Previously secret court documents concerning wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein and one of his accusers were unsealed on Friday, revealing new details about his inner circle and his alleged child trafficking ring.
In the hundreds of unsealed pages are allegations that President Donald Trump once flew on Epstein’s private plane, nicknamed the “Lolita Express,” in 1997; that Epstein ordered books about “erotic slaves” off Amazon; and that previously unnamed men — including prominent politicians — also abused Epstein’s “girls.”
And this is just the first set of documents to be released. Epstein, 66, was first investigated for sexual misconduct with minors more than a decade ago, in Florida. In 2008, after he received a notoriously cushy plea deal from federal prosecutors, Epstein pled guilty to just two state prostitution charges, including one involving a minor under the age of 18; he since registered as a sex offender. Then, last month, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
He has pleaded not guilty and is currently being held in a Manhattan jail.
However, the new documents, ordered released Friday by an appeals court, stem from a separate, 2015 lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, who is among Epstein’s dozens of accusers but is perhaps the most publicly known. She’s alleged that she was trafficked around the world when she was a teenager, and forced to have sex with politicians and celebrities.
Giuffre sued Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and Epstein’s alleged recruiter of young girls, for defamation after Giuffre went public and Maxwell called her a liar. Maxwell has denied being involved in Epstein’s alleged human trafficking ring, and in a deposition, vehemently repeated that Guiffre’s story is untrue. (At one point, Maxwell was so frustrated, she even banged her fist on the table.)
In a deposition, Giuffre told attorneys, “My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy. Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.”
“He explained to me that, in his opinion, he needed to have three orgasms a day. It was biological, like eating,” Johanna Sjoberg, who also said she gave Epstein massages, added in a deposition. Maxwell, Sjoberg said, once called another girl “her slave.”
In 2005, when Epstein was first being investigated, a Palm Beach Police detective recovered an Amazon.com receipt from the trash in his Florida mansion. Epstein, the receipt revealed, had ordered books titled “SM 101: A Realistic Introduction,” “SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude,” and “Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners.”
Giuffre’s lawsuit against Maxwell was settled in 2017 on undisclosed terms, according to the Miami Herald, but on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court ruled to release many of the sealed documents connected to the case. The documents released Friday are only the beginning of that tranche.
All of the newly accused
Giuffre met Maxwell — the woman she says recruited her and introduced her to Epstein — when Giuffre was 16 and working at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s private resort, where her father was also employed.
In taped depositions in 2016, Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with rich and powerful men around the world — on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, or at his palatial estates in Manhattan, New Mexico, and Palm Beach, Florida. Giuffre accuses the financier Glenn Dubin, former Sen. George Mitchell, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, who is now dead, of sexual abuse. During all of the alleged sex, Giuffre would have been underage.
None of the people named as potential child abusers in the documents — apart from Epstein himself — have been charged with a crime relating to Epstein’s alleged global sex trafficking operation, which was allegedly running between 2002 and 2005.
Richardson’s spokesperson, Madeleine Mahony, told CNBC that “these allegations and inferences are completely false.”
A spokesperson for the Dubin family said in a statement to VICE News, “Glenn and Eva Dubin are outraged by the allegations in the unsealed court records, which are demonstrably false and defamatory.” “The Dubins have flight records and other evidence that definitively disprove that any such events occurred,” the spokesperson added.
In one deposition, a former worker for the Dubin family described how they encountered a sobbing, shaking 15-year-old girl, who told them that Maxwell took her passport and asked her for sex.
Mitchell said in a statement to VICE News that “the allegation contained in the released documents is false.”
“I have never met, spoken with or had any contact with Ms. Giuffre,” he said in an emailed statement. “In my contacts with Mr. Epstein I never observed or suspected any inappropriate conduct with underage girls. I only learned of his actions when they were reported in the media related to his prosecution in Florida. We have had no further contact.”
Giufffre also said that she remembered being forced into sex with “another prince” and a “foreign president,” but didn’t recall their names, just that the president was “Spanish.”
Giuffre also accused Prince Andrew of assault, which he had previously denied. (Though they have met: There is a photo of the two of them together, with Andrew’s hand on Giuffre’s waist.) Sjoberg, who said she met Maxwell while at college, said that Andrew once touched her breast as she sat on his lap. Andrew has also previously denied Sjoberg’s story, the Daily Beast reported.
The Duke of York did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Calls to a media line associated with Andrew returned only a “busy” signal.
“Did Ghislaine ever talk to you about how you should act around Jeffrey?” an attorney asked Sjoberg during the deposition.
“She just had a conversation with me that I should always act grateful,” Sjoberg answered.
Giuffre also said in her deposition that she met Trump at Mar-a-Lago but had no knowledge of Trump ever having sex with the girls Epstein abused and seemingly “loaned” to other wealthy, powerful men. She added Trump never so much as flirted with her.
“I didn't physically see him have sex with any of the girls, so I can't say who he had sex with in his whole life or not, but I just know it wasn't with me when I was with other girls,” Giuffre said in her November 2016 deposition.
Separately, court documents show that Trump flew with Glenn and Eva Dubin on Epstein’s jet in January 1997. Handwritten flight logs show they flew from Palm Beach to Newark.
While Trump has previously partied with Epstein, he’s also said they had a falling out more than a decade ago and haven’t spoken in at least 15 years.
Cover: This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. Newly released court documents show that Epstein repeatedly declined to answer questions about sex abuse as part of a lawsuit. A partial transcript of the September 2016 deposition was included in hundreds of pages of documents placed in a public file Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 by a federal appeals court in New York. Epstein has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges after his July 6 arrest. (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)