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List of Jeffrey Epstein's associates named in lawsuit can be unsealed, judge rules. Here are details on the document release.

Ghislaine Maxwell talks Epstein from prison
Ghislaine Maxwell says meeting Jeffrey Epstein was "greatest mistake of my life" 02:07

Update: The court documents were released starting Wednesday, Jan. 3. Read the latest here. Our earlier story is below.

A list of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims and associates — some of whom have been accused of being involved in the disgraced financier's exploitation and abuse of underage girls — could be unsealed and made public as soon as today. That comes after a judge ruled in mid-December that the information should be unsealed, but delayed the release until January to give those involved time to appeal their listing.

More than 150 names may be made public as part of a settled civil lawsuit against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell — who was found guilty of conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse underage girls for at least a decade — brought by Virginia Giuffre, who accused Maxwell of recruiting her for abuse.

Giuffre has called Maxwell "the mastermind" behind Epstein's sex trafficking ring.

The list of names could include Epstein's accused co-conspirators as well as a wide range of people listed in the lawsuit. 

Giuffre told CBS News in July 2020 that Maxwell had access to very well-known people, including "government officials, politicians and royalty."

Judge Loretta Preska said they would be released in January to give the people listed in the court filing enough time to appeal the decision. It is unclear whose names are on the list, but many of them have already been mentioned in the media, Preska noted in her ruling. 

What documents will be unsealed?

Judge Preska listed 187 "J. Does" on the court documents and ruled many of them should be "unsealed in full." Some of those "J.Does" appear twice, and others are minors, so it is not yet known what the final tally of names released will be. 

Epstein's associates were named in a settled civil defamation suit filed by Virginia Giuffre in 2015 against Maxwell.

The judge detailed the reasoning behind the publication of the names, noting that many had already been mentioned in the media. For others, the substance in question was not salacious and should not be kept sealed, the rulings said.

Some "J. Does" are minors and possible victims, and Preska ruled that those names and "any identifying information" will remain sealed. 

When will the list of names be released?

The ruling stated that the list of names is expected to be made public in January, after giving the listed "J. Does" about 14 days to object to the publication of their names. 

The ruling allows any "impacted Doe the opportunity to appeal," the court documents said. After the window to appeal closes, the documents will be unsealed and posted to the docket. 

What were the accusations against Epstein?

Epstein was accused of sexually assaulting countless teenage girls, some of them as young as 14 years old, according to prosecutors. Epstein allegedly exploited a vast network of underage girls for him and his wealthy clients to have sex with at his homes in Manhattan; Palm Beach, Florida; and his private island near St. Thomas. He was also accused of utilizing a network of employees to ensure continued access to victims. 

Britain's Prince Andrew is one of the high-profile figures who has been accused of being one of Epstein's alleged co-conspirators. Giuffre has alleged that she and the British royal had sex in three locations when she was underage. Andrew has denied any wrongdoing and has said he didn't know anything about Epstein's criminal behavior. 

Epstein was charged by federal prosecutors in 2019 with one count of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking with underage females. The 66-year-old financier died by suicide in his jail cell in Manhattan a little over a month after being arrested. Charges against him were dropped after his death. 

In June, JPMorgan Chase reached a $290 million settlement with victims of Epstein over claims the bank overlooked the financier's sex trafficking and abuse because it wanted to profit from a banking relationship with him.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that the list is expected to be released in January, not a specific date.

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