Jeffrey Epstein

New Epstein documents reveal more details of sex-trafficking operation

January 5, 2024 at 22:03
Britain’s Prince Andrew greets Melania Trump alongside then-President Trump in London in June 2019. (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)
Britain’s Prince Andrew greets Melania Trump alongside then-President Trump in London in June 2019. (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)

The records have also included allegations of poolside orgies and insatiable sexual appetites on the part of Epstein and Maxwell.

A New York federal judge Friday unsealed another wave of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced late financier accused of organizing a sex-trafficking ring involving girls as young as 14. 

The latest release caps a week that has put Epstein and his suspected criminal operations back in the spotlight and provided more details about him, his convicted longtime girlfriend and associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, and the powerful public figures in their orbit over the years.

Among those named in the documents are several prominent figures known to have associated with Epstein, including former Presidents Trump and Clinton, former Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew and late former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Other names disclosed include billionaire Tom Pritzker of the Hyatt Hotels Corp., late AI pioneer Marvin Minsky and entertainers David Copperfield and Michael Jackson.

Their inclusion in the records is not evidence of criminal activity, despite internet-fueled expectations and conspiracy theories that the list would provide evidence of wrongdoing by powerful men. Many have previously denied any knowledge of Epstein’s behavior. 

The documents stem from a lawsuit that Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, filed in 2015 against Maxwell. Giuffre sued Maxwell for publicly calling her a liar regarding her claims of abuse, and the parties settled out of court in 2017.

New records released Friday from that case offered some salacious details:

  • A document containing hundreds of search terms applied to records from Maxwell’s devices included the words “slave,” “erotic” and “dildo” as well as more than 100 names. The list included “Clinton” and “BC,” presumably a reference to the former president, and “HRC,” presumably a reference to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • A message for Epstein dated June 1, 2005, said that Jean-Luc Brunel, a French model scout, “has a teacher for you to teach you how to speak Russian. She is two times eight years old. Not blond. Lessons are free and you can have your first today if you call.”
  • In her deposition, Johanna Sjoberg, who says she had sex with Epstein as a consenting adult, was asked, “Did Jeffrey ever tell you why he received so many massages from so many different girls?” She replied, “He explained to me that, in his opinion, he needed to have three orgasms a day. It was biological, like eating. ... I thought it was a little crazy.”
  • Sjoberg also said that Maxwell welcomed Epstein having relations with so many girls. “She let me know that she was — she would not be able to please him as much as he needed and that is why there were other girls around.”
  • Sjoberg said when she was first approached about a job that Maxwell told her she “didn’t want butlers because they’re too stuffy, and so she just liked to hire girls to work at the house, answer phones, get drinks, do the job a butler would do.” That work paid $20 an hour, she said. “The next time she called me, she asked me if I wanted to come over and make $100 an hour rubbing feet,” Sjoberg said.
  • Anthony Figueroa, an ex-boyfriend of Giuffre’s, described how Epstein paid him “$200 apiece” for every girl he brought to the house, some of whom were his friends from school.

The first two troves of records released Wednesday and Thursday span hundreds of pages and offer a deeper look into Epstein’s alleged criminal activity along with that of Maxwell, who was convicted of child sex trafficking in 2021 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Thousands more pages of records with names currently under seal are expected to be disclosed. 

Among the revelations from Thursday’s distribution was an allegation by Giuffre that former President Clinton “walked into” Vanity Fair and “threatened them not to write sex-trafficing articles about his good friend J.E.,” presumably referring to Epstein. The email including the allegation was sent from Giuffre to her friend and journalist Sharon Churcher in May 2011.

The records have also included allegations of poolside orgies and insatiable sexual appetites on the part of Epstein and Maxwell. But as far as other supposed “clients” of the pair, details are relatively sparse. In addition, many of the people mentioned, including Jackson, Copperfield and actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Bruce Willis, aren’t described as clients and aren’t accused of any improprieties. For example, entries in a memo pad — mostly of phone messages taken for Epstein — included mentions of clothing designer Tom Ford and disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

list of potential witnesses filed by Giuffre’s legal team included investor Ron Burkle, as well Clinton and the former president’s aide Doug Band, who were said to have traveled with Epstein and Maxwell. In a list of relevant documents, Giuffre’s team listed “all photos of Ghislaine Maxwell at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.”

