Ghislaine Maxwell attends the ETM Children's Benefit Gala in New York on May 6, 2014.

Ghislaine Maxwell attends the ETM Children's Benefit Gala in New York on May 6, 2014. (Rob Kim/Getty Images/TNS)

NEW YORK - Ghislaine Maxwell fought desperately Thursday to block publication of documents about Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking scheme.

While Maxwell sat in a Brooklyn federal jail without bail on charges of grooming underage girls for Epstein's abuse, her legal team filed a flurry of documents arguing publication of the papers would damage her right to a fair trial.

The papers, many of which were expected to be unsealed before midnight, are part of a mostly secret defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre in 2015.

"This case began as a defamation action, though it is hardly recognizable as such anymore. The stakes are much higher now. The government has indicted Ghislaine Maxwell. The media has all but convicted her," Maxwell attorney Adam Mueller wrote in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals filing.

The filing reiterated arguments Maxwell, 58, made to a lower court on Wednesday that she'd been the victim of a "perjury trap" in 2016 that resulted in her being indicted earlier this month for lying under oath. She's also charged with enticing minors to travel for sex.

The accused madam succeeded in winning a brief delay until Monday of publication of her depositions, which are cited in her indictment. The deposition of a man identified only as "John Doe 1" is also delayed to Monday.

"At her deposition, Ms. Maxwell was compelled to answer numerous questions about her private, consensual, and intimate conduct with other adults. Evidence of that conduct will not be admissible in Ms. Maxwell's criminal trial, because it is irrelevant and highly prejudicial," Mueller wrote.

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