Twelve women agreed to talk with The Daily Beast about their experiences with Greenberg and his friends under the condition of anonymity. All of them said it was their understanding that Greenberg—who until his indictment last June served as the elected tax collector for Seminole County, Florida—was paying them at least in part for sex, going as far back as 2013. Ten women told The Daily Beast they felt pressure at one time or another to drink or take drugs as an entree to sex. And all 12 said Greenberg encouraged them to invite friends, either for himself or men he knew.
None of the women The Daily Beast talked to used the phrase “sexual assault” in their interviews, and the encounters seemed to cover a spectrum of experiences. Some women described platonic encounters where they still got paid. Others relayed that they had consensual sex for money. But some characterized their experiences as a trauma, and four women said Greenberg pressured them them to have sex—with one recounting that she had sex with Greenberg and another woman after being plied with “an endless supply of drugs.”
“I was under the influence of so many drugs,” this one woman said. “I would not have agreed to the other woman being there. I wasn’t really in a position to say I didn’t want to do this. I wasn’t in my right mind. I was in over my head and it was kind of scary.”
Venmo transactions show that Greenberg paid this woman $375, writing “more to come” in the memo field. Two hours and 45 minutes after she received the payment, she returned the money, according to the transactions, using just one letter in her memo: “L.”
“I’ve felt so bad about all this,” she told The Daily Beast.
In addition to the four women who said they felt pressure to have sex with Greenberg, three other women said Greenberg refused to pay them after declining to do drugs and have sex with him and a group of his friends.
Another woman recalled that when Greenberg found out she had faked taking ecstasy, he aggressively insisted she take it. “I immediately left right after and was sick on the way home,” she said.
While she didn’t have sex with Greenberg on this night, she acknowledged that she had an on-again, off-again sexual relationship with him for years before. “I absolutely felt pressured to have sex with him,” she said, noting that she cut off contact after the ecstasy incident.
That experience of Greenberg pressuring women to take ecstasy tracked with the accounts of other women. According to one, when she and a friend faked taking MDMA, Greenberg became angry and told them that they were “taking advantage” of him. They fled the hotel, she said, because they thought Greenberg, who had taken two doses himself, was “dangerous.”
One woman said she sought therapy to heal from the encounters, and another, upon describing her experience, said she planned to seek therapy. Several women grew silent describing their experiences. Three cried during interviews.
A few women who declined Greenberg’s advances said they didn’t understand why he kept paying them, but were happy to take the money and saw no harm in it. Other women described the former elected official as a “people pleaser,” but noted that his personality changed when he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Alcohol and drugs were a common thread among the women, specifically MDMA. One woman told The Daily Beast she had “never seen so many drugs.” And several noted that Greenberg regularly took ecstasy during the encounters.
“He was always on molly,” one said, using a common nickname for MDMA.
Greenberg's attorney, Fritz Scheller, declined comment. Gaetz spokesperson Harlan Hill issued the following statement: “Despite The Daily Beast’s extensive review of Congressman Gaetz’s life, the only allegations of impropriety seem to be about Mr. Greenberg, not Gaetz.”
On just Venmo and the Cash App, Greenberg paid more than 40 young women nearly $100,000 over the course of two years. The Daily Beast connected a number of those women to Gaetz through Venmo, social media, or mutual friends, but none of those women agreed to interviews. Some almost immediately blocked reporters’ phone numbers. One woman—whom Greenberg paid more than $7,000—asked a reporter twice for money in exchange for information, writing in one text, “pay me or gtfo.” The woman was listed as a friend of Gaetz on Venmo, but that connection ended after the reporter contacted her, as did Gaetz’s friendships with several other women on the mobile payment platform.
All of the stories from the women The Daily Beast interviewed shared similar contours. They connected with Greenberg online. They had encounters in hotel rooms or at the house of one of Greenberg’s friends. They were paid through Venmo or Cash App in exchange for sex. Many were pressed to drink alcohol and take drugs, usually MDMA. They were often invited to have group sex, and some did, either with multiple men or multiple women. And Greenberg offered to connect them with influential people.
Four women said Greenberg specifically offered to introduce them to a friend of his, “a congressman,” whom they understood to be Gaetz. (These four women noted they never did meet Gaetz, however.)
One other woman did say Greenberg told her the congressman was among about 10 other men at a house party she briefly attended in April 2017. She said she left early because the situation at the house made her uncomfortable.
Last week, The Daily Beast reported that Greenberg wrote a confession in which he admitted that both he and Gaetz paid to have sex with women—as well as at least one underage girl.
As Greenberg sits in jail awaiting trial, trying to reach a plea deal, investigators are still attempting to piece together what exactly he was doing and who he was doing it with. Greenberg and Gaetz maintained a close relationship for several years. In his confession, Greenberg claims he first met Gaetz in early 2017, around the time they both took office—Greenberg as a suburban Orlando county tax collector, Gaetz as U.S. congressman from Florida’s 1st District. The two men shared mutual acquaintances, including influential political figures such as MAGA ally Roger Stone. According to Greenberg, he and Gaetz “formed a close friendship” with “a unique synergy.” He wrote in the confession letter that Gaetz “groomed” him for political office, and he introduced the freshman representative to college girls—and paid them for sex on Gaetz’s behalf.
