Lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell names more defendants
Jennifer Araoz, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, filed an amended complaint Tuesday that names individuals and more than 20 corporate entities associated with Epstein that Araoz says in a civil lawsuit helped facilitate his abuse of her when she was 14 and 15.
The complaint, which previously accused Ghislaine Maxwell of being Epstein’s accomplice, now also accuses two other women: Lesley Groff, whom the complaint referred to as a “secretary”; and Cimberly Espinosa, a former executive assistant.
In the updated complaint, Araoz names Groff and Espinosa as defendants.
The complaint alleges the defendants “participated with and assisted Epstein in maintaining and protecting his sex trafficking ring, ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him for his sexual pleasure.”
“The co-conspirators provided organizational support to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, identifying and hiring the recruiters of underage girls for Epstein’s sexual pleasure, scheduling appointments with these underage girls for Epstein’s sexual pleasure, intimidating potential witnesses to Epstein’s sex trafficking operation, and generally providing administrative oversight of his sex trafficking operation and ensuring it remained secret.”
CNN has reached out to attorneys for Maxwell, who have previously denied all allegations levied against her related to Jeffrey Epstein. CNN has also reached out to Espinosa for comment.
In a statement provided to CNN, Groff’s lawyer, Michael Bachner, denied she engaged in any misconduct, saying, “As an executive assistant to Epstein, Lesley worked as part of a professional staff that included in-house attorneys, accountants, an office manager and other office staff.”
“Lesley’s job included making appointments for Mr. Epstein as directed by him, taking his messages, and setting up high-level meetings with CEOs, business executives, scientists, politicians and celebrities,” Bachner added. “At no time during Lesley’s employment with Epstein did she ever engage in any misconduct.”
The executors of Epstein’s estate were also included as defendants in the complaint.
In August, Araoz told reporters that Epstein, who died in prison by suicide, and his “network of enablers” stole her youth, identity, innocence and self-worth.
Epstein had pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking of minors.