By JAMES PATTERSON
August 20, 2019
Abridged by Lasha Darkmoon from a much longer article published in the Saturday edition of The Daily Mail, 17 August 2019, pp. 28-30. Brief comments and an endnote providing an update by LD have been added to this graphic account of daily life in Epstein’s house of horrors.
“I had been hearing hair-raising stories about Jeffrey Epstein for a couple of years. I wondered why it had taken so long for the Palm Beach police to catch up with him. And, once they did, why he had served so little jail time. Those were the obvious questions, but there were others: How had Epstein made his money, possibly billions? No one seemed to know.” — James Patterson
James Patterson (pictured), one of the world’s most successful authors whose novels regularly top the best-seller charts, happens to live half a mile from Jeffrey Epstein’s home in Palm Beach, Florida. Over the years Patterson had become fascinated and appalled in equal measure by Epstein and determined to investigate just how and why so many young women found their way to his home on a secluded street. This is the deeply disturbing story of what he discovered . . .
Late one afternoon, while taking a leisurely stroll on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a friend of mine named Tim Malloy ran into a trim, silver-haired neighbour of ours from Palm Beach in Florida.
The man was walking down Madison Avenue, and several things about him were striking. For one thing, he was wearing slippers. Expensive, embroidered, monogrammed slippers. But slippers all the same.
For another, he was accompanied by two exceptionally attractive women. As the man half shuffled, half walked down the avenue, the women walked slightly behind him, as if they were attendants or staff.
The threesome turned onto 71st Street and headed toward an enormous townhouse — a house that was almost a fortress with a 15ft front door. (Here is a picture of Epstein’s impressive townhouse in Madison Avenue, NY)
Like our neighbour’s slippers, the house had a monogram: raised brass letters that spelled out ‘J. E’.
The initials belonged to Jeffrey Epstein, a staggeringly rich and powerful man who was also a registered sex offender with a strong taste for teenage girls. Not just 16 and 17-year-olds, but younger girls as well.
Epstein was alleged to have abused dozens of adolescent girls. He’d done a bit of prison time for his crimes. A bit of time. And now here he was, out in the world again.
Accompanied by two beautiful young women.
I had been hearing hair-raising stories about Jeffrey Epstein for a couple of years. I wondered why it had taken so long for the Palm Beach police to catch up with him.
And, once they did, why he had served so little jail time.
Those were the obvious questions, but there were others: How had Epstein made his money, possibly billions? No one seemed to know.
— § —
We did know that Epstein liked to get massages from two, even three, young women every day, in his Palm Beach mansion or wherever else he was in the world. But who were these girls? Where had they come from? How did they find their way to his home?
Stirred by that sighting of Epstein up in New York, Tim Malloy and I began to investigate. We partnered with John Connolly, a tough, no-nonsense journalist who had once been a cop with the NYPD and had been following the Epstein story for close to ten years. And we began to put the pieces together.
We were never in any doubt that Jeffrey Epstein was guilty. The question is, what exactly was he guilty of?
There was no way of guessing from the exterior of his Palm Beach home at 358 El Brillo Way. Built in the Fifties by a run-of-the-mill architect, it has none of the elegance of neighbouring properties. It’s big, with a large swimming pool: that’s the most you can say for it. It’s totally bland.
But it’s the last house on a dead-end block, and this makes it secluded.
Beyond the gate, past the guard and through a side door to the kitchen, the house ceases to be nondescript. A wide, winding staircase leads to a hallway lined with photographs of young naked women. It leads to his bedroom, and a closet where many more photos are stored: erotic pictures featuring women who have been brought to this house.
How the girls were lured here is something I wanted to understand, as our investigation got under way. One of the first clues is tucked away in a police report from March 2005. A girl of 14 got into a fight at school with another pupil who called her a ‘whore’.
Let’s call this girl Mary. Like about a third of the children at this Florida county high school, she’s from a Hispanic background. Her parents are poor Cuban immigrants. Mary qualifies for free school lunches.
But when she is sent to the principal’s office, Mary is found to have $300 in her purse. The notes are all $20 bills. Alarmed, the head teacher calls her parents and asks: ‘Is Mary selling drugs?’ Her family can’t believe that, but the school needs to know what’s going on. So they send for the psychologist. And then Mary starts talking.
The story she tells is so sickening that the school staff have no hesitation in calling the police. In a high, halting voice, speaking through tears, Mary tells Palm Beach police officer Michele Pagan that she was taken to Epstein’s house. She won’t say who took her, or why she agreed to go. But she is adamant about what happened when she was led upstairs.
‘This white-haired guy came into the room. Wearing only a towel around his waist. He took off the towel. And then he was all naked and he lay face down on the massage table.’
In a stern voice, the man ordered the young girl to remove her jeans and sit astride his back in her panties, with her buttocks against his. Then he pleasured himself. Afterwards, he produced a purple sex toy and touched Mary with it. For this she was paid $300.
