For those who are wondering why we don’t know more about the clients of Jefferey Epstein, some are claiming to know the man fighting for secrecy behind closed doors.
- An anonymous ‘Doe 183’ wants to keep documents sealed in a case regarding Ghislaine Maxwell.
- The judge hinted Doe 183’s relationship with Epstein “has been a subject of intense media coverage.”
- Redacted versions of the documents seem connected to Jeffrey Epstein’s former benefactor Les Wexner.
At a November 18 court conference, US District Judge Loretta Preska announced she would unseal the identities of eight “Does” trying to stay anonymous in a long-running lawsuit between Ghislaine Maxwell, the convicted sex-trafficking pal of Jeffrey Epstein, and Virginia Giuffre, their most prominent accuser.
The exception, Preska said, was “Doe 183,” whom she identified as someone with ties to Epstein, and whose name appeared repeatedly in Maxwell’s criminal trial.
“That Doe’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein has been a subject of intense media coverage, and Doe 183’s name has appeared in numerous places in unsealed portions of Ms. Maxwell’s criminal trial transcript,” Preska said. “In the court’s view, there’s no reason to redact Doe 183 from the documents.”
But, Preska noted, Doe 183 wanted to appeal her ruling. So, she said, their name would remain secret for now.
The lengths that Doe 183 has gone to hide their identity are unusual. They have been fighting for months — perhaps years — to keep their true name out of public court documents.
Every single court filing they submitted in the case has been under seal. Nothing from them appears on the public court docket. Even lawyers for Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown, who intervened in the case to bring documents about Epstein to light, have not been permitted to see them.
What we do know, however, is that every single document they object to unsealing seems to be related to one of Epstein’s longtime friends and benefactors: Leslie Wexner.
We also know that Doe 183 and Wexner have the same lawyer. And when Insider asked that lawyer about his work for Doe 183, a representative for Wexner responded, declining to comment.
The documents feature deposition testimony from Maxwell, discussions of whether Maxwell and Epstein gave “massages” to girls on Wexner’s properties, and more accusations of wrongdoing against Epstein and Maxwell.
There are also swathes of blacked-out pages and paragraphs that we can’t understand without the proper context.
The public docket doesn’t show any appeals filed yet. But if Doe 183 wins their fight to keep the documents redacted, their name and the context surrounding it would remain behind those blacked-out lines.
Leslie Wexner made Jeffrey Epstein rich
Wexner, the billionaire founder of L Brands — which controls Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Pink — was Epstein’s main patron for more than a decade.
Before his arrest on sex-trafficking charges and eventual death in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial, Epstein claimed to be a financial savant who advised only billionaires how to invest their wealth.
His only known client was Wexner, who, between the 1980s and 2000s, gave him millions of dollars, put him on the board of his personal foundation, and gave him power of attorney. It was Wexner’s money that allowed Epstein to live his jet-setting lifestyle — literally, on a private plane Wexner sold him. Epstein flew girls to his Palm Beach mansion, New Mexico ranch, compound in the Virgin Islands, the eight-story Upper East Side Manhattan mansion that Wexner also sold him, and raped them. Upon his death, Epstein’s estate was valued at $630 million, of which $125 million went to a compensation fund for 136 victims.
Epstein even posed as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret to get close to girls, to eventually abuse them, several women said in lawsuits. Carolyn Andriano, who testified in Maxwell’s 2021 sex-trafficking trial, described getting lingerie from Victoria’s Secret in the mail during a period of time when Epstein serially raped her. Another accuser, who testified with the pseudonym “Jane,” described going shopping at one of the company’s stores with Epstein and Maxwell and buying underwear.
“He said, ‘Well, you know, I know everybody. I know all the agents. I know all the photographers. I know the owner of Victoria’s Secret,'” Jane testified, quoting Epstein. “‘So I can make things happen, but you just have to be ready for it.'”
Larry Visoski, one of Epstein’s private jet pilots, described in testimony for Maxwell’s trial how he flew Epstein to Columbus, Ohio, where the financier maintained a home and office near Wexner. Maria Farmer, another Epstein accuser, said in an affidavit for a separate case that Epstein and Maxwell raped her in Wexner’s compound in New Albany, on the outskirts of Columbus.
“I believe they were friends,” Visoski testified of Epstein and Wexner.
After Epstein’s 2019 indictment in New York, Wexner said in a letter to his employees that he cut ties with the rapist 12 years earlier, when he was convicted of soliciting underage prostitution in Florida, and that he regretted ever crossing paths with him. Epstein had further “misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family,” Wexner wrote.
