Jeffrey Epstein beckoned lawyer Brad Edwards into a private room to issue a warning. It was early 2010, and the men, who were courtroom rivals for the past two years, had been waiting for a deposition to begin.
“How long is this going to go on, Brad?” Epstein asked, to which Edwards replied, “Till it’s over, I guess.”
Epstein then warned Edwards, who represented multiple victims of the sex trafficker, that he held the advantage. “The difference is that I have unfair power at my fingertips,” Epstein said. “I hired a former MMA champion who is out there in the hallway, and I have access to all of the resources in the world. You don’t even know who all of my friends are.”
Edwards, who details this chilling encounter in a new book, was only at the start of his 12-year legal battle with Epstein. When it began, Edwards’ small Florida firm was up against a Goliath whose legal teams had hundreds of employees. At one point in their court tangles, Epstein hired investigators to camp outside Edwards’ home, resulting in Edwards hiring his own PIs to watch the watchers.
Relentless Pursuit, available now from Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, goes behind the scenes of Edwards’ fight on behalf of victims of Epstein, who killed himself in a federal lockup last August before he could face trial in Manhattan for sexually abusing scores of underage girls.
Edwards’ tell-all reads like a thriller, from the moment one of Epstein’s victims walks into his office seeking help in 2008, to when Epstein seems to realize he’s lost the war a decade later, when a federal judge ruled his controversial plea agreement was illegal. Edwards represents more than 20 of the perverted financier’s victims and has called the pursuit his “personal life’s mission.”
But the book also reveals new details about the famous and powerful people in Epstein’s world, including Donald Trump, former President Clinton and magician David Copperfield, and about Epstein’s alleged connections to the CIA:
Bill Clinton and Epstein shared ‘crass jokes about women’
Flight logs indicate Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s private jet more than 20 times, including with the financier’s girlfriend and alleged madam, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. In September 2002, the trio (along with six Secret Service agents) traveled to Africa for a humanitarian trip that also included actors Chris Tucker and Kevin Spacey. Epstein’s alleged accomplices, Sarah Kellen and Nadia Marcinkova, and Chauntae Davies, a victim of Epstein, joined them. Edwards writes that eyewitnesses—including Davies, then 23—said Clinton and Epstein “exchanged somewhat crass jokes about women more than they discussed the solutions to major world problems.”
At another point in the book, Edwards writes, “I’ve never said or thought that Bill Clinton did anything wrong in connection with Ghislaine, Epstein, or their airplane rides, but by all appearances Clinton had helpful information. I couldn’t help but wonder why he wouldn’t pick up the phone and tell us what he knew?”
Ghislaine Maxwell Attended Clinton Events While Hiding From Lawyers
After the Palm Beach police probe, Maxwell was difficult to track down. “We learned through other sources that she was a close friend of Bill Clinton’s,” Edwards writes. “If that was true, then surely she would attend the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers.” Edwards hired investigators to infiltrate the event and serve Maxwell with a subpoena for her deposition. “To say she was upset about being publicly served at this function is an understatement. She had a profound determination to avoid her deposition, both before and after being served,” Edwards adds.
In July 2010, Maxwell ditched the deposition, claiming she needed to leave the country because her mother was sick. Edwards later opened the August issue of People magazine which covered the wedding of Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea. “I looked at the picture of the father and the bride, briefly scanning the page beyond Bill and Chelsea. Holy shit, I thought. Who was front and center on the aisle? Ghislaine Maxwell. As it turned out, she didn’t leave the United States forever. For all I knew, she hadn’t left at all.”
Trump gave ‘helpful’ intel on Epstein
“The first of Epstein’s powerful friends to answer our subpoena in a meaningful way was Donald Trump,” Edwards writes, adding that Trump phoned him in 2009—no deposition necessary. The magnate said Epstein was a business acquaintance, they’d attended the same society events, and that Epstein crafted the infamous “terrific guy” quote Trump gave to New York magazine in 2002.
Trump told Edwards the last time he saw Epstein, he’d visited the money-manager’s home in Palm Beach and noticed young women outside. Epstein claimed the women were part of a “mentoring-type program that he was involved in, which Mr. Trump thought was a bit odd,” Edwards continues. Trump called Epstein “strange” and claimed he “never really liked him,” before sharing a list of names of people who, according to Edwards, “would know Epstein’s propensities better.” In 2015, when Edwards took Trump’s deposition for an unrelated case, the reality star allegedly shared more intel. “He framed most of the information he had about potentially relevant leads as rumors that he had heard over the years. Still, his rumors were helpful,” Edwards writes.
Lawyers tried to subpoena David Copperfield
The magician was a regular caller to the Palm Beach mansion and one person Edwards sought to interview as a potential witness to Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme. In summer of 2009, Edwards served Copperfield with a subpoena outside one of his Las Vegas shows but writes that, “regrettably we never were able to depose Copperfield due to a number of legal and logistical roadblocks.” Meanwhile, a victim named Johanna (who was first recruited as Maxwell’s assistant) said she met Copperfield many times. “Other witnesses that I had interviewed had also told me of the friendship between Epstein and Copperfield and how their private islands were located close enough for them to visit each other on occasion,” Edwards writes.
‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson visited Epstein’s Florida home
Johanna was lured into Epstein’s orbit, in part, by the famous people associated with Epstein. “For a young woman like Johanna, the fact that there were stars who were friends with Jeffrey and Ghislaine was an attractive bonus of the job. Even the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, had been enough of an Epstein acquaintance to pay him a visit in Palm Beach while Johanna was working there,” Edwards says.
