Virginia Roberts was among dozens of women who flocked to a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday to describe how the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein abused them in a final chance to tell their story before a judge before the criminal case against him is closed.
The women, many of whom were not named, had been invited to speak at court by the judge handling Epstein’s criminal human trafficking case which, in light of his suicide earlier this month, will now draw to a close. They have asked that the investigation into his crimes carry on so that anyone who facilitated them who is still alive may be brought to justice.
Many of the victims still plan to sue the late pedophile’s $577million estate. Tuesday’s hearing was the first time many had told their stories.
Some were being represented by attorney Gloria Allred who said they planned to file lawsuits against Epstein’s estate seeking damages.
Roberts, who sued Epstein in 2015 and claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, smiled as she arrived at the courthouse, flanked by lawyers.
Virginia Roberts (center in blue) arrives at court with David Boies who is also representing sisters Annie and Maria Farmer. She sued Epstein in 2015 claiming she was held as his sex slave. She also claims she was made to have sex with Prince Andrew – a claim Buckingham Palace denies. Thirty women are expected to speak at the hearing on Tuesday
Gloria Allred arrives in court on Tuesday with four unidentified women. She previously said she was representing four previously unnamed Epstein victims
The women were among the first to arrive for Tuesday’s highly anticipated hearing. They have never before told their stories
Gloria Allred places an arm around one of the four women she is representing who say they were abused by Epstein
Others were represented by Allred’s daughter, Lisa Bloom.
She released a statement from one on Monday night, ahead of the trial.
Epstein killed himself in his jail cell earlier this month and escaped prosecution and poverty in doing so
It read: ‘Jeffrey Epstein stole my innocence. He gave me a life sentence of guilt and shame. I do not consider myself a victim — I see myself a survivor.
‘The abuse that I endured cannot continue. Let’s stop this before it happens to other young women.’
Another statement read: ‘In the past few weeks, I have had to reflect on my interaction with Jeffrey Epstein and realize that, though I have tried to put it all behind me, I am still a victim.
‘I say this because I have to come to terms with it in an effort to truly get past the abuse I suffered at the hands of Epstein. Pursuing criminal penalties against him and having an opportunity to address the egregious crimes he committed against me and other young women would have helped my recovery process.
‘This all came to an abrupt halt when he took his own life. The point of closure is lost.
‘I cannot say that I am pleased he committed suicide, but I am at peace knowing that he will not be able to hurt anyone else. However, a sad truth remains: I, along with other women, will never have an answer as to why; I will never have an apology for the wrong doing and, most importantly, Epstein will not be justly sentenced for his crimes.
‘Now, I sit in my home questioning the well-being of those girls like myself. In choosing death, Epstein denied everyone justice. Any efforts made to protect Epstein’s name and legacy send a message to the victims that he wins and that he is untouchable.
‘I understand his case may be dismissed or closed but this makes me feel as though I, and anyone else who fell prey to his hands, simply do not matter. I ask that you very seriously consider the final decision because it will undoubtedly affect all other facets of this case, including any future charges brought against the recruiters or other third parties to his crimes.
Attorney Sigrud Macawley (in cream dress) arrived with Virginia Roberts (in blue skirt suit) and Annie Farmer (far right)
Annie Farmer (pictured) and her sister Maria told their story in a New York Times article on Monday. They said they reported Epstein to the FBI and to media in the 1990s and 2000s but that nothing was done
‘I do not want the narrative to be ‘those poor girls’. I want to send a message to anyone who would consider engaging in similar acts to think twice beforehand. I want some sort of closure for those of us who will relive those horrible moments where we were assaulted, abuse and taken advantage of by Epstein.
‘You have an opportunity to help us seek that closure,’ she said.
‘I cannot say that I am pleased he committed suicide, but I am at peace knowing that he will not be able to hurt anyone else.
Five lawsuits have already been filed against him.
The first was by Jennifer Araoz, who says his team of female recruiters preyed on her outside her Upper East Side high school when she was a vulnerable teenager and lured her to his mansion where she was forced to perform erotic massages on him.
She is the only one of the plaintiffs to name herself publicly and she has also appeared on national television to tell her story.
Two others, who described themselves as Jane Does 1 and 2, filed a lawsuit earlier this month.
They were followed by three others, Katlyn Doe, Priscilla Doe and Lisa Doe.
Because many of the women’s identities are being protected, it is impossible to know if they were among those who spoke in court on Tuesday.
As the criminal case against Epstein drew to a close and the civil lawsuits against his estate mounted, a third investigation – into how he was able to take his own life in jail – remains underway.
The latest development in that investigation is that camera footage taken outside his cell on the night he killed himself is unusable in court.
THE EPSTEIN VICTIMS
Araoz was just 14 when she says Epstein’s recruiters lured her to his mansion in Manhattan.
She wanted to be an actress and says he groomed her by promising to help her career.
She was a vulnerable child from a troubled home and her father had just died of AIDS at the time.
She was the first to file a lawsuit.
Michelle Licata was just 16 when she claims a young woman brought her to Epstein’s Palm Beach estate and she was paid to give him a massage.
‘He said, god, you’re just so beautiful and sexy and gorgeous and it was making me feel really uncomfortable,’ said Licata in an interview with ABC News.
Wild was still in middle school when Epstein allegedly forced her into performing sex acts.
‘I was 14, I had braces on,’ recalled Wild in a recent interview.
Maria Farmer & Annie Farmer
The sisters say they were both abused by Epstein in the 1990s. Their claims are among the earliest.
They say they took their allegations to the FBI and to local media but were ignored.
Sisters Maria (left) and Annie Farmer (right)
Jane Doe 1 & Jane Doe 2
Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 said they were aspiring models working at a restaurant off of Manhattan’s Union Square when they were approached in June 2004 by an unnamed female ‘recruiter,’ identified as Sue Roe, who worked for Epstein.
The restaurant was The Coffee Shop and it was known for employing models.
They say they were 18 and 20 years old at the time.
Virgina Guiffre, aka Virginia Roberts, with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001
Katlyn said she was forced to marry another victim, who was foreign, so that she could stay in the country.
She also said that Epstein ‘coerced’ her into losing her virginity to him when she was 18.
Priscilla Doe, who lost her virginity when Epstein allegedly raped her, said in a court filing that Epstein dictated what she wore and how she looked during the six years she was under his rule – and to a startling degree.
‘Jeffrey Epstein forced [Priscilla] to wear certain color panties, remove certain body piercings, and undergo surgery by Jeffrey Epstein’s doctors to remove body moles,’ states a complaint filed in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York.
‘[Priscilla] complied with these demands with the understanding, conveyed to her by Epstein, that she had no other choice.’
She also alleged Ghislaine Maxwell gave her a ‘step-by-step’ tutorial on ‘the proper way’ to sexually pleasure Epstein on his island, Little St. James, in 2006.
In her lawsuit, Lisa Doe detailed how Epstein ‘used a sex toy on her, forcibly’ after hiring the then 17-year-old ‘to teach a dance-based exercise class’ at his townhouse.
He is said to have demanded she ‘go to her dance studio and find other dancers’ after one of his associates hired Lisa.
Guiffre filed a lawsuit against Epstein in 2015 claiming he held her as his sex-slave and made her have sex with Prince Andrew – something Buckingham Paalce has vehemently denied for years.