Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was long dogged by accusations of sexual abuse of girls and who was able to cultivate a stream of high-profile friends despite his lurid lifestyle, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell this morning.
The billionaire pedophile was found in cardiac arrest shortly before 7am at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
He was rushed to nearby New York Downtown Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Epstein was housed in a special unit with extra security, but he was not under suicide watch, according to a prison official.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Attorney General William Barr said. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
Epstein, 66, was awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking and was being held at the high-security complex without bail.
The financier – who once boasted an array of high-profile friends including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump – was arrested on July 6, accused of arranging to have sex with dozens of underage girls at his residences in New York City and Florida between 2002 and 2005.
He had plead not guilty to the charges.
Epstein’s suicide comes just two weeks after he was hospitalized following a failed first attempt to take his own life while inside his prison cell.
On July 24, Epstein was rushed to hospital under police guard after he was discovered semi-conscious on the floor of his prison cell in the fetal position.
He spent several hours receiving medical attention before he was transported back to the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
The billionaire’s death comes just 24 hours after more than 2,000 pages of documents detailing the lurid allegations of his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed to the public.
On Friday morning, a federal appeals court published explosive documents pertaining to a 2015 lawsuit that Virginia Roberts Giuffre had filed against Epstein’s associate, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Giuffre claimed Epstein and Maxwell kept her as a ‘sex slave’ in the early 2000s, whilst she was underage.
The unsealed papers – which made international news on Friday – implicated a number of high-profile men in sex scandals.
The court documents unsealed on Friday include transcripts of a May 3, 2016 deposition made by Giuffre.
She alleged that she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to have sex with and provide erotic massages for politicians and affluent businessmen.
Giuffre claimed that she was ‘instructed’ by Maxwell to have sex with two high powered Democrats – former Senate Majority George Mitchell and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
Both Richardson and Mitchell have denied the allegations.
According to the documents, Giuffre claimed she also had sex with Epstein’s friend Prince Andrew when she was 17 years of age.
The Prince has always denied any wrongdoing and in a 2015 court application, a judge threw out Robert’s allegations that she had sex with the Prince.
The judge ordered the allegations to be struck from the record as being ‘immaterial and impertinent.’
Buckingham Palace also issued on the record statements in January 2015, stating: ‘Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.’
Giuffre was working at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort at the time she met Ghislaine Maxwell, who then went on to introduce her to Epstein.
Epstein is known for his previous friendships with President Trump but Giuffre has denied ever having sexual relationships with the Commander-in-chief.
Epstein was also an associate of President Bill Clinton – but the unsealed court documents reveal that Giuffre similarly denied ever being intimate him.
New evidence has suggested that the former money manager’s business acumen was more myth than fact.
His client list was not as extensive as believed, and the services he offered were less remarkable than once portrayed.
Earlier this week, perhaps Epstein’s most notable client, Lex Wexner, the executive behind Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, accused Epstein of misappropriating “vast sums of money” from him and his family.
A number of scientists said he showed an interest in biogenetic engineering and discussed a plan to seed the human race with his DNA by having young women impregnated at his Zorro Ranch in New Mexico.
There is no indication that Epstein ever took any steps toward carrying out those plans, but some in the scientific world continued to meet with him and take his money.