US court papers have recently surfaced, naming prominent figures like Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton in connection with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. These records, part of the case against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s partner involved in his abusive acts, have been disclosed but don’t reveal significant fresh accusations against Epstein or startling revelations about his associates.
Prince Andrew faces allegations of inappropriate touching, which he denies. The documents also mention singer Michael Jackson and magician David Copperfield, although no misconduct is claimed against them.
Former President Clinton is featured in several documents. He has admitted to a past association with Epstein but vehemently denies any knowledge of his criminal activities.
The initial release, spanning around 900 pages, emerged following an order by New York Judge Loretta Preska. She noted that many mentioned in the documents had already been identified by the media or in Maxwell’s trial. Some names remain redacted to protect victims of sexual abuse, while others mentioned may either make allegations or serve as potential witnesses. Further documents are anticipated to be made public soon.
Epstein, who pled guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2009, passed away in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Prince Andrew Grope’s claim
Recently unveiled documents mentioning Johanna Sjoberg, who asserted that Prince Andrew had groped her breast while seated on a couch inside Epstein’s Manhattan residence in 2001.
Buckingham Palace had previously dismissed her claims as “categorically untrue.” The Palace refrained from addressing the newly disclosed files, citing the Duke of York’s cessation of royal duties, for whom they no longer provide statements. The BBC has reached out to Prince Andrew for his response.
One deposition, previously disclosed, featured Ms. Sjoberg alleging that Prince Andrew placed his hand on her breast while posing for a photo alongside another accuser, Virginia Giuffre, and a puppet labeled “Prince Andrew.”
In 2022, the British royal made a monetary settlement with Ms. Giuffre to resolve her lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse when she was 17.
Prince Andrew has maintained that he never encountered Ms. Giuffre and has refuted her accusations.
Bill Clinton’s travels
Former President Clinton is also mentioned in the legal papers, albeit without any suggestion of illegal activity. When approached for comment, his representatives referred to a statement he issued in 2019, affirming that he did not know about Epstein’s crimes.
According to the documentation, Ms. Sjoberg testified that Epstein once mentioned to her that Mr. Clinton “likes them young,” referring to girls.
The documents contain Maxwell’s testimony acknowledging Mr. Clinton’s presence on Epstein’s private plane, but she couldn’t specify the frequency of his travels.
Mr. Clinton traveled on Epstein’s aircraft during what were described as humanitarian missions to Africa in the early 2000s. At that time, he lauded Epstein as a dedicated philanthropist but asserted that he later severed ties with him.
The former president’s 2019 statement highlighted that he was accompanied on flights aboard Epstein’s plane by staff and supporters from his charity, the Clinton Foundation. “His Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip,” his statement emphasized.
Within the court records, there’s a segment where Maxwell’s attorney attempts to discredit a media account asserting that shortly after leaving office in January 2001, Mr. Clinton journeyed to Epstein’s private Caribbean island.
Maxwell’s attorney stated that the former US president “did not, indeed, visit or stay on Little St James Island from January 1, 2001, to January 1, 2003.”
The attorney further noted that if such a claim were accurate, Secret Service agents would have been obligated to submit travel logs detailing the trip.
Why is Trump mentioned?
The document additionally features testimony from Ms. Sjoberg, who stated that Epstein mentioned contacting Donald Trump while en route to one of his New Jersey casinos in 2001.
“Jeffrey said, ‘Great, we’ll call up Trump’,” she testified, following pilots’ indication that their plane couldn’t land in New York and would require a stop in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Notably, the documents do not suggest any misconduct by Mr. Trump.
During the deposition, Ms. Sjoberg is questioned about whether she had ever provided a massage to Mr. Trump, to which she replied: “No.”
Who are some of the others?
Ms. Sjoberg mentioned encountering Michael Jackson and David Copperfield through Epstein, clarifying that she did not accuse them of any wrongdoing.
Jean-Luc Brunel, the French modeling agent who died by suicide in a Paris jail in 2022 while facing rape charges, is referenced multiple times.
In her deposition, Ms. Giuffre asserted that she was coerced into intimate acts with influential figures, including New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Before his passing last year, Mr. Richardson refuted ever meeting Ms. Giuffre and was not charged with any offense.
Alfredo Rodriguez, a former household employee responsible for Epstein’s security, characterized Maxwell as “the boss” in his testimony as per the court documents. Rodriguez, who passed away in 2015, was instructed to carry cash at all times to provide to high school girls and those involved in recruiting for Epstein, the records indicate.
Epstein and Maxwell
The New York medical examiner determined Epstein’s death in 2019 as a suicide.
Maxwell, the offspring of publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, is presently serving a 20-year imprisonment for her involvement as a recruiter for Epstein. Her legal team is appealing against the imposed sentence.
Maxwell’s attorneys stated in a Wednesday statement cited by CNN: “She has consistently and vigorously asserted her innocence.”
This post originally appeared on BBC.com