Jeffrey Epstein, the well-connected multimillionaire charged with sex trafficking of minors, was found injured in his jail cell on Wednesday evening and has been placed on suicide watch, according to multiple reports.
The details are murky and it’s still not entirely clear what happened. Here’s what the reports agree on: Epstein was found semi-conscious in his New York City jail and he had injuries to his neck.
Aside from that, investigators are reportedly still figuring out exactly what went down. Four separate, unnamed law enforcement sources posed different theories to NBC News. Two sources told the station Epstein might have tried to hang himself, another theorized that the injuries were self-inflicted but not serious, and that he was trying to secure a transfer to another facility. The fourth source cautioned assault by a fellow inmate had not been ruled out.
NBC reported that an inmate named Nicholas Tartaglione — a former cop accused of killing four people in connection with a drug conspiracy — had been questioned. Tartaglione’s lawyer told NBC his client did not attack Epstein and that the two got along well.
Epstein’s lawyers have yet to comment. The 66-year-old was taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to the New York Post.
Epstein was charged on July 6 and denied bail last week. The well-connected financier is accused of abusing dozens of girls from 2002 to 2005. He got off with a cushy plea deal for similar charges back in 2008.
Epstein’s social circle was a who’s who of the rich and powerful. He flew former President Bill Clinton on his private plane, dubbed the “Lolita Express,” and palled around with current President Donald Trump. Trump famously called Epstein a “terrific guy” who “likes beautiful women as much as I do” in a 2002 profile by New York Magazine.
But after Epstein’s arrest, the president changed his tune, saying, “I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you.”
Cover: In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich during his arraignment in New York federal court, Monday, July 8, 2019. Epstein pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges. The 66-year-old is accused of creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)