Victims’ rights attorney Bradley J. Edwards has been working to bring Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices to justice since 2008, when a young woman told him the shocking story of how, at 14 years old, she had been sexually coerced by a rich older man. Now, in his book ‘Relentless Pursuit’ (co-written with Brittany Henderson and available from publisher CBS sister company Simon & Schuster), Edwards provides a riveting, firsthand account of his decade-long legal battle against Epstein on behalf of more than 20 victims. This special excerpt from the book documents how he first learned about the alleged involvement of Ghislaine Maxwell in the case.
In May 2009, we learned via PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) about a civil lawsuit filed against Jeffrey Epstein on behalf of someone who went by the pseudonym Jane Doe 102. The complaint stated that she was recruited as a young teenager when she was a spa employee of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. The person she said recruited her was not another minor child, but Epstein’s top assistant and longtime girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell. Before that complaint was filed, we had scant information about his activities when he wasn’t in Florida. We also didn’t know whether his powerful friends were aware of his exploits. This victim and her lawsuit changed that.
If Jeffrey Epstein was running his elaborate scheme to fuel his sexual appetite in Florida, then logic would dictate that he was doing the same thing everywhere else he went during his frequent travel around the world. The Jane Doe 102 complaint gave us confirmation and exposed the breadth of his sexual appetite. Unlike the others identified by the FBI, Jane Doe 102 flew on Epstein’s airplane and visited his other homes. She had been to his house in New York, which was one of the largest town houses in Manhattan; his ranch in New Mexico, which he’d purchased from the governor of New Mexico and which included its own airplane runway; his apartment in Paris; and his own private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Little Saint James, nicknamed Little Saint Jeff’s. She had traveled the world with Epstein and was a true insider with much more knowledge of the structure of his organization than the others.
Perhaps most important, Jane Doe 102 named Ghislaine Maxwell as being deeply involved in the criminal activities. Logically, we knew that some adult was at the top of the pyramid having recruited a child for Jeffrey, but before now we didn’t know who that adult was. Jane Doe 102 described Maxwell approaching her at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and inviting her over to learn massage therapy. When her father dropped her off that night, she was sexually abused by both Maxwell and Epstein, who finished by telling her that she had “lots of potential.” The complaint alleged that she was given “hundreds of dollars” for the day, which was much more than she was making at Mar-a-Lago.
Jane Doe 102 then described essentially becoming an underage traveling sex slave trained by Maxwell to perform sexually on Jeffrey Epstein daily. She claimed not only to have met Epstein’s close friends but to have been lent out for sex with many of them. While they were not identified by name, they were described as politicians, academics, businessmen, and even royalty. As suspected, Epstein’s criminal enterprise reached far beyond Palm Beach.
Jane Doe 102 traveled all around the world and saw Epstein engage in sexual acts with girls from many different countries. She alleged that Maxwell participated in the same activities and was the master recruiter. She even recounted one of Epstein’s friends sending him three twelve-year-old girls from France who spoke no English as a birthday “gift,” just so he could sexually exploit and abuse them before they were sent back to France the next day.
Jane Doe 102 described the photographs of nude girls that covered the walls of Epstein’s homes in New York City, Palm Beach, Santa Fe, and the Virgin Islands, many of which were taken by Ghislaine Maxwell and at least one of which was a nude photograph of Jane Doe 102 herself. She explained that the abuse got so bad that she was finally forced to flee the country in 2002. She was sent to Thailand by Epstein and Maxwell with instructions to locate a young girl whom Epstein was considering to become one of his sex slaves. Jane Doe 102 instead left Thailand and went to Australia, where she hid out from Epstein and Maxwell for more than a decade. She thought she was safe until she received a threatening telephone call in 2007 from Epstein himself, telling her not to cooperate against him in any investigation. She was important to the clients I represented and she was the key to taking Jeffrey Epstein down.
I needed to meet Jane Doe 102.
For more, listen to a clip from the audiobook edition of ‘Relentless Pursuit’ below:
Excerpted from Relentless Pursuit by Bradley J. Edwards with Brittany Henderson. Copyright © 2020 by Bradley Edwards. Used with the permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Simon & Schuster is a property of ViacomCBS.