Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was found dead in a Manhattan jail on Saturday of an apparent suicide, multiple outlets reported.
Three officials told NBC News the enigmatic millionaire hung himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. He was discovered at 7:30 a.m., according to the sources.
In late July, Epstein reportedly attempted to end his life. Sources told NBC News that on July 23 he was found unconscious in his cell with marks on his neck. Two sources told NBC News then that Epstein was on suicide watch.
However, NBC News reported on Saturday that Epstein was not on suicide watch when he was found in his cell.
Jennifer Araoz, who was allegedly raped by Epstein when she was 15-years-old, released a statement in response to his death.
“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court,” Araoz said.
Epstein was in jail facing federal sex trafficking charges.
Jeffrey Epstein suicide comes a day after court documents revealed high-profile names allegedly involved in sex trafficking ring
The day before Epstein’s body was discovered, court documents revealed that one of Epstein’s alleged victims said that he trafficked her to a number of powerful men, including two prominent Democratic politicians.
The revelations came Friday when the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed more than 2,000 documents related to Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell, his former girlfriend. The papers include affidavits and depositions of key witnesses in a defamation lawsuit the woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, filed against Maxwell in 2015.
Fox News reported that two of the men Giuffre accused in her depositions were former Sen. George Mitchell, who served in the Obama administration, and ex-New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who was a Clinton cabinet official.
On Friday, Mitchell, 85, denied ever having met Giuffre.
“The allegation contained in the released documents is false,” he said in a statement. “I have never met, spoken with or had any contact with Ms. Giuffre.”
A spokesperson for Richardson, 71, also said the former governor had never met Giuffre, calling her accusation “completely false.”
“To be clear, in Governor Richardson’s limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls,” the spokesperson said. “Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre.”
Democrats deny the allegations
Maxwell, 57, a British socialite who is the daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell, later settled the defamation case with Giuffre, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The terms of the settlement are unknown.
However, on Friday, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Maxwell’s request to have the full court review an earlier decision by a three-judge appeals panel that had denied Maxwell’s effort to keep the entire case sealed. In addition to unsealing the 2,000-plus papers, the circuit court sent the case back to the district court, where a judge will decide how much of the remaining documents will be unsealed.
Giuffre, now 33, accused Maxwell, 57, of being Epstein’s madam and recruiting her for sex with him in 1999, when she was 15 years old. She said that the duo kept her as a sex slave in the early 2000s when she was a minor.
In a May 2016 deposition, Giuffre said that she was made to have sex with and provide erotic massages to various politicians, foreign leaders and business heavyweights, including Richardson, Britain’s Prince Andrew and hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin.
Buckingham Palace has for years denied Giuffre’s allegations against the prince, which were previously known.
On Friday, a spokesman for Dubin issued a denial of her claim against him.
“Glenn and Eva Dubin are outraged by the allegations in the unsealed court records, which are demonstrably false and defamatory,” he said in a statement. “The Dubins have flight records and other evidence that definitively disprove that any such events occurred.”
In another deposition, Giuffre said that Epstein “trafficked” her to Mitchell, a former Senate majority leader who represented Maine from 1980 to 1995 and was later named special envoy to the Middle East by President Barack Obama.
A former Epstein employee, Juan Alessi, accused Mitchell in a sworn affidavit of having associated with Epstein.
Giuffre said the her encounters with the high-powered men took place on private planes and in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The newly released documents restate Giuffre’s longstanding claims that Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz had sex with her on numerous occasions when she was a minor.
Dershowitz has vehemently denied the allegations.
Epstein hobnobbed with even more powerful Democrats and others
Flight logs from Epstein’s private jet were also among the unsealed court documents. Among the fellow travelers listed were Dershowitz, Burnel former President Bill Clinton, a friend of Epstein who flew four times along with aid Doug Band, President Donald Trump, who flew once in 1997 from Palm Beach to New York.
Clinton last month denied any knowledge of Epstein’s “terrible crimes.”
Giuffre, who worked at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, said in one deposition that she never saw Epstein and Trump together and that “she never had sex with Trump or flirted with him,” CNBC reported.
Epstein, 66, pleaded not guilty last month in the U.S. Eastern District Court in Brooklyn to sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. He is being held in jail without bond.
According to federal prosecutors, Epstein created and maintained a “vast network” and operation from 2002 until 2015 that enabled him to “sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls” as young as 14 years old. Victims were allegedly paid hundreds of dollars in cash to perform massages on Epstein and engage in sexual acts with him.
Prosecutors said that Epstein also paid his victims to recruit other underage girls and “worked and conspired with others, including employees and associates” to arrange the encounters at his mansions in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein is already a registered sex offender, having pleaded guilty to prostitution charges involving an underage girl in 2008. In that case, Epstein served 13 months in jail as part of a deal in which he pled guilty to lesser state charges of soliciting and procuring a person under age 18 for prostitution.
Then-U.S. attorney in Florida Alexander Acosta oversaw and helped negotiate the agreement. Amid renewed scrutiny of the cushy terms, Acosta last month resigned as Trump’s labor secretary.
- Jeffrey Epstein.: Screen grab