12:45 GMT16 July 2020
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    Jeffrey Epstein's Apparent Suicide (60)

    Billionaire and socialite Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell on the morning of August 10, with authorities treating the case as a suspected suicide.

    Jennifer Araoz, one of the women saying she was raped and sexually assaulted by Epstein at his New York mansion while she was just 14 and 15 years old, has filed a lawsuit against his estate, Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and three other members of Epstein's staff, who remain unnamed, a court filing has revealed.

    Araoz, now 32, accuses Epstein of raping her in 2002. Last month, she told NBC News that she was 'recruited' to spend time with Epstein from outside her New York City high school, and asked to perform sexual favours for the convicted paedophile.

    According to Wednesday's court filing, Maxwell, a close associate of Epstein accused of 'recruiting' multiple girls, as well as other Epstein staffers named in the complaint, had "conspired with each other to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual abuse and rape of [the] Plaintiff."

    Maxwell, 57, has repeatedly denied the claims made against her, and has not been criminally charged.

    Araoz and multiple other women had planned to file a lawsuit against Epstein amid allegations by federal prosecutors that he acted as a child sex trafficker in the 2000s. Epstein was arrested in his New York mansion last month and imprisoned at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre pending trial. However, Epstein's death by hanging in his cell on Saturday prompted Araoz to amend the suit to name his estate in her complaint.

    The young woman went public with her allegations after Epstein's arrest in July, and was interviewed by the FBI and prosecutors as part of the broader Epstein case.

    Prior to his arrest and conviction on one count of soliciting prostitution from a single underage girl in 2008, Epstein enjoyed hobnobbing with the US's political and cultural elite, maintaining friendships, relationships and contacts with a long list of American and foreign movers and shakers, including the Trump family, former President Bill Clinton, Britain's Prince Andrew, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and dozens of famous billionaires, Hollywood stars, singers, journalists and other public figures.

    Epstein was arrested last month after his 2008 plea deal was ruled unconstitutional following a Department of Justice investigation started earlier this year. If convicted, the 66 year old would have faced up to 45 years behind bars.

    Multiple US officials have called Epstein's August 10 death suspicious. On Tuesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a full-blown probe into the apparent suicide. According to the mayor, the "series of events" surrounding the billionaire's death seemed "way too convenient" given his extensive knowledge, "potentially, about some of the richest and most powerful people in the country."

    On Wednesday, US media reported that the two guards tasked with watching Epstein may have been sleeping when he apparently took his own life, with one of the guards said to be working overtime and not being a full-fledged corrections officer.

    Jeffrey Epstein's Apparent Suicide (60)
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