public did not notice, Westminster and Fleet Street certainly did. A strong performance from Michael Gove in front of a BBC audience on Wednesday could give Leave momentum going into the final week. Cameron will need a strong showing on June 19 when it’s his turn to face questions. With less than two weeks until polling day, losing control of the message is a bad omen for Remain.2. England energizedVote Leave has produced a series of electoral maps which, if made public, would send shivers through Downing Street.Using computer bots to trawl past voting data, the campaign has broken down, postcode by postcode, expected turnout and Euroskepticism in each area of the country.The magnetic power of the status quo, pulling voters back from the brink, is far less powerful than in previous referendums such as in Quebec or Scotland.From the data, the campaign has produced two key maps showing the battleground areas. One shows strongly pro-EU postcodes with historically high turnouts, the other Euroskeptic areas with strong voting records.The two maps are immediately striking. The pro-EU map has big blue circles in just two areas — inner London and Scotland. The Brexit map, by contrast, is covered in blue everywhere in England outside the capital and Labour’s northern heartlands. 6. NewspapersIt might not seem so in Brussels, but British newspapers are not uniformly hostile to the EU.The left-wing Mirror tabloid has a working-class readership, of which around half will vote to leave, but the paper itself is pro-EU. The mass-market Daily Record in Scotland is also for Remain, along with the Guardian and Financial Times.A resentful nation toying with Brexit could be pushed over the edge by a humiliating defeat to a team of footballing minnows from central Europe.Nevertheless, most of the biggest circulation London newspapers are fiercely anti-EU. The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Sun have been relentlessly hostile to Number 10 throughout the campaign and are likely to remain so until polling day.Whether or not they officially campaign for Brexit, the die has been cast.And while newspapers do not have the power they once had, almost 4 million people a day still read the three main anti-EU newspapers. Their influence cannot be dismissed. The migrant crisis may also rear its head. Recent revelations about boatloads of Albanians attempting to cross the Channel to reach the U.K. coincided with a spike in support for leaving, Leave insiders say.A major incident in the final few days of the campaign and all bets are off. Also On POLITICO ‘I’ll pull UK out of the single market after Brexit’ By Tom McTague Vote Leave believe England’s southern Brexit belt holds the key to victory. If the South turns out and working class northerners stay home, Britain could be heading out of the EU.3. The Brexit ‘double differential’Number 10 consistently stress how important turnout will be, with Cameron publicly warning younger voters not to let their grandparents drag them out of Europe by failing to show up on June 23.Pollsters are cynical about the prime minister’s warning, insisting that in reality neither side has much of a demographic advantage. It is true that Brexit is boosted by its support among the elderly, who are more likely to vote than the young. But Remain is equally helped by support among the educated and wealthy, who are also more likely to turnout.Vote Leave believes it has two key advantages which have been overlooked: geography and enthusiasm. Support for remaining in the EU is higher in Labour’s inner cities where turnout is historically much lower than in wealthier Tory areas. This gives Brexit an in-built advantage in a nationwide referendum where the contest is a simple race for the most votes.The second boon for Brexit is that voters who want out are far more passionate than those who want to remain. Internal polling from Vote Leave has confirmed there is no love for the EU even among those who want to stay.This means the magnetic power of the status quo, pulling voters back from the brink, is far less powerful than in previous referendums such as in Quebec or Scotland. 7. FootballOn Monday June 20, barely 36 hours before polls open on Thursday morning, England play their final group game in the European Championships against Slovakia.After crashing out of the World Cup at the same stage two years ago, Number 10 will be praying history doesn’t repeat itself. A resentful nation toying with Brexit could be pushed over the edge by a humiliating defeat to a team of footballing minnows from central Europe.This scenario is not without precedent. In 1987, the unpopular Labour government in New Zealand was unexpectedly re-elected after the country won the Rugby World Cup. Twelve years later the country threw out the government after a shock loss in the semifinal of another Rugby World Cup.The European Championships could also serve to dampen turnout, boosting Brexit, by dominating the airwaves during the debates.On Wednesday Michael Gove goes head to head with France vs. Albania, while four days later Cameron is up against the Switzerland vs. France group game decider.On the 21st, the day of the live Wembley BBC debate, most of Northern Ireland will be in the pub after playing Germany at 5 pm. One of the best games of the opening group stages, Croatia v Spain, will also be televized that night. 9. Brexit ground warVote Leave is planning a door-knocking Brexit blitz in the last few days before the vote which they believe will see them over the line.Having built their own software to target voters based on canvassing returns, the campaign plans a major ground operation between Monday and Thursday next week to get people to encourage their friends and family to turn out for Brexit.Vote Leave says all their data collection has been geared towards the final push. In total they plan to knock on three million doors in the last two days.This operation rests on the campaign’s fired-up army of volunteers. Downing Street will hope the plan is as unsuccessful as Labour’s infamous boast to hold “5 million conversations” in the run up to the last election, which failed to swing the result.10. The unknownsWhat happens if there is a terrorist attack? No one knows.Vote Leave say they observed a brief upswing in support for Brexit immediately after the Paris terror attacks. In 2004 the Spanish government was kicked out three days after Al Qaeda attacked the Madrid rail network. A similar attack during the European Championships could spark an equally volatile political reaction in the U.K. While the timing is not ideal, Number 10 is not stupid. On referendum day itself there are no football games at all.8. Lecturing elitesThe U.K. government is banned from using its bureaucratic power to pump out propaganda for the final month of the campaign but this does not stop “independent” international bodies doing it for them.Vote Leave’s data collection is geared towards final canvassing push. In total they plan to knock on three million doors in the last two days.Just days before the vote, the International Monetary Fund — part funded by the U.K. — will publish a report likely to warn about the dangers of Brexit. George Osborne won’t miss the opportunity to use an annual speech at Mansion House to ram home his warnings.Far from being concerned, Vote Leave are positively thrilled at the prospect. The Chancellor pictured in white tie speaking to a room full of bankers is not a major concern, they point out.And while Christine Lagarde may be respected among certain circles, to most people in the country she will come over as a wealthy French woman lecturing them on how to vote, Vote Leave believe. The lower the turnout the more advantage Vote Leave feels is has. Anything between 55-60 percent and Britain is heading for Brexit, they believe.4. Half-hearted LabourLabour is caught in a trap and doesn’t know what to do. Unlike the Tories, Labour MPs were relatively united in their support for EU membership. But then the party’s core voters started telling them something different.“We’re getting killed, it’s madness,” one senior Labour MP said. “We’re being asked to argue with our voters, telling them that they’re wrong about immigration and the EU. And then at the end we’re supposed to turn around and say vote Labour. It’s like putting up a sign saying vote UKIP.”British PM David Cameron, right, and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the Palace of Westminster | Stefan Wermuth/WPA Pool via Getty ImagesThe problem reflects the irony at the heart of the Brexit debate: Wealthier voters tend to support the Euroskeptic Tories, but also favor British membership of the EU. Poorer voters want to leave, but support the pro-European Labour Party. UKIP is making hay from the confusion.Corbyn believes the answer is to support EU membership but criticize Brussels and call for reform to reflect voters concerns. Labour MPs are furious and claim he is simply undermining support for Remain.At a meeting of the shadow cabinet Tuesday last week Corbyn was forced to defend himself after open criticism from his team.last_img read more