One of the women who say that they were recruited by Maxwell was Virginia Roberts Giuffre. In a series of conversations with me during the past year, she described her experience.
Maxwell, pulling out of the parking lot in a chauffeured car, spotted her and told the driver to stop. Giuffre was reading a book about anatomy and massage therapy. She learned that she was to have sex with him several times a day, sometimes along with Maxwell and other girls. After several months, her duties increased. Giuffre told me that a video-recording system had been installed in the New York mansion, and she was convinced that Epstein was gathering information to use for leverage on the men.
Many of the girls came from troubled backgrounds. By the time she was thirteen, she was living on the streets, where she was abused by older men. Life with Epstein provided a kind of security; he paid her, got her an apartment, and took her to New Mexico, London, Paris, Tangiers, and his island.
She was afraid of what Epstein would do if she left. The detectives pursuing Epstein in Palm Beach believed that they had a strong case; they had interviewed numerous underage victims who seemed credible. Krischer changed completely. Detective Joseph Recarey, the lead investigator, later testified about a meeting he had attended with Dershowitz and Krischer. Dershowitz presented a selection of posts from MySpace, in which the girls recounted experiences with alcohol or marijuana. Reiter said in a deposition that he and Recarey were under constant surveillance for months.
Their movements were tracked and their trash was searched. Reiter also testified that Dershowitz had contracted private investigators to look into his background. Dershowitz and Epstein deny any involvement in this. Dershowitz focussed especially on a young woman, identified in the police report as A. He often took nude pictures of girls and displayed them around the house.
He sent roses when she starred in her high-school play.
I think that has a lot to do with the reason I stayed there so long. Dershowitz sent Recarey a letter about A. Dershowitz denies gathering information from social media, and says that the letter was composed by someone else in his office, although it bears his signature and is written in the first person. He suggested that her claims about Epstein were motivated by a desire for money. He publicized the accusations in the Daily Mail , saying that A. There was no requirement that he register as a sex offender and no mandatory jail time.
But Reiter felt that the charges were insufficient. He requested a federal investigation, and the F. Prosecutors prepared a fifty-three-page indictment, which could have resulted in a life sentence. Dershowitz argued that federal prosecution was unjustified. Epstein never targeted minors. The deal had two unusual facets. That was not my responsibility.
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On June 30, , Epstein pleaded guilty. He was given a brief sentence: eighteen months in a county jail, with access to a lenient work-release program. Six days a week, he was allowed to leave for an office nearby, where he received visitors—including, one deputy recently told the Associated Press, a number of young women. While Epstein was in jail, a friend asked what he was reading. After thirteen months, Epstein was released.
At his mansion in New York, he had a mural painted of himself in jail, telling visitors that it was a reminder that he could always go back.
Dershowitz says that after Epstein got out of jail they no longer socialized. He sometimes still visited the mansion on East Seventy-first Street, but only to offer legal advice. Epstein resumed his meetings with academics at the Brattle Square office, and, although Lawrence Summers and Henry Rosovsky attended at least once, Dershowitz did not. The victims, too, wanted to distance themselves from Epstein. Virginia Giuffre had left his orbit in , soon after she turned nineteen.
Maxwell and Epstein had agreed to send her to Thailand for a three-week course in massage, and arranged for her to bring back a young girl for Epstein.
There, Giuffre met an Australian man, Robert Giuffre, who was on vacation. They fell in love, and were married ten days later. For five years, Giuffre had no contact with Epstein or Maxwell. She and her husband moved into a house outside Sydney; they had two children, and Giuffre got pregnant again. She was frightened that they had been able to track her down. That is when I started having to deal with the past. In September, , Giuffre got a letter from the U.
Epstein eventually settled her suit, paying an undisclosed sum, but the story persisted. Churcher asked if she had any way to substantiate her story. Giuffre had a picture of her posing with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. The Mail on Sunday later paid her a hundred and forty thousand dollars for the use of the photo and twenty thousand for giving interviews. The next month, the Mail on Sunday published a series of articles , focussed on Prince Andrew, which brought new attention to the case.
Two F. The story also attracted the notice of lawyers working with other Epstein victims. That spring, Giuffre got a call from Bradley Edwards, an attorney in Florida.
He asked if she would talk about her experience. In December, , Giuffre set up a foundation, Victims Refuse Silence , to help survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking. The same month, she filed a motion to join the suit. She claimed that Epstein had abused her, and had trafficked her to powerful friends. And Dershowitz was one of the people who enabled that to happen.
Brunel issued a denial. Dershowitz began an urgent campaign to clear his name, which has lasted almost five years. Among themselves, they debated whether the allegations could be true, and whether he was employing the right strategy. I was inclined to believe him.
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But you know the old saying—you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Epstein is a very hard client to represent without getting smudged in that way. It can be done—but that requires a little more distance and discipline, and also a willingness to eschew fun, than Dershowitz perhaps is willing to show.
He made her the defendant, and he attacked. And I think that probably had some effect. They and the woman got together and contrived and made this up. Soon afterward, Giuffre submitted a sworn affidavit. That man is the same man that I had sex with at least six times. Giuffre became a witness. Boies is among the highest-paid trial lawyers in America, a skillful courtroom tactician with a keen instinct for public opinion.
For decades, he has cultivated a reputation as a defender of principle. He represented CBS in a major First Amendment case, prosecuted Microsoft for antitrust violations, and fought for marriage equality in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the landmark suit in California. But Boies has also damaged his reputation by using strikingly aggressive tactics.
Boies stopped representing Theranos in the fall of , but remained on the board for another half a year. In the process, Black Cube operatives impersonated a source and assumed other false identities to gather information on the reporters. Boies said that he regrets not supervising Black Cube more closely. She was an imperfect witness. She had used drugs throughout the time she was with Epstein, and she acknowledged being hazy on dates. She initially recalled that she started working at Mar-a-Lago when she was almost sixteen, but employment records showed that she started a year later—meaning that she had been underage for less than a year of the time in which Epstein lent her to his friends.
Yet Giuffre maintained that she never forgot the faces of the men she had sex with. At thirty, she was plainspoken and direct, with a quiet self-assurance that seemed hard-won. Dershowitz presented his own difficulties as a witness. When taped depositions began, in October, , he often refused to answer questions, delivering long soliloquies and furious denunciations. Even his own lawyer tried at times to restrain him. Eventually, a special master, a kind of referee, was appointed to help control the proceedings.