Disgraced millionaire Jeffrey Epstein was an American financier who worked at investment bank Bear Stearns until he created his own firm J. Epstein
Disgraced millionaire Jeffrey Epstein was an American financier who worked at investment bank Bear Stearns until he created his own firm J. Epstein & Co. He worked in finance until 2008 when he was convicted for sex crimes. Epstein was known to be very well connected across the financial, political and cultural echelons of society, and even counted Britain’s own Prince Andrew among his peers. But how is the convicted sex offender linked to the Royal Family and particularly Prince Andrew?
Who is Jeffrey Epstein?
Jeffrey Epstein was born in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, to his father Seymour who worked as a groundskeeper and gardener, and his mother who was a school aide and homemaker.
He excelled in school, graduating in 1969 having skipped two grades and later went on to teach before he started working at Bear Stearns.
His troubles with the law began in 2005 when a woman alleged he had paid for her 14-year-old daughter to strip and massage him.
After an investigation, prosecution, and plea negotiations, Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted by a Florida state court of soliciting a prostitute and of procuring an underage girl for prostitution on June 30, 2008.
He served almost 13 months in custody, with work release, as part of a plea deal; federal officials had identified 36 girls who had been molested – some of the girls were as young as 14 years old.
Epstein was found hanged in his Manhattan prison cell.
He had been placed on suicide watch after he was found unconscious in his jail cell with injuries to his neck.
How is Jeffrey Epstein linked to Prince Andrew?
Jeffrey Epstein had a number of powerful and important celebrity friends.
Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second eldest son, is counted among this group.
The Queen and her 59-year-old son have faced scrutiny over his friendship with the convicted paedophile, especially after new court documents were unsealed which revealed new claims against Prince Andrew.
The Duke of York has previously denied allegations he had sex with one of Epstein’s accusers aged 17, Virginia Roberts Guiffre.
The court documents contain claims from Ms Giuffre alleging she had sex Prince Andrew – but a judge threw out the claims in 2015 and ordered them to be struck from the record for being “immaterial and impertinent”.
Buckingham Palace has “emphatically denied” all accusations, saying the accusations are “false and without foundation”.
Epstein’s death came just 24 hours after the documents relating to his case were unsealed.
The FBI has opened a formal investigation into how US financier Jeffrey Epstein was able to apparently complete suicide in prison.
In a statement, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said: “Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff” but Epstein was subsequently pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The statement added: “The FBI is investigating the incident.”
US Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” to hear of Epstein’s death and said it “raises serious questions that must be answered”.
Reportedly Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein first met in the 1990s when they were introduced by British socialite, Ghislaine Maxwell.
The British royal and Epstein were photographed together in Central Park in 2011 shortly after the financier’s release from prison for soliciting prostitutes, including one who was a minor.
The meeting came at a time when the pedophile’s other high profile friends, including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, had distanced themselves.