According to documents obtained by The Daily Beast, Gaetz paid Greenberg on Venmo or Cash App at least three times. And in one of those instances, Gaetz put “Hit up ___” in the memo field, using a nickname for the girl that Greenberg says in his confession letter that he and Gaetz were having sex with while she was 17. The teenager had turned 18 five months prior to this transaction, but Venmo records show that Greenberg first paid her about a year before then.
Greenberg wrote in three separate confessions that he and Gaetz both had sex with this girl when she was 17.
At least four women told The Daily Beast they have been contacted by federal investigators, who appear to have focused their probe on the underage girl. One woman, who was interviewed alongside a friend who had shared the encounter, told The Daily Beast the agent showed them a photo of the 17-year-old.
The woman—who at the time of the encounter had recently turned 18 but had not yet graduated from high school—said she and her friend told the agent that Greenberg had brought them four discarded IDs as an inducement to have sex. The woman said Greenberg didn’t ask if they were of age, but was conscious enough to know they obviously weren’t 21. When they declined to have sex, she said, Greenberg turned the inducement into a threat, warning them they could face legal exposure for taking the IDs.
“He told us in detail he would go into the DMV, take old IDs people turn in, and just take them and give them to people like us, his victims, as a way to have sex with him,” she said. “He made that very clear, and he made that clear when we didn’t want to have sex with him. He tried to play like he was the victim, and if we didn’t have sex with him and took the IDs, that we would get in trouble for the IDs. He basically said the payment was the fake IDs plus $1,500.”
The two girls fled the hotel without having sex or taking the IDs, the woman said, but Cash App receipts show that Greenberg continued to pay her friend, who had turned 18 about two months before that encounter. He first met her friend by direct messaging her on Twitter, according to the woman’s account.
In his confession letter, Greenberg admits he facilitated interactions with college students for Gaetz—and paid the women on Gaetz’s behalf.
“It was not uncommon for either myself or the Congressman to help anyone [sic] of these girls financially, whether it was a car payment, a flight home to see their family or something as simple as helping pay a speeding ticket,” Greenberg wrote.
But Venmo and Cash App transactions, sometimes in excess of $1,000, suggest the payments went well beyond altruism, and all women acknowledged in interviews that Greenberg was paying them, at least in part, because he intended to have sex wth them. One said she knew her $1,200 Venmo payment was for more than the “flight” Greenberg wrote in the memo field.
“I knew I wasn’t actually going to go,” she said, “and I know what he has done with other girls, so I knew what he was gonna get me to try to do.”
“We once went to The Grand Bohemian [Hotel in Orlando] with three girls and some other men,” this woman continued.
The Daily Beast was unable to verify whether these women had told friends at the time about their accounts. But four women involved were able to independently confirm that other women The Daily Beast spoke to were, in fact, paid for sex, and five of the women had group encounters with Greenberg and other women contacted by The Daily Beast.
Of the two women who said they never felt pressure to take drugs or drink alcohol, one—who was a few years older than most of the other women—described a brief “sugar daddy” relationship with Greenberg. She recalled that Greenberg paid for expensive dinners and bumped her flights up to first class. The affair ended, she said, after an alcohol- and drug-fueled party with several men and young women at a house belonging to a couple that is friends with Greenberg and Gaetz.
As the party stretched into the early morning hours, she said, it became clear that it was leading to group sex. She said she left shortly after one of the homeowners offered her the “morning after” pill from “a cabinet full of Plan B.”
That woman, along with several others, said Greenberg had floated her a job offer.
All but one of the women acknowledged invitations for group sex. One told The Daily Beast that it was “clear they were having these huge sex parties,” and Greenberg would invite her.
“He’d be like, ‘I want you to meet this person and this person.’ He was passing these women around,” she said.
This woman added that Greenberg asked her in a text message if he could introduce her to a congressman, but she refused.
All 12 women said Greenberg asked them to invite their friends, and many specified he was recruiting women as dates for himself or his friends.
Four women said they were joined in hotel rooms by a blonde woman who had more experience with Greenberg. One of them, whose encounter also took place at the Grand Bohemian, found herself in a threesome with Greenberg and this woman.
Three college-aged women recounted a similar experience, where Greenberg brought a more experienced woman—matching the same description as the woman at the Grand Bohemian—to his meetup. They were joined in the suite by a number of “well connected Republicans” with “a huge pile of coke,” according to one of the women.
But according to these three women, when it became clear that they were not prepared to have sex with Greenberg, the more experienced woman disappeared into a room with Greenberg and another man. These women left without having sex with any of the men, and one of them recalled that Greenberg refused to pay them after that.
“We literally had to threaten him [with] a photo that he was in with drugs in it in order to get the money,” she said.