The names of acquaintances and associates of wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein—including that of former U.S. presidents and British royalty—were released on Wednesday evening in a set of court documents that were part of a suit against Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015.
The documents, the first in more than 200 that are expected to be unsealed over the next few days, are part of the defamation lawsuit filed by victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Maxwell has previously called Giuffre a liar after she alleged that Epstein and Maxwell had abused her. (That case was eventually settled in 2017, but Maxwell was later sentenced to 20 years in prison for recruiting young girls for Epstein to sexually exploit in a criminal investigation of Epstein’s acts after his death.)
Names of figures that were previously associated with Epstein, such as Prince Andrew and former Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, were mentioned in the court documents, but there was little new information outside of what was already known to the public. Some documents had previously been released in other court cases, while Epstein’s high-profile contacts have been covered extensively in the media.
In December, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ordered the documents to be released, though she gave people until Jan. 1 to appeal the order in case they did not want their name to be revealed. The names of victims who were minors when they suffered abuse were not released, though some have previously spoken out about Epstein’s actions in media interviews.
Here’s what to know.
What the documents reveal
For the most part, the documents say little about the actions taken by individuals outside of Epstein, though there is a 2016 deposition from Johanna Sjoberg, one of Epstein’s victims, that mentions politicians and figureheads in the U.S. and abroad.
While celebrities like Bruce Willis, Cameron Diaz, Cate Blanchett, Kevin Spacey, Naomi Campbell, and Leonardo DiCaprio are also mentioned in the records, they have not been accused of helping Epstein in any capacity. Sjoberg was only asked if she had met the aforementioned people, which she denied.
Connections to Epstein previously led high-level executives to resign from their positions, including Barclays chief executive Jes Staley. Jean-Luc Brunel, a French modeling agent suspected of scouting girls for Epstein, killed himself in a Paris jail in 2022 while awaiting trial for rape accusations.
The documents on Wednesday confirmed the scale of both Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring and his powerful social network. Prince Andrew—the younger brother of King Charles III—was one of the names referenced in the documents, mentioned by a witness for touching her breast.
Andrew was also previously accused of raping Giuffre when she was a teenager. After a lawsuit filed by Giuffre in 2021 and amid growing public pressure, Andrew was forced to relinquish his military titles and public duties—even as he repeatedly denied the allegations. The two settled the lawsuit in 2022 after Andrew paid Giuffre an undisclosed sum of money.
The case against Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein was a convicted sex offender who would lure young girls under the impression that they would be giving him massages that would then “become increasingly sexual in nature,” according to the 2019 indictment against him. Jennifer Araoz, one of the victims, said that Epstein would invite her to his house and pay her hundreds of dollars after her visit. While they initially spoke about her life and goals, he later became abusive, Araoz said.
Epstein had long avoided facing any consequences for his actions. He was first investigated for sexual misconduct in 2005 after a woman claimed that he had molested her teenage stepdaughter. Palm Beach police eventually charged Epstein with counts of unlawful sex with a minor in May 2006, but then State Attorney Barry Krischer sent the case to a grand jury, which indicted him with one count of soliciting prostitution. The charge was minor, leading to much criticism and causing the FBI to open a federal investigation against Epstein. But Epstein ended up serving a short 18-month sentence in 2008 for recruiting an underage girl for prostitution after he struck a plea deal with U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta to avoid being charged with any federal crimes.
Epstein later came back under scrutiny in 2018, after the Miami Herald looked at Acosta’s role in negotiating a short sentence for Epstein. In July 2019, Epstein was arrested after federal prosecutors looked at his behavior between 2002 and 2005.
The case against him revealed that the victims, some as young as 14, were paid to provide sexual services to him and his friends, and to recruit other young girls to his circle of victims. Epstein’s employees would also sexually abuse the young girls.
He was facing charges for sex trafficking and conspiracy in July 2019 when one month later, he died by suicide in a New York federal jail. The investigation continued after his passing, leading prosecutors to convict Maxwell for sex crimes in connection to her dealing with Epstein.
