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    Thursday, June 13, 2024

    Ex-presidents, celebrities and a prince: Epstein document takeaways

    Jeffrey Epstein appears in court, July 30, 2008, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Dozens of previously sealed court documents related to financier Epstein were made public Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024. (Uma Sanghvi/The Palm Beach Post via AP, File)
    Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the 92nd Street Y, in New York, May 4, 2023. Clinton is one of the numerous people who has been getting renewed attention because of the recently released court documents related to financier Jeffrey Epstein. Many of those people have never been accused of any wrongdoing, but have nonetheless become the subject of a whirlwind of conspiracy theories.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
    President Donald Trump, right, and Britain's Prince Andrew, leave after a tour of Westminster Abbey in London, June 3, 2019. Prince Andrew and Trump are some of the numerous people who has been getting renewed attention because of the recently released court documents related to financier Jeffrey Epstein. Many of those people have never been accused of any wrongdoing, but have nonetheless become the subject of a whirlwind of conspiracy theories. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
    In this March 30, 2015, file photo, Professor Stephen Hawking arrives for the Interstellar Live show at the Royal Albert Hall in central London. Hawking is one of the numerous people who has been getting renewed attention because of the recently released court documents related to financier Jeffrey Epstein. Many of those people have never been accused of any wrongdoing, but have nonetheless become the subject of a whirlwind of conspiracy theories. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
    Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who sued wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein over alleged sexual abuse and accused him and Ghislaine Maxwell of pressuring her into sexual trysts with other powerful men, speaks during a news conference outside a Manhattan court in New York, Aug. 27, 2019. Before and after he was exposed as a pedophile, financier Jeffrey Epstein loved to mingle with the world's elite. Many are getting renewed attention because of the recently released court documents related to Epstein (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

    The highly anticipated release of hundreds of documents tied to the Jeffrey Epstein saga failed to produce any bombshells, but offered fresh insight into the financier’s lifestyle and the people who surrounded him. The names of two former presidents, a member of the U.K. royal family and celebrities were among the unredacted information.

    While the material — filed in a lawsuit brought by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell — sparked intense public interest, the names and information released were largely known to anyone familiar with the two decade-old scandal.

    Still there were some new details in the testimony, emails and legal filings unredacted Wednesday.

    Here is what we learned from the 40 unsealed documents so far:

    Copperfield and Jackson

    • Johanna Sjoberg, an Epstein victim who regularly gave him massages at his Palm Beach home, recounted meeting magician David Copperfield, pop star Michael Jackson and Prince Andrew.

    • She said she met Jackson at Epstein’s Florida home but didn’t give him a massage.

    • Sjoberg met Copperfield at a dinner at Epstein’s house and recalled him performing “some magic tricks.”

    • “He questioned me if I was aware that girls were getting paid to find other girls,” she said, referring to Copperfield, during a 2016 deposition. She didn’t accuse him of criminal conduct.

    • Copperfield couldn’t be reached for comment. Jackson passed away in 2009.

    Prince Andrew

    • Sjoberg also claimed Prince Andrew put his hand on her breast when they posed for a photograph with a puppet of him at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse. “And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast and so Andrew put his on mine,” she said.

    • Prince Andrew couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday. He reached a civil settlement with Giuffre in 2022.

    Clinton, Trump

    • Former President Bill Clinton’s ties to Epstein have been the source of much speculation since photographs and records emerged of Clinton traveling on the late money manager’s private jet. The unsealed documents provide a little more context as to how the former president’s name became wrapped up in the litigation.

    • Giuffre told a journalist that she had dinner with Clinton at Epstein’s villa in the U.S. Virgin Islands but did not allege he did anything untoward. In Giuffre’s unpublished deposition transcript, mentioned in the unsealed documents, she referred to Clinton “teasing the girls on either side of him with playful pokes and brassy comments.”

    • Giuffre’s lawyers sought to depose Clinton, but Maxwell’s attorneys said the dinner party was a “concocted story” that had been debunked by a former FBI director who reviewed Clinton’s movements in January 2003.

    • Sjoberg also claimed in her deposition that Epstein told her “Clinton likes them young, referring to girls,” according to one unsealed document.

    • Epstein went to great lengths to draw powerful and influential people into his orbit, many of whom say they now regret ever being associated with him. Sjoberg said she was on Epstein’s private plane once when it had to land in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Epstein remarked “great, we’ll call up Trump” and go to the casino, referring to Donald Trump.

    • Sjoberg recalled Epstein “name-dropping” often.

    • A spokesperson for Clinton referred to his 2019 statement, claiming he had never been to been to Epstein’s Virgin Islands complex, and knew nothing of Epstein’s terrible crimes. He did take four trips on Epstein’s private plane to Europe, Asia and Africa.

    • Trump didn’t respond to the latest documents, but has previously said that he had a “falling out” with Epstein and wasn’t “a fan.”

    Dubin

    • Hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin and his wife, Eva Andersson-Dubin, have long been identified as Epstein’s friends but denied any knowledge of his crimes.

    • Giuffre claimed in her deposition that Maxwell sent her to give Dubin a massage one day in Palm Beach and asked her to have sex with him.

    • According to an unsealed portion of Maxwell’s deposition, she denied this. “Just for the record, I have never at any time, at anyplace, in any moment ever asked Virginia Roberts or whatever she is called now to have sex with anybody,” Maxwell said.

    • Sjoberg testified that she gave the Dubins massages once at their apartment on Breakers Row in Palm Beach, “but there was nothing sexual.”

    • A spokesperson for the Dubins said on Thursday: “The Dubins strongly deny these allegations, as we first said in 2019, when these unsubstantiated statements first surfaced as part of this same civil court proceeding.”

    • Andersson-Dubin, who was also an ex-girlfriend of Epstein’s, testified as a character witness at Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial, telling the jury she was comfortable with her own children’s relationship with the financier, and called him “Uncle F.”

    Maxwell

    • Giuffre’s suit accused Maxwell of recruiting her at the age of 16 to be sexually abused by Epstein. After Maxwell called her a liar, Giuffre sued her for defamation in 2015. The unsealed documents were filed during that case, which settled in 2017.

    • In 2021, Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking conspiracy and is serving 20 years in prison.

    • The material showed how Epstein wanted to offer a reward to any of Giuffre’s friends or family who could “prove her allegations are false.” “The strongest is the Clinton dinner,” he wrote in an email to “Gmax” in 2015, which also mentioned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking participating in an “orgy.”

    • Epstein also suggested Maxwell issue a lengthy public statement to distance herself from him after he pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida in 2008. She never issued the statement.

    • Maxwell denied knowledge of Epstein’s efforts to discredit Giuffre.

    • Hawking, who suffered from major physical disabilities due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, died in 2018.

    • Maxwell’s attorney, Arthur Aidala, said his client took no position on the decision to unseal the documents and was focused on her appeal. “She has consistently and vehemently maintained her innocence,” he said.

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