For decades, wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein engaged in sexual abuse and sex trafficking that led to his eventual arrest in July 2019. As the investigating into Epstein — and his subsequent death — unfolded, his name became synonymous with the horrific crimes he committed. Many of Epstein's victims never got justice for his actions, but they continue to speak out against Epstein's abuse — perhaps now more than ever. In a new Netflix true crime docuseries, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, the former financier and convicted sex offender will be given a new kind of public trial as many are coming forward to detail his crimes. In a four-part show released on 27th May, Filthy Rich will explore — among many things — the history of Epstein's sexual abuse.
Epstein, who was denied bail ahead of his trial, faced charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking. The month following his arrest, Epstein died while in jail and it was officially ruled a suicide; however, due to his close ties to wealthy and powerful people, conspiracy theorists online have questioned the suspicious circumstances around his death. Meanwhile, his own lawyers said at the time that prosecutors, politicians, judges, and the media “all seem to have a share of Mr Epstein’s blood on their hands.”
Filthy Rich, based on James Patterson’s 2016 book of the same name, will detail Epstein’s connections to powerful people, including politicians, socialites, and royals. Some of those linked to him include the likes of President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew. But the series will also give a platform to survivors of his abuse who will have the chance to share their stories in several interviews weaved throughout the show.
Ahead of the show’s release, we’ve put together a detailed timeline of Epstein’s crimes and his history of abuse.
1990: Epstein purchases his private Palm Beach mansion
After launching his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. nearly a decade earlier, Epstein would later purchase a secluded mansion in Palm Beach, Florida in 1990, where he has been accused of allegedly sexually abusing underage girls.
1999: Epstein allegedly forced an underage girl to have sex with Prince Andrew
Virginia Roberts Giuffre — who is one of the first survivors to speak out in the Netflix series and has previously come forward in lawsuits and news reports — worked at the Mar-a-Lago in 1999 when she was 15 years old. In a 2015 sworn affidavit, Giuffre accused Epstein of sex-trafficking her, and said he forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. Prince Andrew has denied the allegations. According to Giuffre, the abuse went on for years.
2002: Epstein is accused of raping a high school student in New York
Jennifer Araoz was 14 years old when a woman allegedly approached her to take her to Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in 2001, Araoz told NBC News in 2019. She said she returned to the mansion several times over the next year and was coerced into stripping down and giving Epstein massages. Araoz accused him of raping her in 2002.
2005: The start of Epstein’s legal troubles
A 14-year-old girl and her parents accused Epstein of molesting her at his Palm Beach mansion. After an acquaintance and classmate allegedly took her to his home, they said that she gave him a massage in exchange for money, The Miami Herald reported. While searching his trash, police later discovered a phone message with her name on it, as well as a paper slip with the names and phone numbers of other girls. In October, the Palm Beach police were issued a warrant to search his home.
May-June 2006: Epstein is charged with unlawful sex with a minor
In May, Epstein and two of his assistants were charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex with a minor, and the case was referred to a grand jury in Palm Beach. After hearing from just one victim, the grand jury indicted Epstein on one count of solicitation of prostitution, but did not include that the victim was a minor in its charges. Alan Dershowitz, who served on O.J. Simpson’s defence team, Kenneth Starr, and Jay Lefkowitz, all represented Epstein.
July-November 2006: The FBI opens an investigation
Later that year in July, the FBI opened a federal investigation into Epstein’s criminal activities and began interviewing witnesses and victims in Florida, New York, and New Mexico in November.
2007: Epstein’s legal team meets with Miami’s top prosecutor to make a deal
Miami’s top federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta — who is now Trump’s Secretary of Labor — met with Epstein’s lawyer, Lefkowitz. They met at a West Palm Beach hotel where Acosta agreed to to give Epstein 13 months in a low-security prison in exchange for an end to the federal investigation. Epstein also received immunity from being prosecuted on any future related charges brought against him.
June 2008: Epstein gets 18 months in jail
In January 2008, Lefkowitz initially turned down the plea deal with Acosta because Epstein would have to register as a sex offender. After months of back and forth negotiations, his legal team revisits these negotiations and on 30th June, Epstein pleads guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor. With none of his accusers present, Epstein is sentenced to 18 months in jail, and must register as a sex offender twice a year in Florida.
July 2009: Epstein is released from prison early
In July 2009, the following year, Epstein was released from jail five months early.
September 2009: Epstein is hit with several lawsuits
After Epstein’s federal agreement is made public, he’s hit with dozens of civil lawsuits filed by women who say he molested them when they were underage.
2011: Epstein faces a new motion in federal court
Upon learning about Epstein’s plea deal with the government, two of his victims file a motion in federal court demanding that the deal be invalidated so that Epstein can receive time in prison. In November, he is required to register as a sex offender in New York City, but never once checked in with the NYPD.
2015-2017: Epstein faces several more lawsuits
Giuffre files a lawsuit against Epstein’s former girlfriend and alleged recruiter, Ghislaine Maxwell. In the complaint, Giuffre accuses Epstein of sexually abusing her from 1999 to 2002, and alleges Maxwell assisted and participated at various locations, including in New York and Palm Beach. The lawsuit was settled in 2017.
Epstein faces another lawsuit, filed in 2016 by a woman who claims President Donald Trump raped her at a 1994 party at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion when she was 13 years old. Epstein and Trump have both denied the allegations.
July 2019: Epstein is arrested and indicted on sex trafficking charges
Epstein is arrested on 6th July on charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He pleaded guilty and was held without bond. The following week, a dozen new people had come forward with accusations of sexual abuse against the financier. However, they would never get their day in court.
August 2019: Epstein dies in jail
Epstein died in his jail cell in August in an apparent suicide, leaving many survivors of his crimes without justice. The details around his death still leave many holes and continue to spark controversy.