Jeffrey Epstein: Who’s Who in Underage Sex Trafficking Case – Rolling Stone
×
Home Culture Culture Features

Jeffrey Epstein: Who’s Who in Underage Sex Trafficking Case

There’s a lot of names swirling around in the Jeffrey Epstein case 

Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew have both come up repeatedly in court filings — though neither has been charged with a crime.

Images used in photo illustration by Gabriel Lopez Albarran/AP/Shutterstock, Clint Spaulding/WWD/Shutterstock, Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock, Andrew McCaren/LNP/Shutterstock

Jeffrey Epstein’s death by suicide in federal custody on August 10th means that the wealthy financier will never be criminally prosecuted for sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. The July indictment alleged that Epstein “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes” in New York City, Palm Beach, Florida, the US Virgin Islands and other locations from 2002 to 2005.

According to Attorney General William Barr, the FBI probe into Epstein’s alleged crimes is far from over, and possible co-conspirators “should not rest easy.”

“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” Barr said.

Those who associated with Epstein include well-known heads of state and successful businessmen, as well as at least one high-powered lawyer, science luminary, and loyal ex-girlfriend. Some of them have already been accused of participation in Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring; newly unsealed court documents from a civil lawsuit filed in 2015 by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre (neé Roberts) revealed some people for the first time, including former Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Here’s a look at Epstein’s inner circle, some of whom may find themselves in the FBI’s crosshairs in the coming months.

Ghislaine Maxwell
Epstein’s closest associate and former lover is the daughter of ex-British newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, who drowned off the coast of the Canary Islands in 1991, while sailing his yacht, Lady Ghislaine. Although his death was ruled an accidental drowning, the press speculated that he was murdered or committed suicide, as his death occurred amidst mounting debt and allegations that he was a secret agent for the Israeli government.

Shortly after her father’s death, Ghislaine Maxwell moved to the United States, where she soon became close to Epstein, and became a regular fixture on the New York social scene. Epstein and Maxwell had a romantic relationship for several years and a decades-long friendship that allegedly involved trafficking underage girls. According to the Miami Herald, Maxwell has been accused of acting as Epstein’s “madame,” recruiting and grooming an untold number of girls to be used by Epstein and his wealthy friends for sexual purposes at his homes in Manhattan, West Palm Beach, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2009, Epstein accuser Giuffre sued Epstein in federal court, accusing him and Maxwell of sexually abusing her at age 16; years later, when Maxwell called the allegations “obvious lies,” Giuffre sued for defamation and was awarded an undisclosed settlement. Maxwell had not been seen publicly in three years, but now that Epstein is dead, his “lady of the house” — as one former employee referred to her — appeared at an In-N-Out Burger in Los Angeles, having a meal while reading a book about CIA operatives. (It’s unclear whether or not this photo is authentic; according to a report from the Daily Mail, it was staged with the help of her lawyer.) 

Les Wexner
The billionaire behind U.S. fashion retailer L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, hired Epstein as his financial advisor in the 1980s. Wexner is presumed to be the source of the majority of Epstein’s wealth, and remains the only publicly identified client of Epstein’s company, J. Epstein & Co. Wexner said he ended their relationship more than a decade ago, when Epstein was facing sex crimes charges in Florida; earlier this month, according to the New York Times, Wexner broke his silence in a letter to the Wexner Foundation, detailing his history with Epstein. Wexner also alleged that his former money manager “misappropriated vast sums of money” from him and his family. There are currently no allegations that Wexner was involved in sex trafficking.

Jean-Luc Brunel
French modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel became a member of Epstein’s inner circle in the early 2000s. In 2010, the Daily Beast reported that Epstein invested up to a million dollars in the launch of Brunel’s modeling agency, MC2 Model Management, in 2004. (Brunel has denied receiving any funding from Epstein.) In January 2015, Brunel sued Epstein, claiming that his business lost millions of dollars “due to the adverse publicity surrounding Epstein and his illegal activities,” and “publicity falsely linking [him] … with sex trafficking.” Brunel also alleged he was “emotionally destroyed” and fell into a deep depression as a result of Epstein’s actions.

And yet, according to a 2015 affidavit, Giuffre claimed that Brunel “could get dozens of underage girls and feed Epstein’s (and Maxwell’s) strong appetite for sex with minors.” Brunel would offer modeling jobs to young girls from “poor backgrounds,” Giuffre alleged, and “lured” them in with “a promise of making good money.” Instead, Brunel would “farm them out to his friends,” including Epstein, “for sexual purposes.”

Giuffre also alleged that Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with Brunel when she was underage, and claimed that Epstein told her he’d “slept with over 1,000 of Brunel’s girls.” Among the newly unsealed documents are several written phone messages for Epstein, including message from Brunel offering him first dibs on a “2 X 8 [16] years old not blonde” girl who could “teach [him] how to speak Russian.”

In a statement released in 2015, Brunel denied any involvement, “directly or indirectly”, with Epstein’s crimes. “I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work as a scouter or model agencies manager,” Brunel stated.

