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‘She was shaking’: Court filings describe system Jeffrey Epstein allegedly used to procure girls

Jeffrey Epstein appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2008.
Jeffrey Epstein appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2008. (Uma Sanghvi/AP)

He demanded sex three times a day. A parade of powerful figures visited his private estates, which were adorned with pictures of naked girls and stocked with sex toys. And the schedules of teenagers on call to give him massages at his Palm Beach, Fla., mansion were documented in phone messages from his assistants.

Those and other claims about financier Jeffrey Epstein unsealed in court filings Friday lay out disturbing details both about his alleged activities and the number of people in his orbit who could have observed them, raising new questions about how the sex abuse charges against the multimillionaire were previously handled.

Epstein, who is now facing federal sex trafficking charges involving the alleged abuse of dozens of minors, previously pleaded guilty in Florida state court to two felony counts, serving about 13 months in jail. A federal judge ruled in February that the prosecution team led by then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, who recently resigned as President Trump’s labor secretary, violated the rights of alleged victims by failing to notify them of an agreement not to bring federal charges.

The newly unsealed documents — part of a now-settled defamation case brought by one alleged victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, against a woman she said recruited her — depict an organized system to regularly provide Epstein with girls. 

In one 2005 message detailed in the documents, an Epstein assistant noted that one girl wanted to know if she could come to the house at a later time. “She is wondering if 2:30 is o.k. She needs to stay in school,” the message read.

Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the current charges against him. Martin Weinberg, an attorney for the financier, did not respond to a request for comment Friday about the documents.

The material was gathered as part of the defamation suit brought by Giuffre against Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell that was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2017.

Jeffrey Epstein was charged July 8 with sex trafficking crimes and pleaded not guilty. The Post's Kimberly Kindy breaks down the charges. (Video: Allie Caren/The Washington Post, Photo: Osman Malik/The Washington Post)

A federal appeals court in New York last month ordered documents related to the case to be made public.

In a 2016 deposition included in the filings, Giuffre said she was a “teen sex slave” who traveled to his homes in New York, Palm Beach, New Mexico and the Caribbean and was directed to give massages and have sex with Epstein and his friends at will.

“I’m angry with anybody who has it in their mind that they can hurt and abuse a minor child and continue to lie about getting away with it and that what they’ve done is okay,” Giuffre said in the deposition. “Yes, I’m furious.”

Lawyers for Maxwell did not respond to requests for comment Friday. In a 2016 deposition, Maxwell said: “Virginia is an absolute liar and everything she has said is a lie. Therefore, based on those lies I cannot speculate on what anybody else did or didn’t do . . . everything she said is false.”

Giuffre has said she was recruited by Maxwell when she was 16 or 17 and working at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s club in Palm Beach. According to the court filings, Mar-a-Lago produced 177 pages of records in response to a subpoena, including one chart showing that she had been a summer worker at age 17 and that she was terminated in 2000.

In a deposition, Giuffre said Epstein told her Trump was a “good friend,” but she said that she had never seen them together. 

Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein partied together. Then an oceanfront Palm Beach mansion came between them.

Giuffre said that she was told by Maxwell that she would be trained at Epstein’s residence as a masseuse, but that “on the very first meeting that I had with him . . . she instructed me to take off my clothes and to give oral sex to Jeffrey Epstein.”

Asked in a deposition about Maxwell’s role in procuring girls for him, Epstein refused to answer, citing his constitutional protection against self-incrimination.

Giuffre said that Epstein flew her around the world and introduced her to an array of political and entertainment figures. She also said that Epstein told her that he had his house wired with hidden video cameras that recorded her every move, even in the bathroom.

In the court documents, Giuffre named a number of prominent men she claimed she had sex with at Maxwell’s instructions, including Britain’s Prince Andrew, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D) and former Senate majority leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine).

“My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,” Giuffre said in the deposition. “Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.”

On Friday, representatives of both Richardson and Mitchell denied her allegations, saying the men never had any contact with Giuffre.

The British royal family and Prince Andrew have repeatedly denied her claims. “Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue,” a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said Friday.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz, who represented Epstein at one point, has vigorously denied Giuffre's allegation that she had sex with him, calling her a “certified, complete, total liar.”

Those remarks prompted Giuffre to file a defamation suit against Dershowitz, which is ongoing.

Giuffre was part of a sprawling network of young women allegedly targeted by Maxwell to give massages that led to sexual relations with Epstein and his friends, according to the court documents.

Johanna Sjoberg, a student at Palm Beach Atlantic University, testified that Maxwell recruited her to be “a legitimate assistant” answering phones for Epstein and then “asked her to perform sexual massages for Epstein, and punished her when she didn’t cause Epstein to orgasm.”

Asked if she had ever tried to get Epstein to explain why he received so many massages from so many different girls, Sjoberg said in a deposition: “He explained to me that, in his opinion, he needed to have three orgasms a day. It was biological, like eating.”

A chef who worked for friends of Epstein recalled meeting a visibly upset young woman who said she had been hired as “Jeffrey’s executive personal assistant.” She was 15.

Rinaldo Rizzo said the girl told him, tearfully, that she had been taken to Epstein’s home in the Virgin Islands and asked for sex. She said she had no memory of how she had returned to New York.

“She was shaking,” Rizzo testified. “I mean literally quivering. . . . She says, ‘I’m not supposed to talk about this.’”

The documents also include images of telephone messages from Epstein assistants summarizing calls from people procuring girls. “Has girl for tonight,” one says. “Confirmed [redacted name] at 4 pm. Who is scheduled for morning? I believe [redacted name] wants to work.”

Several messages from 2005 say only, “I have a female for him.”

Massage tables were scattered around Epstein’s home in Palm Beach, said Juan Alessi, who worked for Epstein from 1991 to 2002. He said in a 2016 affidavit that a massage “was like a treat” that Epstein provided his guests. He said that as many as 100 masseuses visited the property in the time he worked for Epstein, mostly women.

Epstein only took his massages in his private suite, which adjoined Maxwell’s bedroom suite, but was off limits to guests, he said. Alessi said he would clean up Epstein’s suite up after these massages and would sometimes find vibrators and sex toys in Maxwell’s sink.

Rosalind S. Helderman, Manuel Roig-Franzia, Matt Zapotosky and Deanna Paul in Washington, and Lori Rozsa in West Palm Beach, Fla., contributed to this report.