Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy and successful money manager, who’s adamant about keeping his personal life and client list private, is now all over the news. Instead of seeing his photo on a page brushing arms with the likes of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, Epstein has now become the face of sex-trafficking and conspiracy.
The New York Times reports that Epstein was charged with having sex with girls as young as 14 years old inside of his luxurious homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida. Of course, Epstein plead not guilty.
This doesn’t come as a surprise however, as this was not the first time Epstein faced similar allegations. More than a decade ago, Alexander Acosta, the top federal prosecutor in Miami (now labor secretary for President Trump) signed off on a plea deal saving the money manager from a lengthy prison sentence. According to The New York Times, this plea deal was kept from his accusers until it was finalized in court. As part of the deal, he was required to serve 13 months on state charges of soliciting prostitution in Florida- even though the girls involved were underage as well. However, he was allowed to spend six-days a week in his office doing work so in actuality, he spent one day a week in a “jail” of some-sort.
Now, fast-forward eleven years, Epstein is being charged and arrested for recruiting dozens of underage girls into a sex-trafficking ring in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005. Epstein might not be going down alone either. It seems that he had an accomplice who recruited the young girls into Epstein’s sex schemes. According to The Cut, Ghislaine Maxwell is a key figure in the Epstein case and is allegedly his madame. Maxwell is a British socialite of a similar age (Epstein is 66 while Maxwell is 57) and has been linked to the billionaire for over two decades. In a photo tweeted by Adam McKay, you can see her in the background of a photo of Bill Clinton walking Chelsea Clinton down the aisle at her wedding.
Back in 2015, a woman named Virginia Giuffre claimed she was an underage victim of Epstein and Maxwell, according to Bloomberg News. In response to Giuffre’s claim, Maxwell publicly labeled her a liar, causing Giuffre to sue Maxwell for defamation. Two years later in 2017, the case was settled on confidential terms, sealing the files along with it. Now, the federal appeals court in New York is ordering the unsealing of some of the documents involved in the defamation case, according to Bloomberg.
And the saga doesn’t end there. A new accuser has come forward, claiming that Epstein raped her back when she was just 15 years old. Jennifer Araoz sat down with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie in an interview that details her experience with both Epstein and Maxwell. Araoz story aligns with the allegations that Maxwell was Epstein’s madame, finding young girls to groom into an illegal sex-ring.
Unsealed court documents from the 2015 defamation case filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Epstein’s alleged madame Ghislaine Maxwell surface new details of sexual abuse against Epistein and several of his associates, according to CNN.
Out of the hundreds of pages of court documents, some of the most notable allegations include Giuffre’s claim that Maxwell instructed her to have sex with former US Senator George Mitchell and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, both of which have denied the allegations, CNN reports.
In addition, “The documents also include an Amazon receipt recovered from the trash at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion for books ordered in his name, including ‘SM 101: A Realistic Introduction,’ ‘SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude’ and ‘Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and their Owners,’” CNN reports.
A day after these documents were officially released to the public, Epstein commited suicide while in custody, leaving the victims of his abuse shocked and angry.
“Jeffrey Epstein took himself out because he was too much of a coward to face justice and his accusers,” said Alicia Arden, a model who filed a police report against Epstein in 1997. Arden accused him of sexually assaulting her after posing as a Victoria’s Secret talent scout, according to The New York Times.
While some may believe that he took his own life to escape the consequences of his actions, others have theories that he may have been strangled. According to The Washington Post, Epstein’s autopsy report said that he sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, including his hyoid bone.
“Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject,” The Washington Post reported. “But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation.”
If this is the case, who would want Epstein dead? Some have theories that he may have been killed so secrets involving Epstein’s powerful and famous friends are taken to the grave- literally.
Some of Epstein’s alleged victims still hold out hope that the courts will grant them the justice that they still deserve. The New York Times reports that Robbie Kaplan, the attorney representing one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Michelle Licta, said that she “will continue to fight tirelessly on their behalf not only to seek justice, but also to ensure that all of the facts of his monstrous crimes become known to the world.”
It is clear that justice for the victims is not yet in their grasp as more and more details continue to come to light. In fact, Alan Dershowitz, Epstein’s attorney, has also found himself in the middle of of the Giuffre defamation case, just like Maxwell. NBC News reports that the lawsuit alleges that Dershowitz played a role in the sex trafficking and sexual abuse of Giuffre. Of course, Dershowitz has denied the allegations and plans to prove Giuffre is a liar in court.
More updates to come as this case continues to unfold.
To learn more about the steps to take immediately after defamation strikes, watch this video.