Here are other names high-profile mentioned in the documents:
The former president was mentioned in the documents released on Wednesday, in Sjoberg’s testimony that Epstein had told her “Clinton likes them young, referring to girls.” She also said that she knew Epstein had “dealings” with Clinton but did not know they were friends until later media reports.
The former president’s ties with Epstein has long been the subject of media scrutiny—intensified in the wake of the financier’s indictment. The two had connected while Clinton was working on his nonprofit group the Clinton Foundation, and in 2002, they took a trip to Africa on Epstein’s private jet.
In 2019, Clinton’s office said that the former president did not know about Epstein’s “terrible crimes,” and that he had not spoken to Epstein in “well over a decade.” A spokesperson for Clinton told CNN on Wednesday that it has “been nearly 20 years since President Clinton last had contact with Epstein.”
Records show that Giuffre’s attorneys wanted to get a deposition from Clinton. Giuffre, the plaintiff in the defamation lawsuit against Maxwell, did not accuse the former president of doing anything with her, but attorneys saw Clinton as a “key person who can provide information about his close relationship with Defendant and Mr. Epstein and disapprove Ms. Maxwell’s claims.”
The former president—whose relationship with Epstein was also widely reported—was also mentioned in Sjoberg’s 2016 deposition. Sjoberg testified that she and Epstein once made an impromptu stop in Atlantic City due to poor flying weather. Asked if she had given Trump a massage, Sjoberg said no. Trump once called Epstein a “terrific guy,” but later said he had a falling out with him. “I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I was not a fan of his,” Trump said in 2019.
Sjoberg recalled meeting late musician Michael Jackson at Epstein’s house in Palm Beach, but said no when asked if she had massaged him.
Kellen, Epstein’s former assistant, was named in testimonies of victims detailing their encounters with Epstein. She was said to have helped schedule his “massages,” which his victims said was a euphemism for sexual services.
A judge had described Kellen as “a criminally responsible participant” in Epstein’s scheme.
But Kellen was never charged and has remained out of the public eye. Kellen said through a spokesperson in 2020 that she herself had been sexually and psychologically abused by Epstein for years.
Jean-Luc Brunel, a French modeling agent suspected of scouting girls for Epstein, killed himself in a Paris jail in 2022 while awaiting trial for rape accusations.
Giuffre said in her deposition that she was sent by Maxwell to have sex with Brunel “at many places.” The documents also say that Brunel would bring girls as young as twelve “to the United States for sexual purposes and farm them out to his friends,
Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico who died in September, was also mentioned. Giuffre said in her deposition that Maxwell had instructed her to give Richardson a massage. In 2019, a spokesperson for Richardson denied he ever met Giuffre, according to Las Cruces Sun News.
Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder of L Brands (which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works), was also mentioned in Maxwell’s deposition. When asked if she had ever provided Giuffre with “an outfit of a sexual nature to wear for Les Wexner,” Maxwell said “categorically no.”
Epstein was Wexner’s money manager and a trustee of the Wexner Foundation During an L Brands investor conference in Sept. 2019, Wexner called Epstein’s action “abhorrent.” Wexner says he cut ties with Epstein in 2007.
Alan Dershowitz, Epstein’s lawyer, was also mentioned in the newly-released records. The documents say that Epstein forced a minor to have sex with the former Harvard law professor multiple times. The documents also say that Dershowitz “was an eye-witness to the sexual abuse of many other minors by Epstein and several of Epstein’s co-conspirators.
Dershowitz would later play a significant role in negotiating the NPA on Epstein’s behalf.” NPA stands for non-prosecution agreement, which allowed Epstein to avoid serving a severe sentence when he was first charged with soliciting a minor for prostitution.
“Of course I’m on that list, I was his lawyer. I flew on his plane,” said Dershowitz in a Youtube livestream after the list came out.
Computer scientist and former MIT professor Marvin Minsky was also mentioned in the documents. Giuffre said she was asked to have sex with Minsky when he went to Epstein’s island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.Leave a comment