Court reveals names of Epstein's friends, associates

By Ai Heping (China Daily) 09:08, January 05, 2024

The names of nearly 200 friends, associates, victims and opponents of Jeffrey Epstein, the accused sex offender who was found dead in a jail cell in 2019, were made public on Wednesday by a judge in the United States.

Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York ruled last month that there was no legal justification for continuing to conceal more than 150 names of "John and Jane Does" mentioned in the records. Preska had ordered the unsealing to begin after Monday.

Jeffrey Epstein

Being named in the documents doesn't necessarily indicate that a person participated in or was aware of the actions of Epstein or his girlfriend and accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell. The great majority of those whose names appear in the documents are not accused of wrongdoing and have been mentioned previously in legal proceedings or news accounts.

But the list could show which prominent figures continued to associate with Epstein and Maxwell.

The documents stem from a 2015 civil lawsuit centered on allegations that Epstein and Maxwell facilitated the sexual abuse of Virginia Giuffre, an alleged trafficking victim. Maxwell was convicted in 2021 of conspiring with Epstein and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Giuffre is one of the dozens of women who sued Epstein, saying he had abused them at his homes in Florida, New York, the US Virgin Islands and New Mexico. Epstein's estate has since paid about $150 million in settlements to more than 125 women.

Giuffre said the summer she turned 17, she was lured away from a job as a spa attendant at former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club to become a "masseuse" for Epstein — a job that involved performing sexual acts. She also claimed that she was pressured into having sex with men in Epstein's social circle, including Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom. Those men said her accounts were fabricated.

She settled a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in 2022. That same year, Giuffre withdrew an accusation she had made against Epstein's former attorney, law professor Alan Dershowitz, saying she may have made a mistake naming him.

Prominent passengers

Epstein's former pilot, Larry Visoski, testified in 2021 that former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump had flown on Epstein's private plane. Other prominent passengers included Prince Andrew, violinist Itzhak Perlman, former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, late Ohio senator John Glenn and actor Kevin Spacey, he said.

One of Epstein's victims said in court papers that she met Bill Clinton on Epstein's private island in the Caribbean. Clinton denied ever visiting the island.

Most of the names being made public — currently cited in the documents as John Does — have previously been identified in other court documents or in news reports as having been associated with Epstein.

A longtime friend of politicians, business executives and royalty, Epstein was accused of preying on girls as young as 14, bringing them to his homes and paying them for sex acts. He died at 66 by suicide in jail before he stood trial in Manhattan on federal sex-trafficking charges.

Dozens of other underage girls described sexual abuse, but prosecutors ultimately allowed Epstein in 2008 to a charge involving a single victim. He served 13 months in a jail work-release program.

Some famous acquaintances abandoned Epstein after his conviction, but he continued to mingle with the rich and famous for another decade, often through philanthropic work.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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