Preliminary investigation has revealed that Jailed multimillionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has died by suicide, two law enforcement sources said Saturday, one day after a court unsealed new details of the claims against him.
According to earlier report, Jeffrey Epstein and a friend sent an underage girl to have sex with former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former U.S. Senator George Mitchell and asset manager Glenn Dubin, she testified in court documents that were made public for the first time Friday — allegations the three deny.
Virginia Giuffre, now an adult, says she was also sent to modeling executive Jean Luc Brunel and the late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, according to parts of a 2016 deposition she gave. The testimony by Giuffre, who claims she was a “sex slave” for Epstein from 2000 to 2002, expands on her previous allegations, in court filings and tabloids, that she was forced to have sex with the U.K.’s Prince Andrew and Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz. Both men have strenuously denied those allegations.
Epstein, was a convicted sex offender, who was facing federal criminal charges of sexually trafficking minors. None of the other men were defendants in the settled lawsuit, and they haven’t been accused by authorities. But their appearance in the public papers adds to the list of those who could be tarnished by their apparent association with him.
Epstein, who was awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing underage girls, was found unresponsive in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal detention facility.
Staff at the facility started life-saving measures, and Epstein was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the bureau said in a news release.
No foul play is suspected in his death, a federal official told the media.
The bureau’s release called it “an apparent suicide,” and said the FBI is investigating. Authorities believe Epstein hanged himself, a law enforcement source said.
The New York City medical examiner’s office hasn’t determined his manner of death.
Epstein had been jailed since early July, when he pleaded not guilty to charges by New York federal prosecutors after an indictment accused him of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls, some as young as 14 years old.
A judge denied him bail in mid-July — rejecting his request to remain under house arrest at his Upper East Side mansion, one of the largest private residences in Manhattan. Epstein was set to go to trial at some point next year.
On Friday, hundreds of pages of court documents were unsealed in New York federal court, alleging new details of sexual abuse claims against Epstein and several associates.
US Attorney General William Barr said Saturday that he was “appalled” to learn Epstein died of an apparent suicide in federal custody. The Justice Department’s inspector general will investigate the circumstances of his death, Barr said.
“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a news release. Separately, a source familiar with the situation said Barr was livid at the events surrounding Epstein’s apparent suicide and is determined to get to the bottom of what happened.
The US attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, called the day’s events “disturbing.”
“We are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court,” he said. Berman, whose office was prosecuting Epstein, added that “our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing.”
An attorney for Epstein, Marc Fernich, called for a “full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Epstein’s death.”
Fernich said he was speaking personally, not as a representative of Epstein’s defense team. He said several parties can be blamed for the death, including “overzealous prosecutors,” “pandering politicians,” compliant judges” and a “hysterical press corps.”
“The public needs to know exactly what happened and why — and how his custodians could have let it occur,” Fernich said.
Epstein met with his lawyers daily for hours at a time, a source with knowledge of Epstein’s visitors noted. The source said Epstein met with his attorneys from the time visitors were allowed in the building to the time they were mandated to leave.
Just weeks ago, Epstein was temporarily placed on a suicide watch after he was found July 23 in his Manhattan jail cell with marks on his neck, a law enforcement source and a source familiar with the incident.
It was not clear in July to jail officials if those injuries, which were not serious, were self-inflicted or the result of an assault, the sources said. Epstein told authorities he was beaten up and called a child predator, they said.
At 66 years old, Epstein had faced decades of questions about his behavior, including allegations that he had improper interactions with minor girls and scrutiny surrounding the source of his wealth.