Jeffrey Epstein bragged about taking the virginity of a teenager, according to a trove of newly unsealed court documents. In a 2016 deposition Johanna Sjoberg, one of the financier's alleged victims said Epstein told one of her pals about a sexual encounter at his Palm Beach mansion in the early 2000s when he was over 50.
"He said, 'You see that girl over there laying by the pool? She was 19. I just took her virginity'. And my friend Rachel was mortified", Sjoberg said.
She testified that Epstein's life companion and purported accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell hired her as the financier's personal assistant. According to the court, Epstein hoped that her job would lead to sexual favours. The woman said she once was told to give Epstein a massage during which Maxwell told her to "finish the job", suggesting that she should have sex with the financier.
The trove of court documents are part of a civil case filed by Virginia Giuffre, who was allegedly recruited in her teenager years by Maxwell as a masseuse for Epstein. Giuffre accused Epstein of sexually abusing her. She also claimed that she was trafficked to London and was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew at least three times, including when she was a minor. The royal has categorically denied the allegations and said he doesn't recall ever meeting Giuffre, despite there being at least one photo showing the prince together with Giuffre and Maxwell.
Who is Jeffrey Epstein?
From former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton to Donald Trump and Bill Gates, it seems the late financier rubbed shoulders with just about every celebrity and politician. For a long time, the accusations against him didn't lead to any court cases. During his first criminal case, he managed to strike a plea deal which resulted in a short jail sentence that was later changed to house arrest after 13 months. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender.
His alleged victims tried to sue him again, but the cases were either dropped or settled. This continued until 2019, when several women came forward with accusations and Epstein was arrested on charges of running a sex trafficking network of minors.
On 10 August 2019, he was found dead in his prison cell. The news caused a wave of indignation among his accusers as well as sparked conspiracy theories, with people suggesting that he was killed by his powerful friends who were afraid of being implicated in the scandal.
The only person who can shed light on his crimes is his former girlfriend and life companion Ghislaine Maxwell. She was arrested in July of 2020 and is now awaiting trial in the Metropolitan Detention Centre in New York City. She faces six charges, including sex trafficking and enticing minors to engage in illegal sex acts. Epstein's reported victims have long accused Maxwell of grooming girls and young women and claimed she sometimes took part in the sexual abuse.
Her trial is scheduled for this summer.