‘What we know so far is far less than what we don’t.’
This is a tale of two worlds. One is fabulous, and full of opportunity. The other, less so. Guess which world supplies the sex slaves?
The 2000-page release of sealed documents in former sex slave Virginia Roberts’ lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein is a deep dive into the often batshit-crazy rituals of Florida’s lower middle class, as well as those who exploit them.
It’s a treasure chest filled with hidden Easter eggs.
To make sense of what Epstein was doing—and for whom—studying the court docs is a must, especially because the first spate of mainstream news stories picked only low-hanging fruit. The usual suspects.
That sex slaves were being recruited at Mar-a-Lago didn’t seem to register.
Also being mentioned, sotto voce, are several others. Democrats. Ex-governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson. Former Senator George Mitchell.
He doesn’t look like any kind of smooth operator with the ladies, does he? So why was he chosen to receive the loan for an evening of one of Epstein’s stable of not-yet-legal sex workers?
As it happens, I learned a few things about George Mitchell while investigating a close associate of his, who “just happens,” as they say, to have been the first world-class mega-wealthy Slavic oligarch to cut a swath along the East Coast.
More about him, and them, later. More about their plane. More about the pilot who flew them around. But first…
Purple Jelly Anal Wands as conversation starters
There’s this Palm Beach Detective…Lets call him him “Old Blind Joe,” for reasons which will soon become obvious. He spent a whole year on the Epstein investigation.
He came up with bupkiss. Palm Beach Florida can be that kind of place.
But he did spend some time rooting through Epstein’s trash. There he discovered Epstein ordering books on S&M from Amazon. Slavecraft. Working with Miss Abernathy. S & M 101. Technical manuals for DIY enthusiasts.
Old Blind Joe also found some exotic dildos in the trash. In an effort to ascertain the trade name of a particularly colorful appliance, he queried various porn websites to get an I.D.
How did he start his explanation? “I got me a two-headed purple device found in somebody’s trash. What do you mean, is it sticky?”
A site called SpiceyGear.com recognized it.
It was a purple Jelly Anal Wand.
Why Jeffrey Epstein’s houseman has such a vivid recollection of the purple Jelly Anal Wand is because he was often in charge of cleaning up.
“I would find things like a dildo, it’s called, a double,” he told the by-now sympathetic female attorney. “I don’t like to say anything, but these ladies…But I find these things, I put my gloves on, take it out and rinse it, and put it back in Ms. Maxwell’s closet.”
“Where Dershowitz got his massages—the private, upstairs room—that was where they kept a lot of the vibrators. And a whole basket of dildos,” continued the houseman. “Maxwell had a laundry basket full of toys in that room.”
Sending a selfie with a Prince home to Mom
Her story, which unspools across hundreds of pages, contains moments of poignance and pathos. Listening to some of it is painful.
Virginia testified she was recruited at age 16 or 17 by Ghislaine Maxwell at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
She eventually became a “sex slave,” self-described, traveling between Epstein’s homes and being shared among his friends.
“My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,” Virginia said. “Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.”
At the end of her first very-likely-not-very-sordid encounter with Prince Andrew, for example, Virginia was anxious to take a selfie with the Prince.
She wanted to send it to her mom.
Childhood ends overnight
Virginia blamed herself. She was 11.
She was sent to live with an aunt. Repeatedly ran away. Then lived on the streets for three years.
“Some recollections caused her to flush with shame,” reported the Daily Mail. Virginia said, “I was a pedophile’s dream. I’m telling you things even my husband doesn’t know.”
Later her family reunited in Florida. Virginia went back to high school, with time off for rehab.
Her father was a maintenance manager at Mar-a-Lago. He helped her get a job as a masseuse. She was 15. “When I met Ghislaine,” Virginia told the Daily Mail, “I was a changing room assistant. I was wearing my uniform—white miniskirt and skin-tight white polo top.”
Ghislaine invites her to work as Epstein’s private masseuse.
Spare a thought for the collateral damage
Both young men learn a woman’s love can be surprisingly short-lived.
“Tis brief, my lord,” someone says in Shakespeare. To which the reply is, “Ay, as woman’s love.”
Virginia knows she has an appointment with destiny, she just doesn’t know when.There are a few false starts.
But she apparently had her fingers crossed. During her deposition, she is asked, ‘Were you engaged to him at that time?”
Virginia replies, “Yeah, but that was a really weird relationship. He did propose. And I did say ‘yes.’ But my heart wasn’t into it.”
Florida is just Appalachia with alligators.
Make up a headline beginning with the words “Florida Man,” and it’s probably already happened.
Take Tony Figueroa’s explanation to how he met Virginia.
“It was right after her stint in rehab at Growing Together,” says Tony.
“Do you know what the rehab program was for?” the lawyer persists. “Drugs? Alcohol?”
“I don’t know,” Tony replies. “Probably everything.”
Surviving Survivors Continuation Schoool
Virginia states “I indicated that I attended Survivors Charter School for four years and had a high school diploma.”
LAWYER: And you graduated?
VIRGINIA: “Well, I didn’t. I just wanted to get a job, and I wanted it to look good, so I fluffed it up.”
Virginia never graduates from high school.
Swells gonna swell
Katherine Keating is in the middle of her 15 minutes of fame right now. The glamorous brunette found herself the target of an international media hunt after she was dragged into the scandal surrounding dead billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein via a few seconds of grainy video footage.
