Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein just killed himself in jail

Jeffrey Epstein in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry.
Jeffrey Epstein in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry.
Image: Third party via Reuters
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This post has been updated.

Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier and convicted sex offender who was being held at the Manhattan Correctional Center in New York awaiting prosecution on charges for trafficking teenage girls, hung himself in jail this morning (Aug. 10). He is dead, according to a statement from the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell at about 6:30am, and was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead after receiving treatment for life-threatening injuries. The FBI is investigating the incident, according to the statement.

The disgraced financier apparently attempted suicide in late July after he was denied bail, but survived the initial attempt. It’s not clear at this point whether the jail instituted any protections to prevent a subsequent attempt, but what is known is that yesterday documents were unsealed in a defamation case involving one of Epstein’s victims that implicate many powerful men.

The victim, Virginia Giuffre, says that she was held as Epstein’s sex slave when she was a teen and that she was forced to engage in sexual activities with prominent men, including Prince Andrew, Duke of York, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and former US senator George Mitchell, among others. A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace responded to the allegations, saying, “This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which The Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”

Similarly, a spokeswoman for Richardson called Giuffre’s allegation “completely false,” CNN reports. “To be clear, in Governor Richardson’s limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls,” spokeswoman Madeleine Mahony said. “Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein’s residence in the Virgin Islands. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre.”

Epstein had a little black book, which has been published, that shows he was in contact with numerous powerful people over the years, including former US president Bill Clinton and current commander-in-chief Donald Trump. Last month, NBC released footage in its archives that shows Trump and Epstein at a party in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida in 1992, surrounded by young women and laughing amicably about an exchange that cannot be heard. Clinton and Trump have both disavowed any impropriety, although they admit to associating with Epstein in the past.

Now that Epstein is dead, the truth about what happened over the decades he allegedly paid minors for sex with himself and others is less likely than ever to be uncovered. But what’s certain is that he’s left behind him a trail of troubling accusations that will haunt the people implicated by his crimes.