Though Trump was not mentioned in the documents released Thursday, they showed that Giuffre’s team sought to interview “all staff and employees at the Mar-a-Lago Club” from 1999 to 2002. Giuffre alleged that she was lured into Epstein’s scheme by Maxwell while Giuffre worked as a locker room attendant at the Trump-owned resort.

Because many of the documents are redacted or sealed, potentially vital pieces of the larger puzzle in understanding Epstein and his dealings remain incomplete. The Miami Herald, which published an award-winning investigative series on Epstein, and its parent company, McClatchy, sued in 2018 to make the documents public. 

Records have been unsealed gradually over the years, though not in full, which the Herald has challenged. Last month, Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York ordered the public disclosure of the identities of about 150 people mentioned in court documents, where they were referred to as John and Jane Does.

The judge noted in her December order that part of the reason for the disclosure is that many of those names were made public over the years, including in media interviews, news and police reports, lawsuits and disclosures at Maxwell’s trial. 

The Does had until Jan. 1 to ask the judge to keep their names hidden. According to Preska, two sought to keep their names redacted, and their requests are under review. The names of three other Does who the Herald reported are not victims remain under seal for various reasons cited by the judge; the media outlet is appealing that decision.

Lawyers for Dershowitz have also pressed the judge to release more of the sealed documents, arguing that the additional information would “circumvent potential reporting inaccuracies and misplaced assumptions.”

Epstein, 66, died by suicide in a New York jail in August 2019, weeks after he was arrested and federally charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. A watchdog report released in June found that negligence, misconduct and other failures at the jail contributed to his death.

More than a decade earlier, Epstein evaded federal criminal charges when he struck a plea deal with then-U.S. Atty. Alexander Acosta in a south Florida case related to accusations that he molested dozens of girls. As part of the agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges, including soliciting prostitution. He registered as a sex offender and served 13 months in jail but was allowed to leave six days a week to work at his office. 

That deal became the subject of an investigative series by Julie K. Brown, an investigative reporter at the Herald, that brought renewed attention to his case. Called “Perversion of Justice: Jeffrey Epstein,” the series detailed accounts by more than 60 women who said they were victims of abuse as part of a sex ring run by Epstein.

Times staff writer Ashley Ahn and Deputy Editor Jon Healey contributed to this report.


Alexandra E. Petri 
Alexandra E. Petri covers trends and breaking news for the Los Angeles Times. She previously covered live news at the New York Times. A two-time reporting fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, she graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism and international studies.

Andrew J. Campa 
Andrew J. Campa is a member of the Fast Break team at the Los Angeles Times, having previously covered the Eastside and San Gabriel Valley. Before, he worked at several medium and small daily newspapers and has covered education, sports and general news. He’s a proud University of Alabama (#RollTide), Cal State Fullerton and Pasadena City College alumnus.

Jeremy Childs 
Jeremy Childs is the night reporter on the Fast Break Desk, the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news team. Before joining the newsroom in 2023, he worked at the Ventura County Star, where he covered breaking news and most recently served as the newspaper’s East Ventura County reporter. Childs grew up in Newbury Park and graduated from Occidental College with a degree in English and comparative literary studies.

Noah Goldberg 
Noah Goldberg covers breaking news for the Los Angeles Times. He worked previously in New York City as the Brooklyn courts reporter for the New York Daily News, covering major criminal trials as well as working on enterprise stories. Before that, he was the criminal justice reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle.

Terry Castleman 
Terry Castleman is a data reporter on the Fast Break Desk covering breaking news. In 2020, he was named alongside his colleagues as a Pulitzer Prize finalist in explanatory reporting. Previously, he worked at the New York Times and volunteered as a first responder for refugees arriving on the shores of Lesvos.
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