Today was the day when the civil trial brought by the lawyer of some of the accusers against sleazy convicted sex offender multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein was to go to trial. Last week, the Miami Herald released a bombshell investigation into the allegations and cover up of the abuse of young girls by Epstein who had plenty of friends in high places. But at the last minute a settlement was announced that included an apology by Epstein to Bradley Edwards, the lawyer who brought the case.
Epstein, 65, has been accused of molesting dozens of underage girls, but the case scheduled to start this week in West Palm Beach, Florida, wasn’t filed by the women.
Instead, their attorney, Bradley Edwards, sued Epstein for claiming victim lawsuits were part of Ponzi scheme run by a former law partner and contained false allegations that were meant to “defame” his reputation.
Three of Epstein’s accusers were expected to testify before the surprise announcement of a settlement just before jury selection was about to begin, though none were present Tuesday. The billionaire hedge-fund manager also was not at the 13-minute hearing.
“This is not a compromise,” Edwards said in a statement read by his own lawyer, Jack Scarola. “It is a surrender by Jeffrey Epstein.”
Epstein lawyer Scott Link then read out an apology statement that was part of the settlement, financial terms of which were not disclosed.
Edwards says that the second case in federal court will proceed but a trial date has not been set.
Tuesday’s trial focused on the first of two civil lawsuits filed in the long-running legal battle between Epstein and Edwards. The second lawsuit, filed under the Civil Victims’ Rights Act, was filed a decade ago for two Jane Does who were allegedly sexually assaulted by Epstein.\
“I am excited to go back to what I do best, which is protecting these women in court. Today is a win because it paves the way for our second suit against Epstein,” Edwards told The Daily Beast following the press conference.
It is likely that the settlement was triggered by fears of what the witness testimony by some of the young girls (now women) might reveal.
A trial that could have allowed the victims of serial molester Jeffrey Epstein to finally tell their stories from a witness stand was aborted Tuesday when it was announced in court that the case had been settled.
It ended with an apology — not to the dozens of women who were sexually abused by Epstein as underage girls, but to the lawyer who represented them.
Edwards hoped to use the forum of the trial to allow sex abuse victims to tell their stories of abuse at the hands of Epstein, which they did not get to do originally because of the non-prosecution agreement signed by Acosta when he was South Florida’s top prosecutor.
Epstein and his cronies will undoubtedly try to find a way to privately settle the second trial s well, this one brought by some of the women, to avoid the sordid details of what they did coming out. Will they succeed?
Marcus Ranum says
Epstein’s lawyers told him “pay anything it takes to avoid discovery.” He’s smart and listened to them.
Would have been entertaining if he had Giuliani as an attorney.
Mano Singham says
But wouldn’t the discovery process have been completed before the trial was due to start?
Pierce R. Butler says
Epstein bought his way out.
What’s surprising about that?