A leaked video released Tuesday appears to show an ABC News anchor saying she’s known about Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged abuses for years and is certain the official determination that he killed himself is wrong.
“So do I think he was killed? A hundred percent, yes I do. He made his whole living blackmailing people,” Amy Robach says in the footage, which right-wing activist group Project Veritas says it obtained from a source at ABC News.
“There were a lot of men in those planes, a lot of men who visited that island, a lot of powerful men who came into that apartment,” she continues, referring to Epstein’s various properties. “And they made it seem as though he made that ‘suicide attempt’ two weeks earlier. But his lawyers claim that he was roughed up by his cellmate around the neck, that was all like to plant the seed.”
The “20/20” coanchor adds: “That’s why I really believe it. Like really believe it.”
On Aug. 10, Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking girls as young as 14 years old. After an unexpected delay, New York City Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson Aug. 16 ruled Epstein’s death a suicide by hanging.
However, former New York City medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden made headlines last week when he said the findings of the autopsy, which Epstein’s brother hired him to observe, are more consistent with homicide.
“Those three fractures are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation,” Baden said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.” “I’ve not seen in 50 years where that occurred in a suicidal hanging case.”
A number of other experts have made similar observations in the past, fueling conspiracy theories. Skeptics of the official narrative have pointed to the wealthy financier’s former powerful friends and a series of breaches of protocol by jail staff ahead of his death.
Amy Robach doesn’t just slam Jeffrey Epstein in the video
Founded by activist James O’Keefe, Project Veritas uses the techniques of undercover journalism to expose alleged liberal bias and corruption. The group has had a major political impact, including helping to shut down ACORN in 2010. But it has also been caught making false claims and using deceptive tactics.
According to Project Veritas, the nearly eight-minute video of Robach was recorded in late August 2019 and captures her on “hot mic” speaking to her producer.
In the clip, Robach also says that ABC spiked an interview three years ago with a Virginia Giuffre, who has claimed Epstein kept her as an underage “sex slave” and trafficked her to prominent men, including two Democratic politicians.
Robach says she was told “no one knows” who Epstein is and, “This is a stupid story.”
The British royal family officials also pressured ABC to scuttle the story after learning of Giuffre’s allegations against Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Robach says.
“It was unbelievable what we had. Clinton – we had everything,” Robach continues.
Robach expresses frustration that she “tried for three years” to get the story aired before the explosive allegations were revealed by other outlets.
“I freaking had all of it,” she says. “I had it all three years ago.
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 5, 2019
Robach and ABC News respond
NPR reported in August that Robach and ABC News colleague Jim Hill had secured a videotaped interview with Giuffre in 2015 and that the network had never aired the footage.
Giuffre said at the time that ABC News never directly told her why they didn’t air her story.
The network declined to explain its “editorial choices” to NPR.
On Tuesday, ABC News and Robach responded to the leaked footage in a joint statement, which sought to downplay her comments.
“I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations,” Robach explained.
Robach also said nobody at ABC had told her to stop reporting on Epstein.
“We have continued to aggressively pursue this important story,” she said.
For its part, ABC News said that it plans to use its reporting on Epstein to produce a two-hour documentary and a six-part podcast set to release in early 2020.