The New York Justice Department published this Wednesday a first batch of judicial documents related to the deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein, accused of trafficking and sexual abuse of minors, and which had been classified until now. The documents are part of a defamation lawsuit filed in 2015 by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s main accusers, against his ex-lover and partner, the British heiress Ghislaine Maxwell, and have garnered media attention due to the expectation that they will involve to prominent figures related to the billionaire. Some of the names that appear in those documents are former US President Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson, David Copperfield and Prince Andrew, according to theGuardian.
Many of the names are already known, since they were identified during the 2021 trial against Maxwell – sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping the financier to sexually abuse minors – or because they have given interviews or have been the subject of complaints. The appearance of these names does not mean that they have been accused of irregularities, since the documents include everything from emails to statements from victims or witnesses.
Among the documents declassified today are several statements by Giuffre and Maxwell. There is also a statement from Johanna Sjoberg, another of Epstein’s victims, alleging that Prince Andrew of England touched her breasts at the financier’s home in Manhattan when she was 21 years old. The story was already known, but this is the first time that the judicial document with her statement has been made public.
Sjoberg also testified that Epstein told him that former US President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) “liked young people, meaning girls,” as can be read in one of the documents. Clinton, whose name has been linked to the financier on several occasions, claims that he knew nothing of his crimes.
Judge Loretta Preska, of the federal court for the Southern District of New York, had ordered that as of January 1, the documents, until now sealed, and which include the identity of about 150 people, be made public.
Being mentioned in the documents does not imply any type of guilt, since there are everything from emails to statements from victims or witnesses. The identity of those who were minors or have not made public statements will remain hidden.
The deadline had been set to give anyone who opposed the publication of their name time to object. At least two people have objected and have until January 22 to explain their reasons.
The first batch of documents, published this Wednesday, is around 1,000 pages in total [se pueden leer aquí]. It was already known that the final list would include the name of Prince Andrew, whom Giuffre sued for sexual abuse and with whom he reached an out-of-court settlement, and also that of former President Clinton, whom Giuffre unsuccessfully tried to summon to testify. Clinton, against whom no charges are pending, appears on the passenger lists of Epstein’s flights to different countries.
Epstein committed suicide in 2019 in a federal prison in New York, where he was awaiting trial for allegedly creating a child sex trafficking ring in his mansions in the Big Apple and Florida. The youngest girls were 14 years old, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.