Documents unsealed just hours before the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein detailed allegations of how he recruited a teenage girl at Donald Trump's luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and forced her into sexual slavery.
As Politico noted, close to 2,000 pages of records related to Epstein were released on Friday by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. The documents revealed new details about allegations from a woman named Virginia Giuffre, who had sued Epstein claiming that he forced her into sexual slavery when she was a teenager. Giuffre said she was working as a locker room attendant at Mar-a-Lago at the time she was recruited to give Epstein "erotic" massages that she claimed often included sexual activity.
Transcripts of a deposition released on Friday showed that Giuffre claimed that she was approached by Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell, who offered Giuffre to serve as the personal masseuse for Jeffrey Epstein.
"She noticed I was reading the massage book. And I started to have chitchat with her just about, you know, the body and the anatomy and how I was interested in it," Giuffre said in the deposition. "And she told me that she knew somebody that was looking for a traveling masseuse.... If the guy likes you then, you know, it will work out for you. You'll travel. You'll make good money."
Giuffre went on to claim that she was moved into a more full-time role traveling with Epstein and was recruited to have sex with some of his rich and powerful friends. The newly unsealed documents for the first time named some of those men, showing that Giuffre alleged she was instructed to have sex with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a foreign president, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders. Richardson and others identified by name in the deposition have released statements denying the charges.
The documents were unsealed just hours before staff at the Manhattan jail where Epstein was being held reportedly found him hanged in his cell. The billionaire financier was taken to a nearby hospital in cardiac arrest and died at the hospital.Officials have yet to release details about exactly how Epstein took his life, and Attorney General William Barr has called for a federal investigation into how he was able to apparently take his life despite being held in a protective housing unit under tighter security and reportedly being placed on suicide watch.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.