Jena-Lisa Jones is one of the women who survived Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking and sexual assaults. She is featured in the new Lifetime’s documentary, Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, in which she says she was “never the same” after her assault. Here is what you need to know about her nightmarish experiences with Epstein and his associates.
Epstein Told Her She ‘Looked So Pure’ During His Assault
In the documentary, Jones recalled how a group of teenage girls were talking about Epstein and “how easy it was to make $200” and they recruited Jones to go to his mansion.
“The main girl dressed me and did my makeup and did my hair. I felt kind of pretty because I was getting to wear her clothes and she was pretty … she was giving me attention, which I really needed at that time. She seemed so comfortable with going, like it’s no big deal, so I just thought it couldn’t be too bad,” said Jones.
“He laid belly down on the table … it made me feel very uncomfortable, but I did what I was told. He was the adult and I was the child. As soon as he reached for me, I was already frozen. Almost numb, like a frozen state of shock. He kept touching around my underwear and under my underwear and I finally told him to stop and he told me I’ll stop if you just take your underwear off so I can look.
“He told me I looked so pure while he was touching me … I was afraid. I was very afraid of what was happening. He definitely had the control. I was in his house.”
Lifetime Is Partnering With Rise to Run a Special PSA During the Broadcast
Lifetime has partnered with Rise to run a special PSA during the airings of the documentary to encourage other survivors to use their voice to RISE UP and help establish Survivors Bills of Rights in their states. Lifetime will also run a PSA from RAINN to provide hotline resources for those in need.”
In a virtual panel for the event, the executive producer Bob Friedman told reporters that they are telling the survivors’ stories in their own words.
“The story that we’ve told has been pretty much in the survivors’ own words, the survivors who bear this burden of abuse. Abuse that dare we all believe is hidden in plain sight,” said Friedman. “And we think that we go into some of the stories and the reason why with the making of the sex trafficking pyramid scheme, that was recent. We take a look at the recruiting that existed, the grooming of potential victims, and how allegedly Ghislaine Maxwell trained recruiters to create this abuse pipeline that we live through.”
He added that this is not the end of the story, saying, “We all believe that there will be some future revelations. The trial is scheduled to begin in July of next year, but we believe that we’ve addressed many of the questions that have not been addressed in the past.”
Director Ricki Stern added that it was so important to the filmmakers to emphasize to the survivors that this was not your run-of-the-mill news piece.
“It was really important that we spoke to [the survivors] and said to them, ‘This is going to be different than a news piece. We really want to spend time with you and have your story portrayed in your own words.’ There’s so much strength in these women’s stories, in their history, to understand where they come from and where they are today is so powerful,” said Stern. “And that was something that we wanted to make sure that the series portrayed. Lifetime is, of course, the perfect place for this series because they really value and they spotlight the women’s voices. And so, it was a lengthy process … It was a lengthy process to get to women. Because there had been so much attention, quick news stories that were done, that we had to really differentiate the series, because it is four hours told in their voices.”
Surviving Jeffrey Epstein airs Sunday, August 9 and Monday, August 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.