Yet another woman came forward this week to accuse Jeffrey Epstein of raping her, adding her story to those from the dozens of women who’ve already spoken up. The woman, who says she was just 15 at the time of the assault, also called out Britain's Prince Andrew and other powerful people who spent years close to the wealthy sexual predator.
And she reportedly did all this wearing a bracelet that read: “Epstein didn’t kill himself.”
The 31-year-old woman, identified only as Jane Doe 15, held a press conference with lawyer Gloria Allred on Monday to announce a lawsuit against the Epstein estate.
“Epstein took my sexual innocence in front of a wall of framed photographs of him shaking hands and smiling with celebrities and political leaders,” Doe said.
Doe alleged Epstein’s associates approached her through her sister — who had already met Epstein — while she was visiting New York City on a class field trip from Michigan. On that trip, she alleges, people who worked for Epstein took photos of her. Eventually, Doe alleged, she was invited to see a magic show in Vegas, which would be followed by a stay at Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in New Mexico. Doe said she grew up poor, and the thought of traveling was thrilling. She said she ultimately met Epstein on a “Lolita Express” flight to New Mexico, where he bragged about the seat “where his ‘good friend Bill Clinton always sits.’”
Doe says in her lawsuit she was eventually subjected to a “vicious, prolonged sexual assault” at the New Mexico ranch. At the press conference Monday, she asked people to stop feeling sorry for the victims and start getting angry.
“Jeffrey Epstein was only a small part of an insidious system of privilege that exploits children as sexual commodities and robs them of their youth,” she said.
Doe was asked about Prince Andrew, one of Epstein’s many powerful associates, which included former President Clinton and current President Donald Trump. A woman who says she was Epstein’s “sex slave” said she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York when she was just 17.
“Prince Andrew, and any others who were close to Epstein, should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have,” Doe said. “Just because Epstein is dead does not mean that others around him don’t deserve their day in court as well.”
Epstein died in prison by suspected suicide in August. But conspiracy theories abound — aided, in part, by Epstein’s proximity to power and the fact that the guards on duty apparently fell asleep for hours, then falsified records to cover their tracks.
Why Doe chose to wear the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” bracelet is unclear. But the phrase has become common online since Epstein’s death. It has its obvious, literal meaning but has also morphed into a meme, appearing on everything from beer cans to dating app profiles to the Twitter feed of a Republican congressman.
Cover: In this July 15, 2019 courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and his attorney Martin Weinberg listen during a bail hearing in federal court, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP, File)