Review of Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, a four part series looking into the life of notorious groomer, Jeffrey Epstein (director Lisa Bryant)
This powerful Netflix series, Filthy Rich, looks at how Epstein, an attractive, wealthy ‘financier’, silenced his victims (called survivors in the series), despite prolific grooming out of his Palm Beach mansion (one of the most exclusive areas for private ‘real estate’ available to the super rich. He not only groomed, but went on to persuade his victims to recruit further victims to fulfil his seemingly voracious appetite for young women (many of whom, but not all, were minors).
His incredible wealth was used to silence and protect, and the rot went deep. His link with Britain’s Prince Andrew is well documented (and there is a current battle over getting him to give witness in the USA), but there were also images made available of him with Bill Clinton, a connection with Weinstein, and the current US President, Donald Trump, who described Epstein as a great man with a penchant for beautiful women, particularly young ones.
There were also links to ‘senior academics’ mentioned, something I’ll come back to in a later post.
Epstein, accused of sex trafficking, was placed in jail awaiting trial. His response to the original deposition was one of a man hiding something, a man hiding behind his right to remain silent.
In jail, Epstein was found to have commited suicide, However this documentary series raises serious questions about the veracity of this. His brother Mark hired a specialist who concluded that it would be incredibly unusual for Epstein to have committed suicide with those wounds.
Epstein had been denied bail, and there is every sign that he would have fled had he been given bail. He was in the Metropolitan Correction Center (sometimes called The Tombs), a high security prison described as a ‘hell hole’ with cameras and officers everywhere.
Lots of people didn’t want Epstein to testify. He had videos in every single room of his mansion, was monitoring, watching the rich and the powerful (usually both!) abuse young girls. The web spread wide, internationally – and the sex trafficking was international. There is more work to be done to bring these people to justice, made harder by Epstein’s death.
The hero of the hour was Judge Richard Berman. Realising the bravery of the victims, who had each waited 10-15 years for justice, to be denied it by Epstein’s ‘death, he gave them their day in court. Their statements are on record. But Epstein stole from them a chance to see him pay for what he did for them.
The court case wasn’t covered – but Buzzfeed’s Julia Reinstein published quotes in an article called: 23 Women Stood In Court And Said Jeffrey Epstein Abused Them. Here Are Their Most Powerful Quotes.
We all know there were more, who didn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t give testimony. These brave women were the tip of a fairly awful iceberg, and I can’t help feel that the series’ description of what happened to them was somewhat sanitised.
The is little justice (yet) for victims of grooming. Epstein weasled his way out of being caught for as long as he could. As one of his many victims noted:
I would add that in typical grooming style, Epstein worked his charm, his money, his power to pull rank on anyone who tried to expose him – including journalists whose stories around Epstein were ‘spiked’. Chances to expose and prosecute were missed.
Conclusion on the series:
Recommended viewing for anyone who wants to see the power dynamics of grooming, and how it works against the victims.
Conclusion on the case: