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Documents from lawsuit connected to Jeffrey Epstein unsealed, name Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew

Hundreds of pages of documents that are part of a lawsuit connected to accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein have started being released.

Accused sex trafficker died by suicide in Manhattan jail in 2019

Jeffrey Epstein court documents unsealed

5 hours ago

Duration 1:50

A New York court has unsealed documents that contain a list of people associated with Jeffrey Epstein in some way. Those named are not necessarily accused of wrongdoing, as some are making allegations or are potential witnesses. The documents include testimony from depositions made about the sex trafficking of young girls by Epstein and his co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell.

Hundreds of pages of documents that are part of a lawsuit connected to accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein have started being released.

CBC News is currently reviewing the newly unsealed documents. Those named in the documents are not necessarily accused of any wrongdoing; some of the people named are those making allegations or are potential witnesses.

Epstein, a disgraced financier known for associating with celebrities, politicians, billionaires and academic stars, died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges in 2019. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor.

The documents being unsealed are related to a lawsuit filed in 2015 by one of Epstein's victims, Virginia Giuffre. She is one of dozens of women who sued Epstein for abusing them at his homes in Florida, New York, the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Mexico.

This suit was against Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who is serving a 20-year prison term in Florida for helping recruit and abuse Epstein's victims.

A white man with white hair stands with his arm around a woman with short black hair at night.

Previously released material

The initial collection of around 40 documents made public largely contained material that had been released previously, or exhaustively had been covered in nearly two decades' worth of newspaper stories, TV documentaries, interviews and books about the Epstein scandal.

Still, the records — which included transcripts of interviews with some of Epstein's victims — contained reminders that Epstein surrounded himself with famous and powerful figures, including a few who have also been accused of misconduct.

There were mentions of Epstein's past friendship with former U.S. president Bill Clinton — who is not accused of any wrongdoing — and of Britain's Prince Andrew, who previously settled a lawsuit accusing him of having sex with a 17-year-old girl who travelled with Epstein.

Epstein accuser Johanna Sjoberg testified in a newly released deposition that she once met Michael Jackson at Epstein's Palm Beach, Fla., home, but that nothing untoward happened with the late pop icon.

Giuffre's lawsuit against Maxwell was settled in 2017, but the court had kept some court documents blacked-out or sealed because of concerns about the privacy rights of Epstein's victims and other people whose names had come up during the legal battle.

Only around 40 of those documents were made public Wednesday. More will be released in coming days.

Prince Andrew, Clinton named

The records included the depositions of several of Epstein's victims, many of whom have told their stories publicly previously.

Besides the mention of Michael Jackson, Sjoberg's May 2016 deposition also shed new light on an April 2001 trip to New York in which she said Prince Andrew touched her breast while they posed for a photo at Epstein's Manhattan town house.

In the testimony, some of which appeared as excerpts in previous court filings, Sjoberg said she and Giuffre had flown with Epstein to New York on his private jet. Maxwell and Prince Andrew met them there, she said.

At one point, she testified, Maxwell called her to an upstairs closet where they pulled out a puppet of Prince Andrew that had been made for a BBC program.

"It looked like him," Sjoberg said. "And she brought it down and presented it to him; and that was a great joke, because apparently it was a production from a show on BBC."

"And they decided to take a picture with it, in which Virginia and Andrew sat on a couch. They put the puppet on Virginia's lap, and I sat on Andrew's lap, and they put the puppet's hand on Virginia's breast, and Andrew put his hand on my breast, and they took a photo."

WATCH | Maxwell found guilty in sex trafficking trial 2021:

Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in sex trafficking trial

2 years ago

Duration 1:52

Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty by a jury of helping convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls. Maxwell is a former girlfriend and associate of the late financier.

Spent time at Trump casino

On the way to New York, Sjoberg testified, Epstein's jet diverted to Atlantic City, N.J., and spent a few hours at one of the casinos of former U.S. president Donald Trump, because of bad weather.

Upon hearing the change of plans, Sjoberg recalled Epstein saying, "Great, we'll call up Trump and we'll go to" the casino. Sjoberg wasn't asked if they'd met up with Trump that night. Later in her testimony, she said she was never asked to give Trump a massage.

Sjoberg also testified that though she never met Clinton, Epstein once remarked to her that "Clinton likes them young," a remark she took as a reference to young women or girls.

In her deposition, Giuffre said the summer she turned 17, she was lured away from a job as a spa attendant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club to become a "masseuse" for Epstein — a job that involved performing sexual acts.

She settled a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in 2022 in which she claimed he had sexually abused her during a trip to London. That same year, Giuffre withdrew an accusation she had made against Epstein's former attorney, law professor Alan Dershowitz, saying she "may have made a mistake" in identifying him as an abuser.

WATCH | Prince Andrew reaches out-of-court settlement with accuser:

Prince Andrew settles sexual assault lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre

2 years ago

Duration 2:02

Prince Andrew has reached an out-of-court settlement with sexual assault accuser Virginia Guiffre for an undisclosed amount.

The records released Wednesday included many references to Jean-Luc Brunel, a French modelling agent close to Epstein who was awaiting trial on charges that he raped underage girls when he killed himself in a Paris jail in 2022. Giuffre was among the women who had accused Brunel of sexual abuse.

Clinton's name also came up because Giuffre was questioned by Maxwell's lawyers about inaccuracies in newspaper reports about her time with Epstein, including a story quoting her as saying she had ridden in a helicopter with Clinton and flirted with Trump. Giuffre said neither of those things actually happened.

The judge said a handful of names should remain blacked out in the documents because they would identify people who were sexually abused. The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they decide to tell their stories publicly, as Giuffre has done.

With files from The Associated Press

Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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