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Convicted Jeffrey Epstein procurer Ghislaine Maxwell files sealed motion arguing for new trial after bombshell juror disclosure

Ghislaine Maxwell watches as witness Eva Andersson is questioned by defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca during the trial of Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, December 17, 2021.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite recently convicted of procuring underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein, filed a motion supporting her bid for a new trial on Wednesday.

The filing comes weeks after Maxwell’s conviction was put at risk with disclosures that at least one juror might not have revealed during jury selection that they themselves had been victims of sexual abuse.

Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim filed the new trial request, which would detail the arguments supporting the motion, and its accompanying exhibits under seal in Manhattan federal district court.

In a letter, Sternheim asked Judge Alison Nathan “that all submissions pertaining to Juror 50 remain under seal until the Court rules on the Motion.”

Maxwell, 60, was convicted Dec. 29 of multiple felonies related to the abuse of underage girls by Epstein, her former boyfriend, who had fatally hung himself in a federal jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial in a federal child sex trafficking case.

Days later, a 35-year-old juror in the case, Juror 50, in media interviews said he had been sexually abused as a child, and discussed that fact with his fellow jurors during their deliberations.

The juror was quoted as saying he did not recall being asked on a jury selection questionnaire whether he had been a victim of sexual abuse, but said he would have answered honestly if he saw that question.

That question was on that questionnaire.

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None of the publicly viewable portions of filings by Maxwell’s lawyers explicitly say that Juror 50 failed to correctly disclose his abuse history on the questionnaire.

But those lawyers earlier this month, after the juror’s comments were published, called on Nathan to order a new trial without even holding a hearing on the issue.

Defense lawyers at the time noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a new trial can be granted if it can be shown that a “juror failed to answer honestly a material question” during jury selection and that a correct response would have been grounds to disqualify the juror from being seated.

Ghislaine Maxwell speaks at the Arctic Circle Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland October 2013.

The Arctic Circle via Reuters

Nathan is awaiting arguments from both prosecutors and defense lawyers on the question of whether she should conduct an inquiry into the juror’s questionnaire and his possible effect on fellow jurors during deliberations.

In the meantime, she has set a June 28 sentencing date for Maxwell. That sentencing would be canceled if the judge ends up ordering a new trial for her.

Maxwell remains held without bail in a federal jail in Brooklyn.

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