Jeffrey Epstein: Fourth batch of court documents released

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Ghislaine Maxwell is serving a 20-year sentence for her role as a recruiter for Jeffrey Epstein
By Nada Tawfik and Mike Wendling
BBC News

Another tranche of court documents related to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been released.

The filings of more than 250 pages show one accuser claimed to have seen sex tapes filmed by the disgraced financier.

However, Sarah Ransome later said she wanted to retracted the allegations.

It’s the fourth release of records related to victim Virginia Giuffre’s case against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend.

The lawsuit, filed in 2015, was settled in 2017. Maxwell has since been jailed for 20 years for helping Epstein abuse young girls. She is appealing against her conviction.

According to hundreds of pages of documents disclosed on Monday, Ms Ransome said in emails that she had seen sex tapes in Epstein’s possession showing figures including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Sir Richard Branson.

However, the New Yorker magazine reported in 2019 that Ms Ransome had admitted fabricating the claim.

In one undated email from the released files included as evidence, Ms Ransome says: “When my friend had sexual intercourse with Clinton, Prince Andrew and Richard Branson, sex tapes were in fact filmed on each separate occasion by Jeffery [sic].”

Ms Ransome, who said Epstein abused her as an aspiring model and fashion student, also claims in one message that Donald Trump had sex with a friend of hers at Epstein’s New York home.

The BBC has contacted the four men for comment – all of them have previously denied any wrongdoing in relation to Epstein.

No evidence of the tapes, which Ms Ransome claimed in the emails that her friend possessed and she had copied, has ever emerged.

Referring to the New Yorker report, a spokesperson for Sir Richard’s Virgin Group said on Monday: “We can confirm that Sarah Ransome’s claims are baseless and unfounded.”

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung also said Ms Ransome’s claims about the former president were “baseless”.

The court documents also include photographs provided by Ms Ransome to Ms Giuffre’s lawyers that allegedly showed girls and young women on Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.

According to the documents, Ms Ransome withdrew her claim about the tapes in an email to a New York Post columnist, stating she was concerned it would “create pain for my family”.

“I would like to retract everything I have said to you and walk away from this,” Ms Ransome says in an email dated 23 October 2016.

Watch: The secret lives of Maxwell and Epstein

The emails are part of a court filing by a firm representing Epstein’s former lawyer – Alan Dershowitz – meant to show that Ms Ransome “manifestly lacks credibility”.

Ms Ransome had claimed she was forced to have sex with Mr Dershowitz, who denies the allegations and says he has never met her.

She received a settlement in 2018 after suing Epstein and Maxwell for an undisclosed amount.

She alleged she was recruited by Maxwell into his sex-trafficking ring in 2006 when she was 22 years old.

Ms Ransome was a witness in Ms Giuffre’s case against Epstein and Maxwell and provided evidence of Maxwell’s involvement.

Ms Giuffre made allegations of wrongdoing by Prince Andrew, but made no claim of wrongdoing by Mr Clinton, Mr Trump or Sir Richard.

Three other batches of long-sealed Epstein court files were released last week, but contained few details that weren’t previously known.

Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008 and took his own life in 2019 while awaiting trial over sex-trafficking charges.

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