New York: Jeffrey Epstein’s death in prison from an apparent suicide as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges came after newly released testimony linked the disgraced financier to several high-profile personalities.
Epstein befriended many politicians and celebrities over the years and alleged victim Virginia Giuffre said in the court documents that she was forced to have sex with some of them.
From US presidents and senators to a British prince, female socialite and a French modelling agent, AFP takes a look at the famous faces caught up in the Epstein scandal.
- The prince and the presidents -
Giuffre, now 36, testified that she had sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew when she was underage, an allegation Buckingham Palace has repeatedly and strenuously denied.
A photo showing the prince standing with his arm around Giuffre’s waist was included in Friday’s unsealed documents.
Epstein, who was 66 when he died, was known to be close to Donald Trump before he was president and Bill Clinton. No allegations of sexual impropriety connected with the financier’s activities have been made against them.
Trump and Clinton traveled on Epstein’s private jet while Epstein was a regular guest at parties at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
- The English socialite -
Ghislaine Maxwell, friend and former lover of Epstein, is the daughter of ex-British newspaper baron Robert Maxwell.
Giuffre said that Maxwell recruited her and other high-school age girls to perform sexual favors for Epstein. She also took part in the abuse, Giuffre added.
Maxwell, 57, denies the allegations and has called Giuffre a liar, leading Giuffre to sue Maxwell for defamation. Maxwell’s current whereabouts are unknown.
- The US politicians -
Giuffre said she was sent to have sex with former US Senator George Mitchell, an allegation he has strenuously denied.
Mitchell, 85, was the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995 and one of the key architects of the deal that brought peace to Northern Ireland. He was also a special envoy to the Middle East under Barack Obama.
Giuffre said she was also sent to Bill Richardson, a former governor of New Mexico. He also vehemently denies the charges.
Neither Richardson nor Mitchell have been accused by prosecutors.
- The businessmen -
Leslie Wexner -- the billionaire boss of US fashion retailer L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret -- was thought to be Epstein’s biggest financial backer after hiring him as a financial advisor in the 1980s.
The New York Times reported that a mansion in Manhattan that Wexner owned was transferred to Epstein for USD 0. A source told AFP that Wexner sold his interest in the property to an entity owned by Epstein for USD 20 million in 1998.
Wexner severed ties with Epstein after the latter’s conviction for sex crimes with underage girls in 2008.
Wexner has said that Epstein stole vast sums of money from him.
Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with French businessman Jean Luc Brunel who runs the MC2 Model Management agency.
Epstein owned an apartment near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and had been in the city just before his arrest in New York last month.
On Monday two French government ministers called for an investigation, saying the US inquiry had exposed links between the disgraced financier and France.
- The celebrity lawyer -
Alan Dershowitz is one of America’s most famous lawyers.
He successfully helped British socialite Claus von Bulow overturn his conviction for the attempted murder of his wife and was part of O.J Simpson’s legal team when he was acquitted of murder.
In 2007, Dershowitz, now 80, helped broker the plea deal that saw Epstein spend just 13 months in a county jail in Florida after admitting a single state charge of soliciting prostitution from a minor.
Giuffre said she had performed sexual acts on Dershowitz, an allegation he has repeatedly and vehemently denied. He has accused Giuffre of being “a complete and total liar.”...