Now, Doe 183 is trying to keep documents, including some related to Wexner’s relationship with Epstein and Maxwell, out of the public eye.
A judge is methodically unsealing the names of anonymous ‘Does’
Leading up to the criminal charges against Epstein in 2019 and Maxwell in 2020, their victims filed numerous lawsuits against them. The most prominent among the accusers is Virginia Giuffre, who sued Maxwell in 2015. The case produced thousands of pages of depositions, flight logs, emails, an unpublished memoir, and other evidence — almost all under seal.
After Giuffre and Maxwell settled their lawsuit, in 2017, Giuffre and her lawyers began the long process of trying to get filings from the case to the public. If you’ve read a story about newly unsealed Epstein files, it’s probably from that case.
Preska, the judge now overseeing the case, reasoned that the litany of names Maxwell and Giuffre discussed in their original court filings had privacy rights of their own, and that their names should be redacted.
Many of these “Does” have stepped into the litigation, arguing to keep their names private. Pundits have widely speculated that the Does are rich and powerful associates of Epstein who were complicit in the sexual trafficking and abuse of girls.
Some have turned out to be victims of Epstein, whose names remain hidden. Others, whose identities Preska made public, were people who were merely mentioned in court filings incidentally. Some occupy the gray area of having been accused of recruiting victims for Epstein, but who have also been identified as victims themselves.
A few names turned out to be Epstein’s powerful friends after all. In April, Preska ruled that the names of hedge fund giant Glenn Dubin and his wife, Eva Andersson Dubin, should be unsealed in the filings. While he was alive, Epstein maintained a close friendship with the couple. Eva Andersson Dubin dated Epstein in the 1980s and testified in Maxwell’s defense during her trial.
And then there is Doe 183.
The Doe 183 documents all seem related to Wexner
In a December 21 interview with Insider, Marion Little, an attorney representing Wexner, said he was unfamiliar with the fight to unseal the identity of Doe 183 in the Giuffre v. Maxwell case. Little had represented Wexner in a separate case between Alan Dershowitz and Giuffre, where Dershowitz subpoenaed Wexner for testimony.
But on December 27, Insider obtained an official court transcript of the November 18 a conference in the Giuffre v. Maxwell case in which Little spoke three times. While he never identified himself verbally, the transcript’s cover sheet identifies him as an attorney representing Doe 183.
After Insider reached out to Little again for a follow-up interview, a representative for Wexner contacted Insider and said Little was unable to comment on the Doe 183 case because “the whole protocol process is confidential.”
Little, through the representative, declined to comment on whether Doe 183 and Wexner are the same person.
There are 21 docket entries that mention Doe 183’s true identity. All of them contain redactions, some with several pages blacked out. Wexner’s name, and references to him, can be seen in unredacted portions of many of the documents.
Of those 21 documents, there are seven docket entries where Doe 183 is the sole Doe mentioned. All of those seven files have been partially unsealed, with some redactions. While Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump were all among the powerful men mentioned in Maxwell’s trial. Looking through the Doe 183-linked filings, it’s clear that Wexner is a common thread.
One docket entry, where Doe 183 is the sole Doe mentioned, is the deposition of Maxwell, taken in July 2016. It includes a discussion of whether Epstein “shipped off” Farmer to Wexner’s property in Ohio.
Another contested entry, a 23-page excerpt from that same deposition, happens to zero into the discussion about Wexner’s Ohio compound.
Yet another filing where Doe 183 is the sole Doe mentioned is an argument from Giuffre’s lawyer Sigrid McCawley asking the judge to force Maxwell to sit for another deposition because she didn’t adequately answer several questions, including ones regarding Wexner’s property.
We hear from Giuffre in another docket entry linked to Doe 183. It’s a mostly unredacted transcript of a conversation from 2011 between her and two of her lawyers in other litigation, Brad Edwards and Jack Scarola. Scarola asked her if Wexner would have information about Epstein’s behavior toward underage girls.
“I think he has relevant information, but I don’t think he’ll tell you the truth,” Giuffre said of Wexner.
Years later, in 2019, Edwards said Wexner’s denials of having knowledge about Epstein’s sexual proclivities “are very highly likely to be true.”
Doe 183 has claimed that unsealing certain documents would cause the public to assume they are guilty of wrongdoing and that they would suffer reputational damage, according to an April memo filed by McCawley, representing Giuffre in the litigation.
McCawley said the public has an interest in seeing the sealed documents.
“The public is more than capable of evaluating all the facts to which it is entitled, and making its own judgments about Doe 183’s proclaimed innocence,” she wrote.