— § —
Six months later, a young woman was arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana. Let’s call her Alison: it’s not her real name. She, too, has a disturbing story to tell about 358 El Brillo Way. It began at the clothes store Hollister in Wellington Green mall, where Alison was working for six bucks an hour as an assistant, aged 16.
Another of the girls told her she could earn $200, just for giving an old guy a massage in his home.
‘She said that he wanted cute girls, so I looked cute, did my best. Like, this guy’s not going to pay you for not letting him cop a feel or nothing. I wasn’t naive enough to think that.’
She was introduced to a woman who called herself Sarah. Alison thought Sarah was some sort of live-in personal assistant. Later, she revised that opinion. Sarah seemed to be a willing sex slave.
The ‘old guy’ demanded a massage, and cajoled Alison into stripping to her underwear and allowing him to grope her. Afterwards, she agreed to return: ‘$300 for 40 minutes, that was a lot.’
Alison insists that she always refused to have full sex with Epstein. On one occasion when he did force himself on her, holding her head down on the massage table she screamed ‘no!’ and he stopped.
In any case, she claimed, her abuser rarely wanted conventional sex. Perhaps that was because his genitals were apparently deformed.
One witness later described Epstein’s penis as ‘egg-shaped’, but Alison was more specific: ‘He’s circumcised, and he has some sort of birth defect. [His penis is] really weirdly shaped, like a teardrop, like a drop of water . . . ’
Epstein rarely asked consent before committing some new violation.
As Alison consented to ever more depraved sex acts, Epstein’s rewards became more lavish. ‘He used to tell me I was his favourite. I’d go over there and there’d be a bag of Victoria’s Secret underwear, like $1,500 worth. I got a plane ticket once. I got a car, I got Christmas bonuses, I got movie tickets. He wanted me to come and live with him as a girlfriend, sex slave, whatever you want to call it.’
She began to bring other schoolgirls to visit him. ‘I brought girls I didn’t like and, frankly, did not give a f*** about. Girls that I knew would do anything. I’d just hear a rumour about a girl and be like, “Hey, I know a way you can make $200.” I would tell them flat out, like, “This is what you’ve got to do. Are you cool with this? ’Cause I’m not gonna take you if you’re not.”
Epstein’s demands became violent, picking Alison up by her ponytails and throwing her against the wall before sexually assaulting her. ‘I mean, there’s been nights I left there barely able to walk.’
She visited regularly for two years but eventually became so scared that she handed the car back and broke off contact. She was still at high school.
— § —
In October 2005, police decided they had enough evidence to get a search warrant for 358 El Brillo Way. Guns drawn, they walk up the winding stairs to the second floor.
They see a pink-and-green couch described by many of the witnesses, and many photos of naked girls on the walls.
Epstein’s house has a strangely antiseptic quality. Some of the bedrooms look almost like doctors’ offices. In one bathroom, there’s a massage table as well as stands holding strange equipment.
In a wood-coloured armoire beside Epstein’s bed, they see a bottle of peach-flavoured lubricant. In the bathroom, there are soaps shaped like penises and vaginas, bottles of Mango Mist, more lubricant and boxes of tampons. It’s as if Epstein was so accustomed to the sex toys, the lubricants, the bizarre equipment and the photographs of naked, underage girls that he saw nothing wrong in them.
The officers find receipts for books bought on Amazon, such as SlaveCraft: Roadmaps For Erotic Servitude.
With additional evidence from a manservant at the house, Alfredo Rodriguez, police were eventually able to charge Epstein, to his disbelief, with sex offences against minors.
— § —
Three years later, after a long court battle, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but served only one day in the notorious Palm Beach County Main Detention Center — known locally as the Gun Club. After spending the night in the relative comfort of the prison infirmary, he was transferred to the Palm Beach County Central Detention Center. Despite its almost identical name, this jail is smaller and much safer. Epstein was given his own cell and allowed to pay for his own security guard.
He was allowed any number of visits from his ‘sex slaves’. Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who ran the jail, commented: ‘Let’s just say he didn’t think he belonged there.’
And in only 13 months, he was out.
Where this power and wealth came from is still a mystery. Epstein claimed to be a financial adviser who specialised in helping billionaires avoid tax. But even if this is how he acquired his wealth, or even if the story is only partly true, his path to riches is far from clear.
However Epstein accumulated his wealth, within a few years he was able to buy his own island — Little St James, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He dubbed it St Jeff’s.
