EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Television will shop the story of Jeffrey Epstein’s human-trafficking crimes as a limited series after optioning Conchita Sarnoff’s book TrafficKing. The studio has come on board the project after More/Medavoy Management had previously optioned the book, and Sarnoff’s life rights, for television in July.
Separately, publisher Post Hill Press has signed a deal with the author to publish her follow-up book The Cover Up, as well as an updated version of TrafficKing, following Epstein’s death last month in prison.
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Sony TV is in the process of attaching a writer to the project before taking it out to the market. The move was made by SPT’s SVP Limited Series and Movies Tom Patricia.
TrafficKing explores the “darkest recesses of the corridors of power, from Harvard to the White House.” The Cover Up, meanwhile, will reveal why the pedophile billionaire, Wall Street hedge fund manager and registered level-3 sex offender was arrested a second time on July 6, when he pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, including with girls as young as 14. He was found hanged in his jail cell August 10. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, although Epstein’s lawyers disputed the ruling. Regardless, because of his death, a judge dismissed all criminal charges at the end of August.
The Epstein case continues to intrigue journalists, particularly as a result of his friends in high places including Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Earlier this week, French police searched Epstein’s Paris apartment and the offices of a model agency owned by alleged associate Jean-Luc Brunel.
Sarnoff is a human rights activist and correspondent for The Daily Beast who reported on the Epstein case in 2010 after he was first arrested in Palm Beach, FL. She was shocked to discover that the original charges against the billionaire financier were first filed as human trafficking and later reduced to alleged charges of prostitution. Her reporting included video interviews with the first victim who filed a complaint.
Sarnoff alleges she was followed, received bribes, threats and was hacked when she sought to first publish her book. Her research in the book includes interviews with British socialite and Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell; then-U.S. attorney for Southern Florida Alex Acosta, who resigned as Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary amid the scandal; Epstein’s victims; attorney Alan Dershowitz; and Epstein himself.
Sarnoff will exec produce the limited series alongside Erwin More and Brian Medavoy of More/Medavoy Management and Judith Verno of Peace Out Productions.
Patricia said, “During Conchita’s decade long quest to reveal the truth, she interviewed many key players and insiders involved in this epic story including Epstein himself and Ghislaine Maxwell. In TrafficKing, Conchita examines, in depth, Epstein’s crimes and his network of enablers and defenders. We are looking forward to working with her on this project to share the truth behind this shocking story.”