On Saturday, convicted sex offender and accused child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center. The multimillionaire financier had died in an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on charges of trafficking girls aged as young as 14 for sex.
But just hours before his death, a new allegations against Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislane Maxwell emerged after a collection of court documents were unsealed. Here’s a guide to what they contained.
What court documents were released Friday?
Virginia Giuffre alleges that she was working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in 2000 when Epstein’s longtime companion, the British socialite Maxwell, recruited her to work as the hedge-fund manager’s masseuse. But Giuffre, who was 16 or 17 at the time, alleges that the job was cover for sexual abuse by Epstein and Maxwell. Giuffre says they also ordered her to have sex with many of their powerful friends and to recruit more girls for abuse.
Per the newly-released documents, after Giuffre went public with her allegations, Maxwell issued a press release calling her a liar. In 2015, Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation. Though the case settled in 2017 with Maxwell paying Giuffre a settlement, a judge ordered the details of the suit sealed. Last month, a US Court of Appeals judge ordered that documents from the case be made public, leading to their Friday release.
What new information did they contain?
Among the documents were disturbing new details about alleged abuses committed by Epstein and Maxwell. The manager of Epstein’s Palm Beach home estimated that over the course of 10 years, "over 100" women girls came to the house to give massages to Epstein and Maxwell. Though Maxwell has maintained that the massages were non-sexual, the manager testified that he had found sex toys left out after they occurred.
In another account, the house manager for one of Maxwell’s friends testified that he spoke to a 15-year-old Swedish girl who said that she’d been held on Epstein’s private island. He described the girl as weeping and “shaking uncontrollably” as she told him that Maxwell had taken her passport and "asked [her] for sex," and that she’d been threatened by Epstein and Maxwell.
Another woman described being approached by Maxwell on the campus of her university, Palm Beach Atlantic College, and being offered a job as an assistant. She said answered phones at Epstein and Maxwell’s home during her first day on the job, but on her second day was instructed to massage Epstein. "He explained to me that, in his opinion, he needed to have three orgasms a day," the woman said. "It was biological, like eating."
The documents include receipts indicating that Epstein ordered three books on “erotic servitude,” sexual slavery, and BDSM from Amazon. Also released was a censored version of a photograph allegedly confiscated by police from Epstein’s Palm Beach Home. The court documents described the picture as "revealing the bare bottom of a girl who appears to be prepubescent."
Were others accused of assault in the new documents?
Among the newly released documents was a deposition in which Giuffre discussed encounters with Epstein’s friends. Donald Trump was allegedly a good friend of Epstein’s at the time and flight logs indicate that, like Bill Clinton, the future president flew Epstein’s private plane. But Giuffre said that she didn’t see Trump "partake in any sex” with the girls Epstein allegedly controlled, and that he did not flirt with her. Trump and Epstein later had a falling out, and Trump apparently banned the financier from Mar-a-Lago.
But Giuffre alleged that Maxwell instructed her to have sex with former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Both men denied the claims in statements to CNN. "I have never met, spoken with or had any contact with Ms. Giuffre," Mitchell told the news outlet.
"To be clear, in Governor Richardson's limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls," a spokesperson for the former governor told CNN. "Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein's residence in the Virgin Islands. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre."
Giuffre had previously alleged that she had sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew while living under Epstein and Maxwell’s control, and the documents included a since-published photograph of the prince posing with his hand on Giuffre’s waist. In 2015, Buckingham Palace released a statement calling the allegations "false and without any foundation."
The newly released documents contained another allegation of misconduct by Prince Andrew. In her testimony, the woman who said she was recruited by Maxwell at Palm Beach Atlantic College also alleged that Prince Andrew groped her breast. On Saturday, Buckingham Palace responded, saying that "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue."
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