Prince Andrew
Giuffre’s lawsuit includes allegations that she was forced to have sex on three occasions with the Duke of York (whose nickname from the British press is “Randy Andy”) when she was just 17 years old. The recently unsealed records include a photograph from 2001 showing the middle-aged prince with his arm wrapped around the teenager’s waist. In a separate deposition, a woman named Johanna Sjoberg alleged that Prince Andrew groped her breast in Epstein’s New York home in 2001. A statement issued by Buckingham Palace dismissed the allegations as “categorically untrue.”

Both allegations about Prince Andrew were made in 2015, as Giuffre and Sjoberg tried to join a civil lawsuit against the U.S. government, in which other alleged victims were seeking to reopen Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement. The allegations were struck from the court record by District Judge Kenneth Marra, who wrote, “The factual details regarding with whom and where the Jane Does engaged in sexual activities are immaterial and impertinent to this central claim.”

There are no criminal charges against the Duke of York, but in the wake of the new documents, Buckingham Palace has gone on a PR offensive, issuing two statements, the the first denying any impropriety, and the second stating that the royal “has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.”

Alan Dershowitz
After Epstein was charged in Florida in 2006, the high-powered lawyer and Harvard Law professor helped broker a deal with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta. Before the FBI’s proposed indictment could be presented to a grand jury, Epstein signed a seriously lenient non-prosecution agreement, pleading guilty to a single count of solicitation of a minor in exchange for a cushy 13-month sentence.

Dershowitz has made a lucrative career defending a number of other wealthy, high-profile clients, including O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson and Jim Bakker. He also has some controversial opinions when it comes to sex and the law. In 1985, Dershowitz wrote an article for the Gainesville Sun which argued in favor of arresting sex workers, but against arresting men who hire them; according to The New Yorker, one of Dershowitz’s former students remembered him discussing the topic in class. “He said, ‘Prostitutes know what they’re doing — they should be prosecuted. But you shouldn’t ruin the john’s life over that.’”

In 1997, Dershowitz wrote a controversial op-ed for the Los Angeles Times titled “Statutory Rape is an Outdated Concept,” which advocated for lowering the age of consent to 15, no matter how old the partner was. “There must be criminal sanctions against sex with very young children,” Dershowitz wrote, “but it is doubtful whether such sanctions should apply to teenagers above the age of puberty, since voluntary sex is so common in their age group.”

Dershowitz’s views are particularly interesting in light of Giuffre’s 2015 claim that Epstein and Maxwell directed her to have sex with Dershowitz at least six times when she was underage. According to the New Yorker, Dershowitz defended his “unscathed reputation,” saying Giuffre was a “prostitute” and a “bad mother,” who “made the whole thing up out of whole cloth” and was in search of “a big payday.” When a TV news reporter questioned why he would call Giuffre a “prostitute,” Dershowitz replied, “She made her own decisions in life.” Like Prince Andrew, the allegations made against Dershowitz were part of Giuffre’s civil defamation lawsuit in 2015, and struck from the court record.

Dershowitz was also named in a 2018 civil lawsuit filed by Sarah Ransome, accusing Epstein and Maxwell of trafficking her for sex from 2006 to 2007. Ransome alleged that Epstein also directed her to have sex with other third parties, including Dershowitz, which he vehemently denied. “I never met her,” Dershowitz said in a statement to the Daily Beast in 2018. “If she claims I did, I challenge her to go on the record and accuse me of having sex with her. She won’t because it never happened and if she were to falsely allege that it did, I would sue her for defamation.”

Though Dershowitz is not being criminally charged, given his close contact with Epstein, he could possess information that’s valuable to the FBI; however, he might be able to keep much of it out of the courts, since attorney-client privilege continues even in death.

Marvin Minsky
Epstein called himself a “science philanthropist,” investing millions of dollars to sponsor conferences and fund research, and formulating many of his own bizarre scientific and philosophical ideas. For example, Epstein believed starvation is necessary for population control, and according to the New York Times, he also had a vision of one day “seeding the human race with his DNA” by impregnating 20 women at his ranch in New Mexico. Epstein befriended a number of celebrated scientists and academics, including Marvin Minsky, a cognitive scientist best known for his research on artificial intelligence. In 2001 and 2012, Epstein sponsored two major conferences organized by Minsky on his private compound in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In an unsealed deposition from 2016, Giuffre alleged that Maxwell directed her to have sex with Minsky during one of his trips to the private island.  She was unable to recall the timeframe, but a second witness recalled taking a trip to the island with Giuffre and Minsky in 2001, when she was 17 and he was 73.

Minsky evaded any possibility of being indicted when he died in 2016.

Glenn Dubin and Eva Andersson-Dubin
The relationship between Epstein and billionaire power couple Glenn Dubin and Eva Andersson-Dubin predates their 1994 marriage; Andersson-Dubin is Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, and she and her money-manager husband remained loyal to him for years. Andersson-Dubin, a former Ford model, wrote a letter to his probation officer in 2009 which stated that she was “100% comfortable” with Epstein being around her underage kids, despite his conviction for soliciting sex from a minor.

