February 21, 2024

BY MICHAEL R. SISAK, DAVID B. CARUSO AND REBECCA BOONE

NEW YORK (AP) — Amid nice hype, a courtroom started to launch a brand new batch of beforehand secret courtroom paperwork late Wednesday associated to Jeffrey Epstein, the jet-setting financier who killed himself in 2019 whereas awaiting trial on sex-trafficking costs.

Social media has been rife in latest weeks with posts speculating that the paperwork would come with a listing of wealthy and highly effective males who had been Epstein’s “shoppers” or “co-conspirators.”

There was no such record. The preliminary assortment of round 40 paperwork made public largely contained materials that had been launched beforehand, or exhaustively been coated in almost twenty years’ price of newspaper tales, TV documentaries, interviews, books concerning the Epstein scandal.

Nonetheless, the data — which included transcripts of interviews with a few of Epstein’s victims — included reminders that Epstein surrounded himself with well-known and highly effective figures, together with a couple of who’ve additionally been accused of misconduct.

They included mentions of Epstein’s previous friendship with Invoice Clinton — who isn’t accused of any wrongdoing — and of Britain’s Prince Andrew, who beforehand settled a lawsuit accusing him of getting intercourse with a 17-year-old woman who traveled with Epstein.

The paperwork being unsealed are associated to a lawsuit filed in 2015 by one in every of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre. She is without doubt one of the dozens of ladies who sued Epstein saying he had abused them at his houses in Florida, New York, the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Mexico. This explicit go well with was in opposition to Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted in 2021 of serving to recruit Epstein’s victims and is serving a 20-year jail time period.

Epstein, a millionaire recognized for associating with celebrities, politicians, billionaires and educational stars, killed himself in jail in 2019 whereas awaiting trial on a intercourse trafficking cost.

Giuffre’s lawsuit in opposition to Maxwell was settled in 2017, however the courtroom had stored some courtroom paperwork blacked-out or sealed due to issues concerning the privateness rights of Epstein’s victims and different individuals whose names had come up in the course of the authorized battle.

Solely round 40 of these paperwork had been made public Wednesday. Extra shall be launched within the coming days.

The data included the depositions of a number of of Epstein’s victims, lots of whom have advised their tales publicly beforehand.

Giuffre mentioned the summer time she turned 17, she was lured away from a job as a spa attendant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago membership to change into a “masseuse” for Epstein — a job that concerned performing sexual acts.

She settled a lawsuit in opposition to Prince Andrew in 2022 by which she claimed he had sexually abused her throughout a visit to London. That very same yr, Giuffre withdrew an accusation she had made in opposition to Epstein’s former lawyer, the regulation professor Alan Dershowitz, saying she “ might have made a mistake ” in figuring out him as an abuser.

The data launched Wednesday included many references to Jean-Luc Brunel, a French modeling agent near Epstein who was awaiting trial on costs that he raped underage women when he killed himself in a Paris jail in 2022. Giuffre was among the many girls who had accused Brunel of sexual abuse.

Clinton’s title got here up as a result of Guiffre was questioned by Maxwell’s legal professionals about inaccuracies in newspaper

tales about her time with Epstein, together with a narrative quoting her as saying she had ridden in a helicopter with Clinton and flirted with Donald Trump. Giuffre mentioned neither of these issues really occurred.

The decide mentioned a handful of names ought to stay blacked out within the paperwork as a result of they’d determine individuals who had been sexually abused. The Related Press doesn’t sometimes determine individuals who say they’re victims of sexual assault until they resolve to inform their tales publicly, as Giuffre has finished.

Even earlier than the paperwork had been launched, misinformation about what was in them abounded. Social media customers wrongly claimed that late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s title would possibly seem within the paperwork, spurred by a crack New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers made Tuesday on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee Present.”

Kimmel mentioned in a response on X that he had by no means met Epstein and that Rodgers’ “reckless phrases put my household in peril.”

“Stick with it and we are going to debate the information additional in courtroom,” Kimmel wrote.

The decide hasn’t set a goal for when the entire paperwork needs to be made public, however extra paperwork are anticipated to come back within the subsequent few days.

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Boone reported from Boise, Idaho. Larry Neumeister contributed.