Prince Andrew allegedly had sex with one victim, groped another
Epstein allegedly abused Johanna during the same time period he kept another victim, Virginia Roberts, as his sex slave. Because of this, Johanna could back up some of Roberts’ claims about Prince Andrew. Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre) said Epstein and Maxwell flew her to London to have sex with the royal—an accusation Epstein, Maxwell and Andrew denied. But Johanna recalled another episode with Prince Andrew, this time at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion. “She described that Virginia was sitting on one of Prince Andrew’s knees and Johanna was sitting on the other,” Edwards writes. “While the two girls were in his lap, Ghislaine took out a puppet figure of Prince Andrew and placed the puppet’s hand on Virginia’s breast, at which point Prince Andrew placed his hand on Johanna’s breast. Everyone laughed.”
Epstein and Maxwell asked young women to have their baby
Virginia Roberts said that when she was 19, the twisted couple announced they wanted her to carry Epstein’s baby and to sign a contract stating the child would be theirs legally, not hers. The surrogacy proposition came when they were in the Virgin Islands, after Roberts had been “involved in the Epstein sex cult for two years,” Edwards writes. In return for the baby, Roberts “would be taken care of for the rest of her life.”
“This was the final straw for Virginia,” Edwards continues. “She couldn’t bear the thought of Epstein and Maxwell raising her child. She knew that she needed to escape.” The attorney says he later heard from two other women, who didn’t know Roberts, who received the same proposal. Those women believed “that they were the only ones who were asked to do this,” Edwards writes.
Epstein called Harvey Weinstein a ‘pig’
French model scout Jean-Luc Brunel, who allegedly procured victims for Epstein, claimed Weinstein and Epstein were buddies—until the Hollywood producer visited the financier in Paris and tried to turn a massage by one of Epstein’s girls into something sexual. Edwards writes, “As the story goes, Harvey then verbally abused her for rejecting him. Little did Harvey know, this was one of Epstein’s favorite girls at the time and Jeffrey viewed the aggressive mistreatment as disrespectful to him.” Edwards adds that he “heard various versions of this story from others, including years later from Epstein himself, who referred to Harvey as a pig. Imagine that.”
Epstein’s bodyguard was sent to CIA headquarters
The former guard, a Russian mixed martial arts fighter, warned Edwards to be careful of Epstein, telling him, “You don’t know who you’re dealing with …. He knows everybody who’s powerful in this world.” When Epstein was still incarcerated in Palm Beach County, he sent the Russian to CIA headquarters in Virginia, the bodyguard claimed—where the man was the only private citizen in a class of 45 people with top secret clearance. He said he stayed one week. “I didn’t know why I was there, but he told me they would take care of me,” the ex-employee said, adding, “Everyone introduced themselves and the instructor saved me for last. He did not let me introduce myself. Instead, he just introduced me as what he called a ‘special operative.’”
At week’s end, the MMA fighter said, he received a book with a personalized note for Epstein. The ex-guard delivered the tome to Epstein’s cell without reading the message. He told Edwards that Epstein “goes out of his way not to share any real information. He spends most of his days doing what you know he does: hanging out with his girls. Getting massages. The rest is traveling with very specific missions; most don’t last very long. The girls he trusts come along.”
Alan Dershowitz’s TV spots backfired, resulting in lurid tips
In early 2015, the Harvard Law professor made the rounds on network TV news to attack the credibility of Virginia Roberts—who claimed in a court filing that Epstein forced her to have sex with the academic (which Dershowitz denies)—and also to attack Edwards, as her lawyer. “If causing a distraction was the goal, it ultimately backfired,” Edwards writes. “Dershowitz finally turned what had been a local story into national and even international news.”
Because Dershowitz went on national television, more witnesses contacted Edwards from New York, Paris, New Mexico and beyond. “As we were sifting through the calls about Epstein and his misdeeds, we were also now getting calls about Dershowitz himself,” Edwards says. “Most of them had nothing to do with any of the litigation that we were involved in, some were actually funny, some I wish I could forget.”
According to Edwards, a neighbor in Dershowitz’s Miami condominium building shared “how she would witness Dershowitz dress in a way to hide his identity while he walked the beach to look at topless girls sunbathing near their condo.” When the witness told Dershowitz’s wife this story, Edwards says, Dershowitz allegedly threatened the woman, prompting her to file a police report. “Other people telephoned to tell us how they had seen Dershowitz skinny-dipping on Martha’s Vineyard. One Vineyard resident recalled walking up to a volleyball game where Dershowitz was playing nude,” Edwards writes.
Mysterious ‘heavyweight politician’ received ‘erotic massages’
“Some people had information about not only Epstein or Dershowitz but also other powerful figures, and these callers were usually nervous,” Edwards writes. A former Harvard student based in New York called with information about her 2004 visit to Epstein’s private isle in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She said her friend brought her to the compound, and that there were underage girls present.
“She was very frightened to share the information, but ultimately revealed that she had been to Epstein’s island twice,” Edwards continues. “She wasn’t only scared of Epstein but also of his very powerful friends. She knew of at least one heavyweight politician who was close with Epstein who had received erotic massages from young females provided by Epstein.” The tipster, however, feared for her life and canceled a meeting with Edwards.
“While I have some educated guesses, I still don’t know who the politician was,” the lawyer concludes. “But over the years, we heard from numerous witnesses, including victims themselves, about various powerful friends of Epstein reaping the erotic massage benefits of that friendship, although it seemed most of those friends stayed clear of the girls who were underage.”