The Dubins responded very differently after Epstein was arrested in July. Andersson-Dubin told the New York Times that she was shocked by the allegations, which were “completely counter to the person she is familiar with.” The couple later released a statement saying they were “horrified” to learn of Epstein’s “vile and unspeakable conduct,” and had they known, they would have “cut off all ties” and not allowed him to be around their children.

However, newly unsealed documents raise questions as to the couple’s supposed lack of knowledge. A deposition from the Dubins’ former house manager described a 2005 encounter with the family’s new nanny — a 15-year-old Swedish girl, hand-delivered by Maxwell. The girl alleged that Maxwell pressured her to have sex with Epstein, and then threatened her and took her passport when she refused. A month into her employ, according to the Daily Beast, the Dubins took the girl with them to Sweden, where she was dropped off at an airport.

Most significantly, Giuffre claimed in her lawsuit that Glenn Dubin is one of the men Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with. In a statement emailed to Rolling Stone, a representative for the Dubins vehemently denied the new allegations. “Glenn and Eva Dubin are outraged by the allegations in the unsealed court records, which are demonstrably false and defamatory. The Dubins have flight records and other evidence that definitively disprove that any such events occurred.”

President Bill Clinton
Epstein called Bill Clinton “the world’s greatest politician,” while Clinton praised the financier’s charitable work. Together, the two did quite a bit of jet setting on the “Lolita Express,” the press nickname for Epstein’s private Boeing 727 jet. In 2002, Epstein took Clinton, along with actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker, on a tour of Africa, one of four trips Clinton admitted the pair made to the continent to promote the work of the Clinton Foundation and other charitable ventures. But according to flight logs published by Gawker in 2015, Clinton made at least a dozen other trips on the private jet, often in the company of Epstein, Maxwell and various women, who were mostly identified by only first names.

Though the former President has not been named as one of Epstein’s co-conspirators or charged with any crimes, his name became inextricably linked with Epstein’s in the immediate aftermath of his death, when a conspiracy theory started trending, suggesting that Clinton and his wife, former Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), were responsible. There is no evidence to support this theory, and his death has been officially ruled a suicide.

President Donald Trump
While he has minimized his relationship with Epstein in recent years, Trump’s previous comments speak for themselves. “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York Magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” According to the Washington Post, the two were on good terms until about 15 years ago, when they had a falling-out. Trump won’t clarify what happened, though the Post connected it to a real estate deal in Palm Beach that supposedly got between them.

Yet for a long time, they were close — “wingmen,” as one source told the Post. Epstein and Trump were photographed together at the President’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach on multiple occasions in the 1990s, and Epstein’s little black book contained 14 phone numbers for Trump and his staff. According to the Miami Herald, Giuffre, then known as Virginia Roberts, was working at Mar-a-Lago when she was introduced to Epstein, and soon after, the alleged sexual abuse began.

In June 2016, Trump was sued by an anonymous accuser, who alleged, in detail, that he raped her at a party at Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 1994, when she was 13 years old. Trump denied the allegations, and the lawsuit was eventually dropped.

Former Senator George Mitchell
Thought he might not be a household name anymore, George Mitchel, the former U.S. Attorney and Democratic Senate majority leader was a special advisor to President Clinton, and even helped to broker the peace deal in Ireland in the 1990s. According to Giuffre’s 2015 lawsuit, as Epstein and Maxwell’s “sex slave,” she was “required to be sexually exploited” by a select group of male friends. She claimed she was “instructed to go to” Mitchell, but the unsealed documents don’t indicate whether there was ever any sexual contact. In 2003, the one-time Senate Majority Leader told Vanity Fair, “[Epstein] supported some philanthropic projects of mine and organized a fundraiser for me once. I would certainly call him a friend and a supporter.”

Earlier this month, Mitchell — who now works for the law firm DLA Piper — released a statement saying he has “never met, spoken with or had any contact” with Giuffre, and vehemently denied participating in or having any knowledge of Epstein’s crimes. “I never observed or suspected any inappropriate conduct with underage girls.” He and Epstein did not have any further contact after Epstein was charged in Florida in 2006, Mitchell said.

Mark Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein and his brother Mark don’t appear to have had a close relationship as adults, but Mark did offer up his house to secure his older brother’s bond following his arrest last month. Thus far, Mark has not been implicated in his brother’s crimes, but according to New York magazine, the two had several business ties that could put Mark in the FBI’s crosshairs. For starters, Mark’s real estate company, Ossa Properties, is run by a former employee of J. Epstein & Co., the company that managed Les Wexner’s assets. Those assets included an Upper West Side condominium that Mark purchased from Wexner in the 1990s. While Epstein didn’t own a share in the building, many of his friends, business associates and employees have lived there over the years, including models from MC2 Model Management. “Jeffrey rents several apartments there where he keeps his girls,” Florida attorney Brad Edwards, who represents several of Epstein’s victims, told Page Six in 2009.

Mark Epstein has denied any involvement or knowledge, despite the real-estate connection. “I don’t live in that building,” he told Crain’s in July. “I don’t monitor who uses those apartments.”

Newswire

Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.