Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell spent a quarter-of-a-million dollars on the education of a South African girl who they took in as a daughter, allowing them access to thousands of other girls who attended the elite institutions.
Melissa was a young girl growing up in post-apartheid South Africa when Epstein came into her life and offered to serve as the young girl’s benefactor, paying her way through boarding school and then college.
She explained on the latest episode of Broken: Jeffrey Epstein that she was far more skeptical of the situation than the adults around her at the time, who had no idea the pedophiles were grooming her for their own nefarious needs.
Her music teachers explained that it was perfectly normal for promising students to have sponsors, he parents were happy to have their daughter thousands of miles away from the violence at home and Maxwell tried to quell any unease by stating: ‘Think of him as kind of a like a Schindler person, who takes people and gets them out of hard places and hard situations.’
That ‘Schindler person’ Maxwell was comparing Epstein to is Oscar Schindler, the German industrialist and member of the Nazi party who saved the lives of over 1,000 Jewish people by employing them at his factories in occupied Poland during the Holocaust.
Unlike Schindler however, Epstein eventually left Melissa to fend for herself, cutting off the teenager after she refused to miss a cello recital to meet Prince Andrew.
Welcome to cell(o): Melissa (above at Julliard circa 1993) spoke about the six years she spent in the orbit of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell on Broken: Jeffrey Epstein
Wishing hell: She met the pair at the age of 14 when they were loitering around a wishing well at the Interlochen music camp’s summer session (Epstein and Maxwell in 2005)
Maxwell first gave another reason as to why Epstein was willing to put up the money for Melissa at first.
‘You’ve got beautiful blue eyes, and Jeffrey loves blue eyes,’ said Maxwell.
Melissa was in a bit of shock and replied: ‘But you don’t pay $50,000 for a person’s eyes.
That was the coast of Melisa’s boarding school, which she agreed to attend only after spending one more year in South Africa.
She was just 14 and attending a summer session at the Interlochen music camp when she met Epstein, who within 24 hours had promised to pay so she could return to the camp again the next summer.
Melissa suggested that she had already been singled out by the two before she happened to meet them one day as they were loitering around a wishing well on the Interlochen campus.
The two were with their dog Max, and in her estimation the prospect of grooming her was just as exciting to the two as the sexual abuse.
She herself was never sexually abused by Epstein however, and it is unclear why as the teenager was very much in line with the aesthetic the pedophile seemed to desire in his underage victims.
This was also all happening over a period between approximately 1997 and 2003 when Epstein was sexually abusing three or four girls a day according to some estimations.
Melissa instead became like a daughter to the pair, and she recalls once instance when they visited her at camp and gleefully asked her to identify her favorite cake.
Less than 24 hours later, Epstein agreed to pay for Melissa (above) to attend boarding school at Interlochen
She told the two strawberry shortcake, noting it was the first thing that came to mind and no her actual favorite, and within minutes a freshly baked and still warm strawberry shortcake was delivered to Epstein’s cabin.
Melissa noted how amazed she was by this feat since Interlochen is located in a rather remote area of Michigan.
Epstein had donated around $400,000 to the camp prior to this, which is why he had his own cabin and was able to spend time with the teenagers in attendance each summer.
When he met Melissa he spoke about her cello music and the musicians in her family, almost as if he had a dossier prepared for him prior to his run-in with the underage stranger.
Melissa would spend six years in Epstein’s orbit, and eventually fall out of favor with the couple when she refused to recruit her classmates at Julliard for the pedophile.
At the time, she had turned down a full scholarship at a conservatory in New England to attend the prestigious college in New York at the insistence of Maxwell and Epstein, who assured her they would cover her tuition for all four years.
Famous Europeans: Unlike Oscar Schindler (left), Epstein left Melissa to fend for herself, cutting off the teenager after she refused to miss a cello recital to meet Prince Andrew (right)
Melissa said that soon after she made it clear she would not recruit others she received a bill for $100,000 for her tuition, and was told her bill had been sent back by Epstein with a note that stated he would no longer be paying for the cellist’s education.
It all came to a head when Maxwell came and visited her at school one day.
Maxwell noticed a ballerina on campus and told Melissa she wanted her to go ask the girl to give Epstein a lesson, with the pedophile having built a ballet studio in his home by that time.
Melissa demurred and then flat out refused, which is when Maxwell revealed the real motivation behind her and Epstein’s philanthropy.
‘How does it feel to have your life handed to you on a silver platter,’ asked Maxwell.
‘And how would you feel if that was taken away.’
Maxwell then called her with one final task a short time later – to come meet Prince Andrew at Epstein’s home.
Melissa said she was confused as to why a member of the royal family would have any interest in meeting a college student, and asked Maxwell as much.
‘You’re a talented cellist, you’re charming, you’re so many things,’ explained Maxwell.
‘He’d love to meet you, just come to this party.’
Melissa did not want to go, and more importantly could not go on the night in question,
‘There was a concert that day and I said, “I can’t miss the concert,” and she said: “But you can miss the concert, and you will miss the concert.”‘
Melissa then began to laugh at Maxwell’s naivete as she recalled: ‘I told her that if you miss a performance you can be expelled, and she said they would make an exception for me.
‘And I said: “They wont make an exception, they didn’t make an exception for Yo Yo Ma.”‘
It was shortly after this exchange that Melissa received her tuition bill for $100,000, and calls to Epstein and Maxwell were never returned while his lawyer Darren Indyke simply apologized to the girl.
‘And they said, “yeah it was actually sent back with an instruction that the bills are now to go to you and that I am now responsible for these bills,”‘ said Melissa.
‘That was really terrifying.’
She later discovered that had she applied for financial aid she would have gotten her tuition covered for all four years.
Melissa was still very much a victim of Epstein, and as such was able to remark on what she believed to be the pathology that would drive a man to pay a stranger’s tuition at one of the nation’s most august institutions.
‘He had an addiction to playing games. He had an addiction to finding the gap between him and the person and in finding what they needed,’ explained Melissa.
‘And he had this fetish and this sickness that he really wanted this power of making things possible for people.’
In the end her only physical interaction with Epstein was a foot massage.
It is impossible to know now why she was spared what so many other girls her age were not at the hands of Epstein, but it could be explained by her poise and intellect.
The young girl was incredibly wise and engaged with Maxwell and Epstein, which may be why she was not subjected to the sexual abuse endured by so many other victims.
And unlike other recruiters, her relationship was not sexual before she was cast into that role.
It is also possible that it was Maxwell grooming her for another man, perhaps Prince Andrew.