LD: It was here in his hedonistic sex paradise in the sun, with topless lolitas lounging by the swimming pool and cavorting naked in the lush gardens, that Epstein’s elite A-lister friends and enablers came to visit him. No questions asked about the source of his fabulous wealth and why so many scantily clad nymphettes were constantly to be seen flitting around the grounds like gorgeous butterflies. Donald Trump was particularly lavish in his praise (picture quote) of his good friend Jeffrey. See update at the end of this article for more details. [LD]
FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
(Prince Andrew and Woody Allen
should have been included in the above picture gallery)
— § —
It was while he was serving his short spell in jail that a woman filed a civil lawsuit against him, the first stage in his long downfall. It took ten years, and ended with his apparent suicide in a prison cell, a disgraced man with no hope of ever being released.
That woman was named Virginia Roberts, and she was a teenager earning about $9 an hour as a changing room assistant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, when a woman approached her and asked if she was interested in becoming a massage therapist.
Later that day, her father drove her to 358 El Brillo Way. He left, after being assured a car would bring his 15-year-old daughter home. Virginia (pictured here as a teenager) was led upstairs to a spa room equipped with a shower and a massage table. Jeffrey Epstein was lying on it, naked.
A woman removed her own top to demonstrate Epstein’s preferred massage technique, rubbing her breasts over his body. Virginia did as she was asked, and was then ordered to strip naked. The assault quickly escalated. Virginia was battered, sexually attacked and subjected to abuse. At the end of the two-hour encounter, she was paid ‘hundreds of dollars’ and told she had ‘lots of potential’.
A naturally compliant and docile girl, Virginia returned to the house whenever she was asked.
Virginia said she saw Epstein having sex with underage girls on a daily basis. So it would be very surprising if people who stayed with him in his houses were unaware of it.
He also told her he went out of his way to procure girls for powerful friends. ‘Epstein specifically told me this was so they would “owe him”, they would be “in his pocket,” and he would “have something on them”. I understood that Epstein thought he could get leniency if he was ever caught doing anything illegal, or that he could escape trouble altogether.’
He did not escape trouble. It caught up with him, lethally.
Jeffrey Epstein soiled all the lives of the underage girls he abused. But he didn’t see it that way. Shortly before his first jail term, he gave a boastful interview to the New York Magazine. When the interviewer asked whether he saw himself as a modern-day Icarus, the Greek hero who fell to earth after flying too close to the sun, Epstein smirked: ‘Did Icarus like massages?’
Adapted from Filthy Rich: The Shocking True Story Of Jeffrey Epstein by James Patterson with John Connolly and Tim Malloy, published by Little, Brown in the U.S. and available in the UK through Amazon.
— § —
UPDATE by LD: It is possible to argue that both Trump and Prince Andrew, as their supporters would like us to believe, are spotlessly innocent of any inappropriate behaviour with underage girls; however, that they have nevertheless been recklessly indiscreet for not distancing themselves earlier from Epstein’s sex circus. Trump has managed to put some distance between himself and Epstein recently, but two other figures have not fared quite so well: Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton. The former American president is beginning to look particularly vulnerable and sleazy.
First, Prince Andrew. Association with the perverted Epstein can only be justified if one can say, “I had no idea the man was a pervert. With hindsight, I would have given Epstein a wide berth if I’d known he was a pedophile.” Unfortunately, Prince Andrew cannot say this. He continued to hobnob with Epstein long after Epstein had been outed as a pedophile and convicted for his sex crimes. It has recently come to light that Prince Andrew visited Epstein at his home in New York in 2010—two years after Epstein had been convicted of sex with a child.
“Two years after Epstein was convicted of sex with a child,” the Daily Mail discloses in a report today, “Andrew was ‘guest of honour’ at a dinner at Epstein’s New York mansion.”
So here is a member of the British royal family who is quite brazenly associating with a convicted pedophile, a notorious jailbird well acquainted with the inside of a prison cell. Andrew entertained this sex criminal at three of the Queen’s homes: Windsor Castle, Sandringham and Balmoral, the Scottish castle (here pictured). It’s hard to see how such a man can convincingly claim to be a paragon of virtue. But Andrew is backed to the hilt by Buckingham Palace which has given him a clean bill of health.
“Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue,” a spokesman for the Palace informs us magisterially.
Bill Clinton seems to have landed himself even deeper in the doo-doo than Trump and Prince Andrew. Bill has a lot of explaining to do. The Daily Mail reports today:
Visitors to Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘House of Horrors’ were confronted by ‘creepy’ interior decor, including artificial eyeballs and a portrait of Bill Clinton in a [woman’s] dress.
The entry foyer to the Manhattan mansion, where Prince Andrew is standing in the video, was decorated with fake eyeballs. Even more bizarre is a portrait of former US president Clinton—a friend of Epstein—in heels and the infamous stained blue dress worn by Monica Lewinsky when she performed a sex act on him.
(Scroll down to ‘Inside the House of Horrors‘
My own cynical view, for what it’s worth, is that none of these elite overlords will ever face justice. They are above the law. The law applies only to us lesser mortals. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.