The appalling truth is slowly coming out. Recordings from witness interviews of women who allege they were assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein were buried for years, but the newest episode of the “Epstein: Devil in the Darkness” podcast brings them to light. The audio clips reveal a disturbing recruitment train of women who were paid to both “entertain” the disgraced financier and to bring new victims into his orbit.
The recordings come from an investigation by Palm Beach police — the first force to investigate the allegations against Epstein. The disturbing details include that the girls involved were encouraged to bring underage prospects to the convicted offender. One of the victims was questioned by an officer, “Did Jeff know anybody’s real age, or he didn’t care?” She replied, “I don’t think he cared. He told me, ‘the younger the better.'”
Several victims’ statements are included in the latest podcast episode, “Secret Diary of a Sex Slave.” One girl claimed she was 16 or 17 when she was approached to go see Epstein, and she told an officer in a recording, “Every girl that meets Jeffrey starts off with giving him a massage. The more you do with him, the more you make … if you take off your clothes, you’re gonna make more. If you let him do things to you, you’re gonna make more.”
That allegation is echoed by another victim, who told investigators that when another girl came to her in need of money, she directed her to Epstein — part of a long chain of underage girls recruiting others to the network of sex abuse he built. She told the other girl that in order to make $200, she had to, at the very least, take her clothes off. “She walked out of there with $300,” she said in a recording. “When she got in the car I was like, ‘how much did to make?’ And she said $300. I just knew right then that she did more.” The victim giving the statement asked the girl what she did, and the young woman claimed that after her clothes came off during a massage she gave Epstein, “He put his fingers inside me.”
The podcast also includes an interview with Alicia Arden, a model who filed a police report against Epstein in 1997. She wanted to be a Victoria’s Secret model, and a meeting was arranged between her and Epstein, whom she believed could help make her dream come true. Arden met Epstein in his suite at Shutters resort in Santa Monica, and she quickly realized she was not in for a typical audition.
“He wanted me to come closer to him, and he said, ‘Let me see your hips and your butt’ … and he said, ‘I need to manhandle you.’ So I came closer to him, and he was touching my chest, and my stomach, and then moved down to my hips and my butt.” She added that Epstein tried to lift her skirt and take off her top, and that’s when she got truly uncomfortable and managed to escape the situation.
But Arden feels the police department bungled investigating her claims. After she filed a report, the police called Epstein and he denied any wrongdoing — and that was that. “It could have saved a lot of heartache for these girls,” Arden said. “I was touched and manhandled, and not physically penetrated … I feel that they dropped the ball … it’s so upsetting.”
The newest episode also includes more information from the diary of Virginia Roberts, who alleged that she was not only abused by Epstein but pimped out to his famous friends as well — most notably, Prince Andrew. She noted that Prince Andrew was well aware that she was only 16 when they met. When she escaped his influence at age 19, she called Epstein to tell him he was never coming back. He merely replied, “Have a nice life,” and hung up.
“All of my clients allege that they were underage victims of Mr. Epstein,” Gloria Allred — one of the attorneys representing some of Epstein’s victims — said in a recording on the podcast. “Even though some say, ‘well, some of the teens consented.’ As a matter of law, a child that is a minor under the age of 17 cannot legally consent.”
The recordings revealed the horrifying extent of the abuse these minors allegedly faced at Epstein’s hands — and how they were manipulated into participating in a recruitment chain to involve other girls who also could not consent. How much more will be disclosed about Epstein’s crimes as more victims come forward?
“Epstein: Devil In Darkness” is produced by the creators of “Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood,” one of the most downloaded podcast series of 2018. The series was also named to Apple Podcasts’ Most Downloaded New Shows of 2018 and received a 2019 Webby Best Series honoree nod from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
“Epstein: Devil In Darkness” releases new episodes every Thursday.