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Third batch of Epstein documents unsealed in ongoing release of court filings

Inside the newly released Epstein documents
Explaining the newly released Epstein documents 05:30

A third round of documents related to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was made public Friday, adding to a trove of information related to Epstein and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. The documents reveal more names and details about people connected to Epstein in a variety of ways, most of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The documents — more than 190 exhibits, totaling 3,025 pages so far — stem from a now-settled defamation lawsuit brought against Maxwell by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre. Maxwell, 60, a former romantic partner of Epstein's, was found guilty in 2021 of conspiring to sexually abuse underage girls and sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for her role. Giuffre has called Maxwell "the mastermind" behind the sex trafficking ring.

The judge overseeing the lawsuit ordered in December that the documents should be unsealed and made public pending appeals from people whose names appear in them. The hundreds of pages of depositions, incident reports, court filings, emails and other documents include names of witnesses, accusers, members of Epstein's staff, members of law enforcement and others.

What documents are included in this wave of files?

One of the documents released Friday, the transcript of a videotaped 2009 deposition of Tijuan Alessi, a manager of Epstein's Florida house, included names of a number of famous people he said visited or stayed over there. 

Alessi testified he saw "many celebrities," including Britain's Prince Andrew and Andrew's ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, at the house. Andrew "spent weeks with us," sleeping in the main guest bedroom and getting "daily massages," Alessi said. "...I think Sarah was there only once and for a short time." She is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Prince Andrew settled a lawsuit in 2022 with Virginia Giuffre, who accused him and Epstein of abusing her as a teen, an accusation Andrew denied. In a court filing at the time, his attorneys said, "Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others."

Alessi said he also saw Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at the house, but did not specify when. Kennedy, who is now running for president as an independent, has previously said that he traveled two times on Epstein's plane. He said he traveled with his family, since his ex-wife knew Ghislaine Maxwell. Kennedy is not accused of wrongdoing.

Another document released Friday was one that contained the names of witnesses Maxwell's attorneys said likely had information that could dispute some of the allegations from Giuffre. 

Other newly released documents include excerpts from witness depositions; a list of phone numbers of vendors and service people with hand-written annotations; several communications between attorneys; a list of search terms used to sift through electronic records as part of the discovery process; about 50 pages of handwritten phone messages from Epstein's message book; and other court records related to discovery and other procedural steps. 

Portions of a transcript of Maxwell's videotaped deposition were also released. In the July 22, 2016 deposition, her attorney repeatedly advised her not to answer questions regarding sexual activities that involved herself or Epstein. The opposing attorney repeatedly sparred with Maxwell's attorney over whether Maxwell could answer questions related to Epstein's massages. 

Giuffre's attorneys then filed motions to compel Maxwell to answer deposition questions related to adult sexual activities. The motion was granted.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at an event on March 15, 2005 in New York City. Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Three months earlier, in another videotaped deposition, Maxwell answered "I don't recall" or "I don't know" to most questions. In the 160-page transcript, Maxwell accused Giuffre of repeatedly lying and called her "an awful fantasist" during one exchange. Maxwell said she never saw Epstein get a massage from someone under the age of 18.

In the transcript of another deposition, Sarah Kellen, who had worked for Epstein, also refuses to answer attorneys' questions, repeatedly invoking the Fifth Amendment on the advice of her attorney. 

Kellen has been accused by one adult victim of helping schedule Epstein's appointments with girls and their travel. Kellen has said that was at the direction of Epstein and Maxwell, and told CBS News via a spokesperson's statement that she herself was "sexually" and "psychologically" abused by Epstein, and "deeply regrets she had any part in it."

When asked if she called any girls under the age of 18 in Palm Beach or West Palm Beach in the last six years, Kellen told the plaintiff's attorney, "I don't think so." 

Some of the questions in the 24 transcribed pages of the transcript seem mundane, such as whether Epstein owns private planes, whether he owns a home in Palm Beach Island, Florida, or whether she has heard the word "manifest" before. Others involve accusations of helping Epstein and Maxwell, along with modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, a friend of Epstein's, "bring in girls from out of state that were underage."

Brunel died in a French jail in 2019 while being investigated for rape of minors and trafficking of minors by French authorities, an investigation spawned by the renewed U.S. investigation into Epstein, who had homes in France. Brunel had denied wrongdoing. His name had been mentioned in earlier documents released under the judge's December order.

Jeffrey Epstein's phone logs and messages

Fifty-one pages of handwritten phone messages from Epstein's staff were among the documents released on Friday. 

Numerous calls noted on the log came from Leslie Wexner or his office. Wexner, founder and CEO of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret, entrusted his finances to Epstein for years, and Epstein made hundreds of millions of dollars as Wexner's personal money manager and business adviser. Wexner later denounced Epstein's misconduct and denied knowing about it.

Wexner said in an email to employees in 2019 that he regretted he ever "crossed paths" with Epstein. "When Mr. Epstein was my personal money manager, he was involved in many aspects of my financial life," the email stated. "But let me assure you that I was NEVER aware of the illegal activity charged in the indictment."

There was one message dated March 1, 2005 at 10:20 a.m. from Harvey Weinstein, the call logs said. 

Weinstein and Epstein were widely reported to be friends, sometimes seen dining together in Southampton. Weinstein was convicted of rape and other charges in New York in 2020 —  a case unrelated to Epstein — and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Two years later Weinstein was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury of three more counts of sexual assault.

What did previous batches of unsealed Epstein documents reveal?

Earlier sets of documents were unsealed Wednesday and Thursday, comprising hundreds of pages and mentioning more than 100 names. Despite widespread and sometimes heated speculation about whose names might appear, the highly anticipated documents largely pertained to previously known accusations — in some cases providing greater detail than previously known, including transcripts of video depositions and police incident reports — and legal strategy for the defamation case between Maxwell and Giuffre.

Many have referred to the documents as a list, but only one document released earlier this week contained a list of names. While that list does include some high-profile names — such as former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew, both of whom have denied all wrongdoing in the case — the list is of people Giuffre's attorneys considered deposing in the lawsuit and is not an accusation of wrongdoing.

What did Jeffrey Epstein reportedly do?

The case of the billionaire financier who was also convicted on sex crimes charges related to the abuse of underage girls has been the subject of much speculation and many conspiracy theories. Epstein's friendships and connections with wealthy and powerful people, some of whom are mentioned in the documents in a variety of contexts, have drawn particular scrutiny, especially in the wake of his 2019 suicide in jail while awaiting trial in New York on federal charges of sex trafficking conspiracy and a count of sex trafficking.

As part of a 2008 plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Florida, Epstein served 13 months in jail — often allowed out on work release — for state-level offenses in return for avoiding prosecution on federal charges for allegations of sexually abusing underage girls. While he had to register as a sex offender and pay settlements to victims, victims were not told about the agreement — leading to an investigation of the circumstances surrounding it, which was in progress when he died.

The documents released this week also detail how authorities believe Epstein recruited the girls he allegedly exploited for sex — euphemistically termed "massages" — uncovered as part of the initial investigation into allegations against him. Among the many accusations leveled at Epstein over the years involve alleged abuse at his homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Florida and his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands near St. Thomas, Little St. James.

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