The mysterious brunette was briefly seen being waved off by Andrew from inside Epstein‘s home in New York. She became the subject of intense speculation, much of it prurient.
She has now been identified as Katherine Keating, the daughter of a former prime minister of Australia.
“This week has marked a big step up in Keating’s global profile, although perhaps not in the way preferred by a woman who combines an ostentatious interest in nuclear proliferation, the oceans and Nelson Mandela with fashion and connections to the people who populate People magazine,” reported the Australia Financial Review snarkily.
A figure on the Sydney social scene, Katherine Keating didn’t have a lot of professional experience or substantial qualifications. Still, Australian Premier Bob Carr put her on his personal staff. She lasted 13 months.
“It would take a decade for her to start regular employment again,” the Australia Financial Review reported dutifully.
Racking up seats on the Board
“Her professional life became a series of charity boards where her family name added a touch of glamour: the Sydney Cancer Foundation, the SAD Kids Foundation, the Young Garvan Committee and the National Institute for Dramatic Arts,” the Financial Review states.
“She was on the performance committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art; the ambassadors’ council of the International Crisis Group (run by an ex-minister in her father’s government); and the advisory committee for the Global Poverty Project, set up by two young Australians, with whom she traveled to Johannesburg to honor Nelson Mandela, and visit his house.”
Finally, late last year she became the “chief sustainability officer” at a Beverly Hills entertainment-management company.
Her responsibilities are unclear, reported the Financial Review.
Presumably one of them is to, in some fashion, sustain.
Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book is a mini-Debrett’s Peerage.
The Duke and Duchess of York, Lord and Lady Beaumont; Baron Bentinck; Betty and Bola von Bismarck; Prince Pierre d’Arenberg; Ambassador and Lady Fairweather; Princess Fayal, Princess Olga of Greece, Rothschilds. Radziwill.
There are high-flying industrialists: Pritzker’s, Getty’s. David Koch; Peter Morton; Richard Branson; Ron Perelman; William Siegel of Chris Craft (why is that name familiar?).
Isabel Goldsmith—next of kin to legendary Sir James Goldsmith? Ex-president of Colombia Andres Pastrana; Lisa Belzberg—heir to Daniel Belzberg who once owned much of the Amazon?
And it’s filled with entertainers and opinion-makers. David and Lady Frost; , Phil Collins, John Cleese, Janice Dickinson, Minnie Driver, Ralph Fiennes…
Roxy Music front man Brian Ferry who (natch) wrote ‘Slave to Love;’ George Hamilton, Jon Peters; Ron Silver, Kevin Spacey, Christy Turlington, Bob (not Harvey) Weinstein. Barbara Walters.
But as Naomi Campbell said yesterday, knowing Epstein didn’t necessarily mean anything nefarious. Right?
Did you go down on one knee?
“Tell me about the engagement,” she says. “Did you go down on one knee?”
Even though she was engaged, by this time Virginia’s heart belonged to Tony.
It was in the interests of capitalism. Tony was a small-time pot dealer.
Michael doesn’t like Tony one little bit.
A court document reads, “While living with Austrich, and engaged to him, Virginia was cheating on him with her high school boyfriend, Tony Figueroa, a convicted felon and drug dealer.”
Moving in with Virginia
Convicted felon Tony soon muscles out his rival for Virginia’s affections. Tony moves in with Virginia, evicting him from the apartment Michael had rented.
Adding injury to insult, when Michael returns to collect his animals, Tony punches him in the face. That’s when Michael figured out the deal, he said.
“The fight was what brought everything out, “Michael states in his deposition.
The female attorney, still playing ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci” for all she’s worth, presses the point.“So she was messing with Tony the idiot, and you guys got into a fight about it?”
“That’s when I found about about that, about the idiot,” states Michael.
Tony, too, eventually found out about ‘the other stuff.’ He was not happy.
“I remember her talking about how they would use stuff,” he said.
“She and Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein would all use strap-ons? How did you feel about that?”
“I just—obviously not happy about it,” Tony replies.
“Said I was sorry, and gave her a Dodge Neon “
Epstein apologized, and gave her a blue Dodge Neon.
Feeling her time with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell might be coming to an end, Virginia gets a job at “Roadhouse Grill.” Tony would pick her up when her shift was over.
“He’d sit at the bar,” said Virginia. “And there’s this big cup with tips in it.”
When no one was looking, Tony took the bartenders tip money.
“When we got home, I confronted Tony about it,” said Virginia. “Then I returned the money. The boss said the police had already been called, and there was nothing he could do about it.
Virginia said, “Knowing that Jeffrey has got the Palm Beach Police Department in his pocket, I went to him.”
And he fixed it.
One man (or woman’s) ceiling is another’s floor
When I read Virginia’s statement in her own voice, I had a strange sense of having been here before. Then it hit me. I had.
As a result she lost custody of her two small children. She was soon stripping for a living at Fantasies & Lingerie in Sarasota.
Virginia Roberts and Amanda Keller had a lot in common. Not least a sense of shared unfairness at their own lack of opportunity, even as Katherine Keating and Ghislaine Maxwell natter on about oceans.
While Virginia was being ‘chosen’ to entertain Epstein’s pals, she used the sedative Xanax to detach herself from the sordid reality.
“It was an escape drug,” says Virginia. “It helped release me and make me calm about what I had to do. I was up to eight pills a day.
“But I didn’t want to go back to the life I’d had before.”