Jeffrey Epstein was a mysterious billionaire financier who led a private life, before his depravity was exposed in a series of sexual abuse allegations. Last week, Epstein’s longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested on charges accusing her of facilitating sex with minors and lying to investigators.
Some of Epstein’s survivors are speaking out on ABC 20/20 Friday, July 10, 2020. The update is airing at 9 p.m. EST.
Epstein owned a private island, Little St. James, in the Caribbean, where he was accused of bringing minors under the guise of career opportunities. Survivors said he sexually abused teens on the island, where they had no escape, and at his estates in Palm Beach, Florida, New York, New Mexico and Paris. When he was awaiting trial, Epstein was found dead in his cell in New York. His death was ruled suicide by hanging, but there is controversy surrounding his death and theories that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered before he could face trial. Read more about Epstein’s death here.
Epstein was worth more than $577 billion. Two days before his death, he signed his assets over to a trust and made his brother, Mark Epstein, his sole heir. This made it more difficult for survivors or creditors to collect compensation, according to Newsweek.
Investigation Discovery is asking “Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein” in its special, Nine at 9. The Epstein investigation airs May 31, 2020 at 9 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, Netflix is taking a deep dive into the case and his crimes, interviewing many of his survivors on Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich.
Here’s what you need to know:
Jeffrey Epstein’s Private Island in the Caribbean Was Dubbed ‘Pedophile Island’
Jeffrey Epstein named his private island “Little St. Jeff’s,” but many call it by another name: Pedophile Island. It is a 70-acre island located near St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Town & Country.
He bought the island in 1998 for $7.95 million, according to The New York Times. In 2016, he also bought a second island, Greater St. James, for $17.5 million. He planned to build a complex there for $18 million, including an amphitheater and an “underwater office & pool,” according to The Virgin Islands Daily News. A stop-work order was issued in 2018.
The complex on Little St. James was considered Epstein’s primary residence. He also registered his businesses at the Virgin Islands, which is a tax haven, and filed his will there two days before his death.
“It really is orgy island, because that’s what happened there. That is what that island meant to me,” a survivor, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said on the Netflix documentary.
Another survivor looked over a rocky cliff on the documentary, and said she had planned to find a way to climb down and escape by swimming across the ocean after Epstein raped her three times in one day.
Jeffrey Epstein Also Owned Lavish Estates in New York, Paris, New Mexico & Palm Beach
Jeffrey Epstein owned a luxurious mansion in Palm Beach at 358 El Brillo Way, according to Town & Country. There, survivors said, he would recruit girls to give him a massage for $200 and often sexually assaulted them. Many of the teens and girls were from disadvantaged backgrounds in neighboring West Palm Beach and faced prior abuse. He bought the property for $2.5 million in 1990. A search warrant was executed at the property by Palm Beach Police Department after many allegations of sexual abuse of minors surfaced. Among their findings were framed nude photos, massage tables and a dentist’s chair.
Epstein also owned a lavish New York property at 9 East 71st Street, New York. The title for this Beaux Arts mansion was transferred to Epstein from his sometime mentor and client Les Wexner in 1996 for $0, according to Town & Country. The 40-room house included massage tables with sex toys, a life-sized female doll hanging from a chandelier, and nude photographs the FBI located in a safe.
He also purchased a 7,500-acre property in Stanley, New Mexico, which he expanded to 10,000 acres and named Zorro Ranch. The property included an airplane hangar and landing strip, Town & Country reported.
Epstein also owned a Paris apartment on Avenue Foch in the city’s tony 16th arrondissement.
Newsweek reported Epstein also owned at least 15 vehicles, including a Bentley, a Hummer, seven Chevrolet Suburban SUVs and at least two planes.
A Compensation Fund for Jeffrey Epstein’s Victims Is Moving Forward After a Racketeering Lawsuit Froze His Assets
Many of Jeffrey Epstein’s survivors, who were prevented from facing him in court through his death, sought monetary compensation for the abuse they faced. However, two days before Epstein died, he made his brother, Mark Epstein, the sole heir in his will and signed his assets over to a trust. In May, 2020, a restitution program made a step forward, ABC News reported.
Executors of Epstein’s $634 million estate proposed a voluntary restitution program for survivors who say Epstein sexually abused them in November, 2019. Brad Edwards, an attorney representing more than 50 survivors, led negotiations in the program.
“Today is a very positive step in the right direction,” Edwards told ABC News in May. “We expect that the program will be the most effective of its kind.”
While the plan was proposed in November, the U.S. Virgin Islands filed a civil racketeering lawsuit against the estate, along with criminal activity liens, which effectively froze his assets worldwide.
The territory’s attorney, Denise George, issued a statement on the program Friday, May 29, 2020.
“The Attorney General’s Office, working closely with Epstein’s victims and their counsel, have now reached an agreement upon the terms of the fund, which include a set of reforms that provide a process that will be more fair, credible, and victim-oriented,” the statement said.