Justice Was Blind (DocuSeries Review: “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich”)

A shocking reveal of the depraved lifestyle Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell enjoyed for far too long, as well as the protracted criminal investigations that finally stopped him, years after Justice should have prevailed.

SnapShot Plot

You’d have to be living under a rock these past few years not to have known about the massive sex abuse/child molestation/international sex trafficking case of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey E. Epstein. A criminal investigation that reads like a patchwork quilt of starts and stops – from the Palm Beach County, FL Police Dept and Attorney General’s office all the way to NYC and the FBI – took place over an unbelievable multi-decades time period, demonstrating overwhelmingly that money and power wield their own kind of influence in manipulating the scales of Justice.

Netflix’s especially timely, 4-part docuseries, entitled Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich employs two concurrent narrative devices to tell a harrowing tale of abuse and intimidation at the hands of both Jeffrey Epstein and his longtime girlfriend/accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell. The first is a detailed investigative and legal procedural that crisscrosses the years, tracking and explaining the mounting evidence against a man who can only be seen as an aberrant, depraved, and entitled sociopath. The second is an unbridled and cinematic witness stand, in effect, in which several of Epstein’s underage victims (now young women in their 20s, 30s and 40s) are free to tell their own deeply personal and harrowing accounts of the manipulations, rapes, trafficking and scare tactic intimidations suffered at the hands of Epstein, and quite pointedly, Maxwell.

Ghislaine Maxwell is currently under arrest and awaiting trial for her part in the long, sordid history of abuse. The Netflix series, in its meticulous attention to detail, will no doubt go far in exposing Maxwell for her complicitness, as opposed to being perhaps a footnote in the public’s consciousness, eclipsed by the notoriety of Epstein, if the docuseries did not exist.

What we see in Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich is a pattern of under-age pedophilia acts taking place at all of Epstein’s lavish properties, from his mansions in NYC and Palm Beach to his Parisian home and his private island in the Caribbean, nicknamed Pedophile Island. The thru-line setup pretty much remained the same: under-age girls (many from lower socio-economic strata, though not all, as he seemed to have moved on over the years to aspiring models and artists) were approached – often by Ghislaine herself – to be ‘interviewed’ by Jeffrey for mostly massage services. In the course of the massage, Jeffrey (and occassionally Ghislaine too) would inevitably coerce the girl into performing a variety of sex acts, and that’s how it would begin. What Ghislaine brought to the table was multi-fold. She was brilliant at pretending an almost motherly affection and concern for the girls’ welfares and their futures, promising all sorts of enticements to their continued participation, including free schooling and the allure of travel and access to wealthy international celebrities. Not only were the girls sexually trafficked to Epstein’s VIP pals (including allegedly Prince Andrew and the infamous defense attorney, Alan Dershowitz) but they themselves were rewarded for bringing new girls into the mix. Hence over a period of years what Epstein and Maxwell created was a multi-layered and expanding sex abuse Pyramid Scheme, a construct which shouldn’t surprise anyone after learning the nefarious and corrupt ways Epstein himself ‘made’ his lucrative fortune.

Parting Shot

Powerfully and soberly directed by Lisa Bryant, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich delivers a patchwork of stories which expose an international sex trafficking ring of powerful enablers leading up to Epstein’s 2019 arrest. What the series also does, in dazzling detail, is to show just how entitled, moreover protected, Epstein was against criminal prosecution by virtue of his wealth and influence. Over the course of many years, the lists of guests and friends who would visit him at any number of his lavish estates included the likes of Bill Clinton and Donald J. Trump. Epstein was, it was said, a master manipulator who would use his charm and powers of persuasion to get what he wanted out of young girls and women, as well as business associates and clients. He also had a penchant for spying on his guests, with an intricate network of hidden cameras embedded everywhere in his palatial estates and properties. It’s only a matter of conjecture what ‘dirt’ he must have gathered over the years on his Rolodex of glitterati influencer friends and colleagues.

When he was found strangled in his jail cell last year – the ruling of suicide still debatable – what entailed was a feeding frenzy of speculation and conspiracy theories as to what really happened. Practically speaking, though, Jeffrey Epstein’s death threatened to muzzle his myriad victims from finally having the chance to speak their truths to the world at large. But thanks to the wisdom of the judge in the case, who Epstein’s lawyers petitioned to dismiss all charges (you can’t try a dead man), before he did so he made an abrupt, last-minute decision to allow more than a dozen of Epstein’s victims to come to NYC to testify in open court.

Many of Epstein’s victims felt that in death, Jeffrey Epstein had escaped Justice. Hopefully Ghislaine Maxwell will not meet the same fate as her longtime boyfriend/accomplice, prevented by a convenient ‘suicide’ to face her accusers in the harsh light of day.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich is presently streaming on Netflix.

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YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j0rjlfmDx4

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