Biggest bombshells from Epstein series
Any story about a powerful men abusing vulnerable young women is horrifying.
But Netflix's latest docuseries transforms one of the most notorious sex crime cases in modern history into a waking nightmare.
By painstakingly outlining the intricate system of recruiters, popular celebrities, and immensely powerful politicians, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich makes it clear that this was never the case of one evil man. It was an elaborate system of sexual abuse and rape designed to prey on children.
For most of his career Jeffrey Epstein was known as a mega-rich and mega-powerful businessman. That all changed around the time of the 2016 election when his horrific history of sexual abuse started to come to light.
This docuseries rewrites Epstein's life and controversial death not as a punchline for lazy jokes and conspiracy theories but as a true tale of horror from the mouths of the survivors.
Much of the four-hour documentary is hard to watch, but there are some revelations that are even more shocking than you may expect.
Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking operation was discovered by accident.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation of this docuseries happens only a few minutes into its run time. Jeffrey Epstein's intricate and long-running sex trafficking operation wasn't the target of some well-informed journalist. Instead it was uncovered almost completely by accident.
In 2003, Vicky Ward was assigned a profile on Epstein by her editor for Vanity Fair. The profile was supposed to be a somewhat shallow explainer on one of the richest men in the world no one had heard of.
But during her investigation Ward uncovered rumours that Epstein was known for abusing and raping underage women. These accusations led her to Maria and Annie Farmer, two of the first victims to speak about their abuse on the record.
After Epstein caught wind of the changing direction of the story, he started to threaten Ward, claiming that he would get a witch doctor to put a curse on her unborn born twins.
Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair at the time, even found a severed cat head in his garden and a bullet on his doorstep, both believed to be tied to Epstein. The story was later pulled.
Epstein's partner Ghislaine Maxwell would often recruit girls.
Ghislaine Maxwell recruited Epstein's victims.
Recruiters who worked for Epstein and would target high school aged women typically under the premise that they were being hired as a masseuse. They would also target young artists, students, and aspiring models in need of money.
That's when Ghislaine Maxwell would sweep in.
Maxwell would often ask these women to massage her before turning them over to Epstein. Maxwell has denied any involvement in Epstein's underage sex trafficking operation.
The allegations against Epstein go back further than most realise.
Though the allegations against Epstein started gaining national attention around 2016, he had victims long before then.
Two of his earliest known victims, Maria and Annie Farmer, claim that their abuse started in 1996.
Additionally, this crime ring spanned far more than just one city. Epstein's victims have emerged from Florida, New York, France, and more.
There was even a case brought against Epstein in West Palm Beach, Florida in the 2000s for soliciting underage prostitutes. Epstein only served 13 months for those allegations and broke his probation nearly every day of his house arrest.
Epstein and Maxwell would routinely threaten the abused women to keep them from speaking.
Once a young woman had been lured into Epstein's orbit, it was nearly impossible for her to escape.
Throughout the docuseries his victims reveal that they were routinely blackmailed and threatened, both professionally and personally, from going to authorities.
Maria Farmer even claims that Maxwell once told her that she knew Farmer went running on the West Side Highway in New York and there were a lot of ways Farmer could die there without anyone getting suspicious.
Even when these survivors would move, Maxwell and Epstein would still contact and berate them.
Epstein used his access to Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago to recruit victims.
At least one victim, Virginia Giuffre (then Roberts), says that she was introduced to Epstein through US President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
At the age of 16, Giuffre was working at the resort. That's where one of Epstein's assistants noticed her reading a book on massage techniques and invited her to come work for Epstein, the typical offer used to lure young women.
Though Mr Trump claims that he ended his friendship with Epstein roughly 15 years ago, it's well known the two were friendly for a time.
Epstein was friends with controversial high profile men such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Woody Allen.
One philanthropic trip to Africa featured Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, and Chris Tucker all on board Epstein's private jet.
Another time during Epstein's post-probation party Woody Allen arrived as one of his guests. And most chillingly of all, once while Epstein was on a trip with disgraced Hollywood producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, an underage girl ran panicked out of Weinstein's room.
Much like Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton has claimed that his friendship with Epstein ended years ago. Though Mr Clinton has alleged that he never went to Epstein's private island Little Saint James, nicknamed "paedophile Island", at least one former employee claims that Clinton made an appearance on the island.
Many believed that Epstein was in a sexual relationship with Les Wexner.
Throughout the late '80s and early '90s Epstein was close personal friends with Les Wexner, the billionaire businessman who is the founder and chairman of L Brands.
That group of businesses include The Limited, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch, Express, and Bath & Body Works.
The pair were so close many referred to Epstein as "the boyfriend" behind their backs.
Epstein denied ever having a sexual relationship with the billionaire. But he did use his close connections with Mr Wexner to exploit women.
On at least one occasion Epstein posed as a talent scout for Victoria's Secret to lure in a victim.
For his part, Mr Wexner has long maintained that he ended his friendship with Epstein in 2007. That's when Epstein reportedly stole $US46 million from Mr Wexner.
For one of his birthdays Epstein was allegedly gifted 12-year-old girls.
According to Virginia Giuffre, one of the most outspoken of the Epstein survivors, there was an especially horrific side to Epstein's crimes.
"I would say it was a good year into, you know, our relationship, our knowing each other, and he was laughing about the fact that his friend sent him three 12-year-old girls that he had purchased from their parents," Ms Giuffre reveals in the docuseries.
According to multiple sources these children came from France and spoke no English. After they were molested and raped by Epstein they were sent back to France the following day.
Prince Andrew allegedly had sex with an underage girl on Epstein's "paedophile Island".
One of Epstein's most famous and frequent friends was Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
In 2004, it's alleged Prince Andrew was spotted on Little Saint James grinding on a 17-year-old girl clad only in her underwear. That young woman was Virginia Giuffre.
After taking a picture with Prince Andrew, Ms Giuffre claims she was told by Maxwell that she had to perform the same sex acts on his highness that she did on Epstein.
Prince Andrew has denied these allegations and maintains he has "absolutely no recollection of ever having meeting" Ms Giuffre.
This article originally appeared on The Decider and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Biggest bombshells from Epstein series