Jeffrey Epstein

More documents with names connected to Jeffrey Epstein released

Author: Cara Tabachnick, Allison Elyse Gualtieri Source: CBC News:
January 5, 2024 at 06:13
More documents with names connected to Jeffrey Epstein released

Documents that include the names of more than 100 people connected to Jeffrey Epstein, including business associates and accusers, among others, have now been made public, following a federal judge's December ruling that the information be unsealed

More than 900 pages of mostly unredacted documents were released Wednesday, Jan. 3. A second batch of documents was released Thursday, Jan. 4.

Much of the information has been previously reported, and many of those whose names are mentioned are not accused of any wrongdoing.

Though the unsealed court documents don't contain an actual list of associates, the names were expected to include some that also appeared on the flight logs of Epstein's private jet, nicknamed the "Lolita Express," which he often used to fly to his private island in the Caribbean. Those manifests and other documents, such as his private calendar, had previously been made public, including as part of legal proceedings or public records requests. Many of those who had business or social ties with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, have denied any misconduct or involvement in his activities.

The release of the names stems from a now-settled defamation lawsuit brought in 2015 by Virginia Giuffre, who accused British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell of enabling her abuse by Epstein. 
 

Jeffrey Epstein contact names released by court. Here are key takeaways from the unsealed documents.

Documents that include the names of more than 100 people connected to Jeffrey Epstein, including business associates and accusers, among others, have now been made public, following a federal judge's December ruling that the information be unsealed

More than 900 pages of mostly unredacted documents were released Wednesday, Jan. 3. A second batch of documents was released Thursday, Jan. 4.

Much of the information has been previously reported, and many of those whose names are mentioned are not accused of any wrongdoing.

Though the unsealed court documents don't contain an actual list of associates, the names were expected to include some that also appeared on the flight logs of Epstein's private jet, nicknamed the "Lolita Express," which he often used to fly to his private island in the Caribbean. Those manifests and other documents, such as his private calendar, had previously been made public, including as part of legal proceedings or public records requests. Many of those who had business or social ties with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, have denied any misconduct or involvement in his activities.

The release of the names stems from a now-settled defamation lawsuit brought in 2015 by Virginia Giuffre, who accused British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell of enabling her abuse by Epstein. 

Maxwell was found guilty by a New York jury in 2021 on conspiracy and trafficking charges related to Epstein, her longtime friend and sometime romantic partner, and her role for a decade in the abuse of underage girls. 

 

What is in the Jeffrey Epstein-related court documents?

Court documents list 184 "J. Does," starting at J. Doe #3 through J. Doe #187. Some names are repeated twice. A small number are the names of minors or sexual assault victims, which the judge specified won't be released. 

According to a court record released Jan. 3, documents for two Does — 107 and 110 — will not be immediately released. One was granted an extension until Jan. 22 for her appeal about the release and the other's appeal is still under review.

In many cases, the names in the documents "really are of innocent people. It's people who may have been employed, it's people who may have gone to dinner or to a cocktail party at Jeffrey Epstein's home," said CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman. "It is not necessarily naming people who have engaged in actions that were anything like the deplorable actions of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell."

One of the documents released Thursday includes a lengthy list of names of people Giuffre's attorneys wanted to depose in her lawsuit against Maxwell.

The documents released by the court mention some well-known figures whose contacts with Epstein have been reported in the past, such as Britain's Prince Andrew. The prince settled a lawsuit in 2022 with Virginia Giuffre, who accused him and Epstein of abusing her as a teen, an accusation Andrew denied. In a court filing at the time, his attorneys said, "Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others."

A deposition from Johanna Sjoberg in the suit includes previous accusations alleging she was groped by Prince Andrew in 2001, when she was 21. BBC News reports Buckingham Palace previously called her allegations "categorically untrue." The newly released documents include questions to Maxwell about Sjoberg.

Bill Clinton, also among the people whose names appear in the documents, had allegedly been described by Epstein as "a good friend," one Epstein accuser recounted in 2019. The former president's name had also appeared on manifests for the private jet, on which he said he had taken four trips "in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation." He has not been accused of wrongdoing. A spokesperson told CBS News it's been nearly 20 years since Clinton last had contact with Epstein, and referred CBS News to a 2019 statement denying Clinton had any knowledge of what he called Epstein's "terrible crimes." 

Clinton's name also came up in Sjoberg's deposition. She did not accuse him of any wrongdoing, but said that Epstein told her "one time that Clinton likes them young, referring to girls."

In another of the documents, Maxwell testifies that Clinton never had a meal on Epstein's island and that she does not know how many times Clinton flew on Epstein's plane. 

In the filing, Maxwell's team attempts to debunk an article by journalist Sharon Churcher of the Daily Mail, who described a dinner on Epstein's Little St. James island allegedly attended by Clinton "shortly after he left office." Maxwell's team claims, "Former FBI Director Louis Freeh submitted a report wherein he concluded that President Clinton 'did not, in fact travel to, nor was he present on, Little St. James Island between January 1, 2001 and January 1, 2003'," and goes on to say Secret Service assigned to the former president would have been required to file travel logs.

