Lawyers for JPMorgan Chase’s former private-banking chief, Jes Staley, accused the bank of levying “slanderous” accusations against him, noting that allegations that he aided late financier Jeffrey Epstein in his sex trafficking operations were “baseless by serious.”
Staley’s lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, asserted to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff that Staley should have more time to review thousands of documents in the bank’s lawsuit against him, The Guardian reported. JPMorgan sued Staley after the bank itself became the subject of a lawsuit from alleged Epstein victim Jane Doe 1, who accused the bank of knowing about and aiding Epstein’s crimes.
Staley’s trial is set for Oct. 23. His lawyers argue that the “breakneck pace” of the case schedule is “unnecessary and prejudicial,” giving Staley “grossly insufficient time” necessary to defend himself, The Guardian reported. Sullivan requested the trial be moved to March 2024.
“Disproving these false and highly publicized allegations is of paramount importance to him. Yet this court’s scheduling rulings have severely prejudiced his ability to do so,” Sullivan said in the filing.
Calling Epstein “one of the most notorious criminals in recent American history,” Sullivan said the claims against Staley have the potential to inflict “astronomical” damages on him. After leaving JPMorgan, Staley served as CEO of Barclays, stepping down in 2021 amid an investigation by British officials into the nature of his relationship with Epstein while Epstein was a client at JPMorgan.
Staley is accused, in lawsuits aimed at JPMorgan, of “observ[ing] the victims personally” and exchanging some 1,200 emails with Epstein that included sexually charged photos of young women.
Doe on Thursday asked Rakoff to separate the bank’s lawsuit against Staley from her case and another, similar case brought against the bank by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home.
“The effect of adding him to the suit is to force her to share private medical records and her most intimate communications with one of her abusers,” wrote her lawyer, Brad Edwards, according to Bloomberg. “It also sends a message to other victims that [JPMorgan] will exploit all vulnerabilities of each victim who dares come forward to hold the bank accountable.”
The bank is opposed to separating the cases.
“Jane Doe herself has directly accused him of horrific sexual misconduct and, if true, he must be held accountable,” a JPMorgan spokesperson told Bloomberg. “He’s inextricably linked to these cases. It makes no sense to separate him.”