Jeffrey Epstein documents: The key takeaways from release

A US federal court on Wednesday unsealed hundreds of pages of documents from a lawsuit related to Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile who died in jail before he could face trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.

CNN has reviewed the documents, which included names — previously redacted to protect the individuals’ privacy — of Epstein’s associates, accusers and others with links to a civil case brought by one of the victims.

More documents are expected to be unsealed Thursday.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far.

Familiar faces, but no bombshells

Most of the high-profile names that became public in the documents Wednesday were already known to have links to Epstein.

The documents stem from a 2015 civil suit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who says she was one of the many young girls trafficked by Epstein and his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell. (Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking in 2021 and is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison.)

Giuffre’s defamation suit against Maxwell was settled in 2017, and most of the documents from that case were unsealed two years later, a day before Epstein died by suicide in his jail cell. Since then, the Miami Herald has led a legal fight to unseal the remaining documents.

Epstein’s VIP Rolodex

Appearing in the documents does not mean the people named are accused of wrongdoing. But the depositions and testimony underscore the elite company Epstein managed to keep, even after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting an underage prostitute and registered as a sex offender.

Among the familiar faces in the documents are former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, French modeling scout Jean-Luc Brunel, American investor Glenn Dubin, and Leslie Wexner, the CEO of L Brands — all of whom have denied any wrongdoing related to Epstein.

Clinton and Trump were not accused in the documents, but were mentioned in a deposition by Johanna Sjoberg, another Epstein victim, who had already gone public with her story.

A spokesman for Clinton has said that the former president did fly on Epstein’s private plane but knew nothing of the financier’s “terrible crimes.” A Clinton spokesman on Wednesday reiterated that 2019 denial and told CNN that it has now “been nearly 20 years since President Clinton last had contact with Epstein.”

In response to a CNN question, the Trump campaign went on the defensive, accusing the media of trying to distract Americans. Trump has previously said that while he and Epstein spent time together in the 1990s, Trump later banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago and severed ties, though he has declined to discuss details publicly.

Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre previously reached an out-of-court settlement in her sexual abuse lawsuit against him. Prince Andrew has denied sexual abuse allegations against him.

A Dubin spokesperson said in a statement in 2019 that he categorically rejected Giuffre’s accusation that she was directed to have sex with him.

Wexner, who previously hired Epstein as a personal money manager, has said he cut ties with the financier in 2007. Wexner told investors in 2019 that “being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so depraved is something that I am embarrassed that I was even close to.”

Richardson, who died in September, said in 2019 via a spokesperson that he never met Giuffre and denied any involvement with Epstein’s crimes. Brunel died in a jail cell in 2022 while under investigation by French authorities for his ties to Epstein.

Mysteries remain

Giuffre’s deposition included references to three people who still haven’t been publicly identified. She alleged she was ordered to have sexual relations with an “unnamed prince,” the “owner of a large hotel chain” and another unidentified person.

At least two “J. Does” have filed appeals with the court to keep their names under seal. Judge Loretta Preska granted one Doe an extension to submit evidence supporting their claim, and the other’s appeal remains under review.

More documents to come

The hundreds of pages of documents released Wednesday are just the first round. Another batch is expected to be released as early as Thursday, and it’s not clear how many more will follow, or what new information they may contain.