Also named in the documents is Sarah Kellen, a former Epstein employee who has been accused by one adult victim of knowingly scheduling her flights and appointments with the financier and Maxwell.

Kellen's spokesperson had said in a 2020 statement to CBS News that Kellen scheduled those appointments at the direction of Epstein and Maxwell, and was herself "sexually" and "psychologically" abused by Epstein "for years." The statement noted Kellen "deeply regrets that she had any part in it."
 

What happened in the Jeffrey Epstein case?

Epstein was accused of sexually assaulting numerous teenage girls, some of them as young as 14 years old, according to prosecutors. Over many years, he allegedly exploited a vast network of underage girls for sex at his homes in Manhattan; Palm Beach, Florida; and his private island near St. Thomas.

Epstein had pleaded not guilty to charges brought in 2019 by federal prosecutors in New York of sex trafficking conspiracy and one count of sex trafficking with underage girls. His death in prison before facing trial was ruled a suicide.

Epstein had cut a deal with federal prosecutors in Florida in 2008, reaching a non-prosecution agreement on allegations he sexually abused underage girls, in return for pleading guilty to lesser state charges and serving 13 months in jail, much of the time on work release. He also had to pay settlements to victims and register as a sex offender. 

That agreement, which had not been disclosed to his victims, was under investigation at the time of his death.

Among the documents released Thursday is a 2016 deposition from Joseph Recarey, a former detective with the Palm Beach Police Department who led the investigation into allegations against Epstein of sex abuse and trafficking that culminated in the 2008 plea deal. 

In the deposition, Recarey states that he interviewed around 30 girls who were either asked to or gave massages at Epstein's home. 

"When they went to perform a massage, it was for sexual gratification," Recarey testified. And of the 30-33 young women he interviewed, he said, only one, whom he described as "older," had massage experience, and "the majority were under" 18. Some told him they were recruited with the prospect of becoming a model for Victoria's Secret, Recarey said. He also said the young women told him they were offered money to recruit more girls. The 18-page released deposition has large gaps where pages were not included.
 

Who else's names are among those released in the Epstein-related documents?

A name's inclusion in the documents does not indicate the person has committed or has been accused of any wrongdoing. In addition, some of the people whose names appear are witnesses who were staff members, provided medical care or were in law enforcement, for example.

  • Juan Alessi and Alfredo RodriguezAlessi, a longtime manager of Epstein's Palm Beach estate, and Rodriguez, his former butler who died in 2015, are both named in the documents as having offered testimony.
  • Bill Richardson: The former governor of New Mexico, Richardson died in September. He had been previously reported to have visited Epstein's sprawling Zorro Ranch in New Mexico at least once. Richardson denied accusations made by Giuffre, who in a previously unsealed deposition said that she was directed to have sex with him. He called the accusation "completely false" and said he had never met Giuffre.
  • David Copperfield: In her deposition, Johanna Sjoberg said she had dinner with magician David Copperfield at Epstein's home. Copperfield is not accused of any wrongdoing. Sjoberg said Copperfield asked her "if I was aware that girls were getting paid to find other girls," but testified he told her no specifics about that.
  • Donald Trump: A witness said in a deposition that Epstein mentioned calling Trump and said the group would go to his casino when a storm forced his jet to land in Atlantic City during a 2001 trip. The witness was asked if she gave Trump a massage, but said no. Newsweek reported a Trump spokesperson said claims regarding Trump's relationship with Epstein were "thoroughly debunked." Trump said in 2018 that he knew Epstein "like everybody in Palm Beach knew him. … He was a fixture in Palm Beach." Trump said at the time, "I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don't think I've spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn't a fan." 
  • Alan Dershowitz: Attorney Alan Dershowitz defended Epstein in the 2008 criminal case. In one of the documents, lawyers discuss sworn testimony by two household employees, one of whom said Dershowitz visited Epstein's Florida mansion "pretty often" and allegedly got massages while he was there. According to the court document, the other employee testified Dershowitz visited Epstein's home without his family when young girls were present. Dershowitz has previously denied wrongdoing. Ahead of the documents' release, Dershowitz warned against inferring anything about their contents in a livestream on his personal YouTube channel Tuesday, saying "the important thing is not to assume guilt by association or guilt by accusation." He said in the half-hour livestream that, as Epstein's lawyer, he had been on the plane many times and he had been to the island once, with his wife and daughter, when no young people were present.
  • Michael Jackson: In a deposition released Jan. 3, Sjoberg is asked if she's met anyone famous when she was with Epstein, and she said she met Michael Jackson at Epstein's house in Palm Beach. She said she did not give him a massage and did not accuse him of any wrongdoing.

 
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