Jeffrey Epstein may be dead, but his accusers aren’t done with him. Shocking numbers of women who say they were raped or assaulted are suing his estate, and their cases could bring down some of Epstein’s most famous acquaintances.
There were a total of 17 lawsuits against the estate as of December 4, representing 26 women, many of whom allege they were raped as young as 13. Courts are anticipating that more will be piling up.
With nearly 30 women filing lawsuits against the $577 million estate, its lawyers are asking courts to rush their request for a victims compensation fund, which would allow the cases to be handled outside of court. Proceedings in a compensation fund are kept confidential, however, and would help famous figures who are under scrutiny now–like England’s Prince Andrew–to avoid the public eye.
“One of the things that we have tried is to interview Prince Andrew and to try to get what his explanation is,” Lawyer David Boies, who represents five women in lawsuits, told the BBC. “He was a frequent visitor. They ought to submit to an interview. They ought to talk about it.” (RELATED: Here’s What Prince Andrew And Jeffrey Epstein’s Other Partygoers Have Said)
Andrew resigned from all of his royal duties “for the foreseeable future” in November, a move some thought was forced on him by his brother Prince Charles.
Boies has filed to subpoena Andrew in the cases for all five of the women he’s representing. the prince would have to be on U.S. soil for the subpoenas to have an effect, however.
The women in Boies cases claim Andrew witnessed massages given at a number of Epstein’s homes. (RELATED: Nancy Grace Finds It ‘Very Hard To Believe’ That Epstein Killed Himself)
Joining Boies is lawyer Spencer Kuvin, who also represents a number of Epstein’s accusers and questioned the man in the mid-2000s when news of Epstein’s crimes was just getting started. Kuvin has not yet filed any subpoenas.
“Be a man, stand up for what you believe and what you’re saying is the truth and come forward,” Kuvin said on BBC. “If he truly wants to help these victims, then step forward.”
While it is unlikely that Andrew would testify in the cases for each of Epstein’s accusers, the royal family is reportedly “preparing” for him to testify in the still-ongoing criminal investigation related to Epstein.
“There’s a whole network that enabled him and allowed this to happen and it’s time that everyone who was a part of this be held accountable,” said Kimberly Lerner, another attorney for one of Epstein’s accusers, in a Washington Post story.
During a disastrous T.V. interview days before his resignation, Andrew said he would only testify if “push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so.”
The Duke of York has announced he is stepping back from royal duties over the Epstein scandal. https://t.co/9GvGn6bjYJ
Last week, Prince Andrew spoke to #Newsnight about his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 20, 2019
While a subpoena from U.S. authorities was called “imminent” when Andrew stepped down from his duties in November, investigators have yet to file one.
Andrew’s role in the case centers on a photo showing himself and Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell together with then-17-year-old, one of the girls Epstein allegedly forced into sex acts for his famous acquaintances. Giuffre claims she had sex with Andrew multiple times at Epstein’s direction.
“There was a bath and it started there and then it led into the bedroom and it didn’t last very long, the whole entire procedure,” she said of the night in the photograph. “It was disgusting. He wasn’t mean or anything, but he got up and he said thanks and walked out.”
Not all of Epstein’s accusers have focused exclusively on suing his estate, however. Accuser Jennifer Araoz also filed lawsuits against Maxwell and three other women who worked for Epstein.
Maxwell allegedly “participated with and assisted” Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring and also allegedly helped intimidate potential witnesses, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit is also filed against a secretary, a maid and a “recruiter,” according to the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Criminal Charges Expected Against Two Of Jeffrey Epstein’s Prison Guards)
“We intend to pursue justice for our client, Jennifer Araoz, and hold accountable those who enabled Mr. Epstein’s criminal activity,” said Dan Kaiser, Araoz’s lawyer, following Epstein’s suicide. “Regardless of his untimely death, our case will move forward. Jennifer deserves her day in court.”
Epstein’s estate could disappear entirely under the still-growing pile of lawsuits. Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents three accusers, has called for the entire $577 million estate to be frozen and distributed to his alleged victims.
I am calling today for the administrators of Jeffrey Epstein’s estate to freeze all his assets and hold them for his victims who are filing civil cases. Their lives have been shattered by his sexual assaults, their careers derailed. They deserve full and fair compensation NOW.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) August 10, 2019
None of the cases have reached a settlement with the estate, however, and courts have yet to approve its request for a victims fund.