On Thursday morning, a federal court released a 2016 deposition given by Ghislaine Maxwell, the 58-year-old British woman charged by the federal government with enticing underage girls to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein. That deposition, which Maxwell has fought to withhold, was given as part of a defamation suit brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges that she was lured to become Epstein’s sex slave. That defamation suit was settled in 2017. Epstein died by suicide in 2019.
In the deposition, Maxwell was pressed to answer questions about the many famous men in Epstein’s orbit, among them Bill Clinton, Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew. In the document that was released on Thursday, those names and others appear under black bars. According to the Miami Herald, which sued for this and other documents to be released, the deposition was released only after “days of wrangling over redactions.”
It turns out, though, that those redactions are possible to crack. That’s because the deposition—which you can read in full here—includes a complete alphabetized index of the redacted and unredacted words that appear in the document. For example, after cracking the redactions, we know that Maxwell was asked about an email that Dershowitz allegedly sent to Epstein. In that email, Dershowitz reportedly wrote that he was “working on several possible articles about unfairness in the legal process that allows false charges to be inserted into legal documents.”
Here’s how to deduce the redacted words, using former President Bill Clinton as an example.
You can see in the index that a word that falls alphabetically between clients and clock appears on quite a number of pages. From this, we know that the word starts with the letters CL.