Ghislaine Maxwell is fighting to prevent jurors from seeing a copy of Jeffrey Epstein's 'little black book' at her criminal trial
Jeffrey Epstein's "little black book". Christopher Helali; Hollis Johnson / Insider; Samantha Lee / Insider
Ghislaine Maxwell doesn't want Jeffrey Epstein's "little black book" shown in her criminal trial.
Her lawyers said the book, which lists people allegedly linked to Epstein, could have been changed.
Prosecutors say they plan to bring a witness to testify about the authenticity of the book.
Ghislaine Maxwell doesn't want the jury to see a copy of the "little black book" Jeffrey Epstein kept in his mansion, which lists contact information for rich and powerful people.
In recent weeks, in partially edited court files, federal attorneys and Maxwell attorneys have debated whether a copy of the book - referred to in the files as "Exhibit 52" - can be used as evidence in order that parts of it may be shown to the jury in the sex trafficking trial of British celebrities which should begin on Monday with opening statements.
"Ms. Maxwell is demanding that the government be prevented from discussing the book in the process before proper evidence is created," wrote Maxwell's attorneys in a court record.
First published online by Gawker in 2015, the book contains the names and contact information of powerful individuals - including former President Donald Trump, founders of Victoria's Secret, Les Wexner, and Prince Andrew - who are believed to be friends with the sex offender are.
Many of those named in the book have said that they have no idea how their names got into the book. Others - including Trump, Wexner and Andrew - said they regret their association with Epstein or have had limited interaction with him.
Alfredo Rodriguez, who was a property manager at Epstein's Palm Beach, Florida mansion between 2004 and 2005, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2010 for attempting to sell the book for $ 50,000 to Brad Edwards, an attorney who of the dozen of women accused of sexual misconduct by Epstein and Maxwell. The book has been in the custody of the FBI since then, prosecutors said in court files. Rodriguez died in 2015.
A digital copy was released through a lawsuit held by Virginia Giuffre, a woman who accused Epstein and Maxwell of wrongdoing.
Maxwell attorneys attempted to exclude the book as "unauthenticated hearsay" in a motion filed on Nov. 12. Maxwell's trial will deal with charges from federal attorneys in Manhattan who allege she and Epstein co-sexually abused and sexually abused young girls. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell on June 13, 1995 in New York City. Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Maxwell's attorneys said the copy of the book that prosecutors are trying to gather evidence may have been tampered with. They said the Siegel-filed photocopy prosecutors had "inexplicable faded markings" and "photocopies of tabs" suggesting "pages have been added, deleted or changed".
"There is no evidence that these documents were created or maintained by anyone," wrote her lawyers. "It is very likely that whatever the documents are, they were tampered with or manufactured by Mr. Rodriguez to get a payday of $ 50,000."
Prosecutors said they wanted to show extracts from the book itself, not just a photocopy. They also said they wanted to bring "a witness with personal knowledge of the physical book" who worked for Epstein to testify about its authenticity.
"Agent-1 has examined government Document 52 in preparation for the trial and recognizes it as the defendant's contact book, copies of which have been kept in Epstein's Palm Beach residence, among other places," the prosecutors wrote. "Agent-1 recognizes the shape, color, and binding of the book, and recognizes the formatting and style of the entries as consistent with the way in which the defendant's book was organized and how the entries appeared."
Prosecutors also said they planned to bring a witness who would testify that Maxwell and Epstein kept "multiple copies" of two contact books and that written instructions for housekeeping were referring to those books.
Rodriguez also said on an affidavit prior to his death that Epstein's staff kept the copies of the books. Earlier this year, Insider procured and verified another copy of the book Epstein had in 1997.
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