Ghislaine Maxwell to Seek New Trial After Juror Failed to Disclose Being Sex Abuse Victim

Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite who was convicted last week of sex trafficking, is looking to obtain a retrial after a juror revealed that he was a victim of sex abuse.

Maxwell's attorneys, Jeffrey Pagliuca and Laura Menninger, sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan on Wednesday. In it, they claim that "undisputed, publicly available information" regarding an anonymous juror shows that a retrial is necessary in their client's case.

"Ms. Maxwell intends to request a new trial," Pagliuca and Menninger said. "Any submission will include all known undisputed remarks of the juror, including recorded statements, the relevant questionnaire and other noncontroverted facts. It is clear to Ms. Maxwell that based on this record alone a new trial is required."

The retrial request comes after interviews with a juror were published in The Independent and the Daily Mail. Some of those interviews revealed that one of the jurors had been sexually abused as a child and used it as an example that imperfect memories of an event don't discredit that it happened.

"I know what happened when I was sexually abused. I remember the color of the carpet, the walls. Some of it can be replayed like a video," the juror allegedly told fellow jury members. "But I can't remember all the details, there are some things that run together."

Prosecutors are also urging Nathan to conduct a hearing with the juror in around one month. They also requested that one be scheduled with the case's lawyers to determine the scope of the juror hearing.

"The Government respectfully submits that any juror investigation should be conducted exclusively under the supervision of the Court," wrote prosecutors.

It is not immediately clear if Nathan will schedule the meeting, but if she does, the prosecutors said that her staff should "promptly contact the juror to notify him."

Maxwell Newspaper
One of the jurors that convicted Ghislaine Maxwell of sex trafficking recently revealed that he was a victim of sexual abuse and did not disclose that prior to the trial, which could prompt an investigation. Above, a headline from The Times newspaper is pictured in a store in London on December 30, 2021, the morning after a jury in New York found Maxwell guilty of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney Christian Everdell said in his own letter to Nathan that the judge should suspend all other post-trial motions in the case while learning more about the juror's actions because the revelation "presents incontrovertible grounds for a new trial."

"Should the defense prevail on this motion—and we believe the law and facts are clearly on our side—it would render all other post-trial motions moot," he wrote.

He said Maxwell "should not have to expend precious time and resources briefing other motions when this motion can and should be dispositive."

Maxwell, 60, was convicted last week of charges that she conspired to recruit and groom teenage girls to be sexually abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Potential jurors in Maxwell's case were asked to fill out a questionnaire asking: "Have you or a friend or family member ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?"

Quoting from the press reports, prosecutors said the juror asserted that he "flew through" the questionnaire and didn't recall being asked if he'd been a victim of sex abuse.

Defense lawyers did not immediately comment. Prosecutors said in their letter that they'd reached out to defense counsel on Tuesday night but they had not yet responded. Prosecutors said they were "not aware of the defense position on this issue."

Epstein killed himself in jail in 2019 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial.

No sentencing date has been set after Maxwell's conviction and she is still facing trial on perjury charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Maxwell Trial
One of the jurors in the Ghislaine Maxwell case could be investigated because he did not disclose his status as a victim of sex abuse. In this courtroom sketch, Maxwell, left, sits at the defense table with defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca while listening to testimony in her sex abuse trial on Thursday, December 16, 2021, in New York. Elizabeth Williams via AP