What We’ve Learned From the Newly Unsealed Jeffrey Epstein Documents

Ghislaine Maxwell. Photo: Mathieu Polak

A federal judge on Thursday unsealed hundreds of page of documents containing an endless stream of disturbing details related to the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and Epstein’s ex-girlfriend who was arrested earlier this month on charges of sex trafficking minors and perjury.

Among the documents is a deposition from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who in 2015 filed, and later settled, a defamation suit against Maxwell. Giuffre, who was a 15-year-old working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort when Maxwell recruited her into Epstein’s orbit, has accused the late financier of forcing her to be his “sex slave” and coercing her into to have sex with his powerful friends. Also released Thursday were emails between Maxwell and Epstein, flight logs, and other court documents.

Maxwell’s lawyers fought the release of the documents, leading U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska to say she was “troubled — but not surprised — that Ms. Maxwell has yet again sought to muddy the waters as the clock ticks closer to midnight.” There is a continuing dispute over additional documents, including the transcript of a 2016 Maxwell deposition, which could be released Monday pending the intervention of an appellate court.

Here’s what we learned so far from the trove of documents released Thursday:

Maxwell and Epstein were in touch in 2015

In a court filing earlier this month, Maxwell’s lawyers asserted that she had not been in touch with Epstein for a decade prior to his 2019 arrest. But among the documents released Thursday were typo-riddled emails from Epstein to Maxwell in which the late sex predator encouraged her to carry herself like an innocent woman.

“You have done nothing wrong and i woudl urge you to start acting like it. go outside, head high, not as an esacping convict. go to parties. deal with it,” a January 25, 2015, email from “jeffrey E.” to Maxwell said. In another email, Epstein seemed to suggest a statement for Maxwell to release to the media. It said she has been the “target of outright lies, innuendo, slander, defamation and salacious gossip and harassment,” and denied “false allegations of impropriety and offensive behavior that I abhor and have never ever been party to.”

“Constant orgies” on Epstein’s island

In Giuffre’s deposition, she described the hedonistic scene on Little St. James, the private island Epstein owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as a place “where orgies were a constant thing that took place.”

“It’s impossible to know how many,” she said. People had sex poolside, in cabanas, in Epstein’s “large, stony” bedroom, and “down by the beach” in a “tiny wooden room that only could fit a bed in it.”

Maxwell was more than a “madam”

Maxwell didn’t just participate in the grooming of Epstein’s victims, Giuffre said. She had sex with them, too. In her deposition, Giuffre said she often had sex with Epstein, Maxwell, and another person whose name is redacted. Giuffre suggested that the sex was not consensual, saying at one point that she “had to go down on Ghislaine.” She also said Maxwell and Epstein regularly warned her not to piss them off, referring to it as an “indirect threat” that left her “scared.”

Regarding the young women she saw Maxwell have sex with, Giuffre said, “I don’t believe that any of the girls involved were truly willing participants doing it out of their own wanting.”

Giuffre’s first meeting with Maxwell

Guiffre said in her deposition that her father, who worked at Mar-a-Lago, helped her get a job at Donald Trump’s South Florida club when she was a teenager. She was only there for a few weeks when Maxwell first approached her. Guiffre said she was sitting outside a locker room reading a book about massage when Maxwell approached her. Here’s Guiffre’s description of their first conversation:

Well, she noticed I was reading the massage book. And I started to have chitchat with her just about, you know, the body and the anatomy and how I was interested in it. And she told me that she knew somebody who was looking for a traveling masseuse. And I said, Well, I don’t have any accreditations. This is the first book I’ve ever read. She goes, That’s okay. I know somebody. We can train you. We can get you educated. You know, we can help you along the way if you pass the interview. If the guy likes you, then, you know, it will work out for you. You’ll travel. You’ll make good money. You’ll be educated, and you’ll finally get accredited one day.

A list of powerful people

When asked in the deposition to name the “politically connected and financially powerful people that Ghislaine Maxwell told you to go have sex with,” Giuffre provided a list. On it were Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, New York hedge-fund manager Glenn Dubin, artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky, and former model-agency manager Jean-Luc Brunel.

Bill Clinton on Epstein’s island

Among the documents released Thursday, was the transcript of a conversation Guiffre had with her lawyers in 2011, in which Guiffre says that she was on Epstein’s private island with Bill Clinton, Maxwell, and two “young girls” from New York. When she asked Epstein why the former president was there, Guiffre said, he told her that Clinton “owed him favors.” She wasn’t sure if that was a joke though.

“I remember asking Jeffrey what’s Bill Clinton doing here kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said well he owes me a favor,” she said. “He never told me what favors they were. I never knew. I didn’t know if he was serious. It was just a joke.”

On Friday, a Clinton spokesperson told Newsweek that the former president has “never been to Little St. James Island.”

What We’ve Learned From the New Jeffrey Epstein Documents