NEW YORK — Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, who is awaiting trial in connection with the Jeffrey Epstein sexual abuse scandal, asked a federal judge Wednesday to block the planned unsealing of depositions she gave as part of a lawsuit, alleging the transcripts were leaked illegally to prosecutors seeking her conviction.

The accusation came as hundreds of pages of court records germane to the Epstein saga were set to be made public Thursday on orders from U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, who quickly denied what she called an “eleventh-hour” bid to prevent the transcripts’ release but gave Maxwell’s lawyers until Friday to appeal.

Her legal team is expected to promptly challenge the ruling at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit here in New York.

In addition to Maxwell’s criminal case brought by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, Epstein’s alleged victims continue to pursue lawsuits against Maxwell and Epstein’s estate, which is valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. Lawyers in a long-running defamation case brought by one of his accusers, Virginia Giuffre, have been battling in court for public release of Maxwell’s depositions since before her arrest July 2.

Guiffre has claimed she was paid by Epstein for sexual encounters with Britain’s Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old. The prince has denied any wrongdoing, but federal prosecutors have said they still wish to speak with him.

Other documents potentially relevant to Guiffre’s lawsuit will be posted to the court’s public docket Thursday, per Preska’s original order, but it is unclear how much additional detail they may provide about Epstein’s activities or anyone else of public stature alleged to have been involved with him.

In his letter to Preska, Maxwell’s lawyer Ty Gee argued that a protective order prevented the deposition transcripts from being made available to anyone, including law enforcement, and that releasing the documents could jeopardize Maxwell’s ability to have a fair trial.

Preska said the potential for Maxwell to be indicted has been looming throughout discussions as to what to unseal, and was considered in her rulings. It was not a new issue requiring additional litigation, the judge wrote.

Gee suggested someone affiliated with Guiffre provided the transcripts to the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office in violation of the protective order — an assertion Guiffre’s attorney David Boies rejected — and that the judge should take action.

“It is completely untrue that we provided anything to the government in violation of any protective order,” Boies said. “This is another desperate attempt to conceal evidence of Ms. Maxwell’s criminal conduct.”

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

Maxwell’s depositions are tied to perjury charges brought by federal prosecutors who have accused her of facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking of underage victims during the 1990s. She is also accused in participating in sexual abuse against some of the victims. Maxwell, who remains in federal custody in Brooklyn, has pleaded not guilty.

The indictment accuses Maxwell of lying in depositions she gave in 2016. When asked about these activities by a lawyer for one of Epstein’s alleged victims, she denied any knowledge of him engaging in sex acts with minors, the indictment says. When asked if Epstein had a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages, Maxwell replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the indictment says.

The day of Maxwell’s arrest, the acting Manhattan U.S. attorney, Audrey Strauss, said that Maxwell lied under oath as part of a lawsuit proceeding “because the truth, as alleged, was almost unspeakable.”

The day after another large set of documents was unsealed in this case, Epstein was found dead in his cell at the federal detention center in Manhattan. His death was ruled a suicide.