LOS ANGELES—Monday morning, attorney Gloria Allred announced a new civil lawsuit, alleging that the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had targeted yet another victim, identified only as Jane Doe 15, by inviting her to his New Mexico ranch, where he sexually assaulted her when she was just 15 years old. The lawsuit, filed today in a New York district court against the two executors of Epstein’s estate, seeks compensatory and punitive damages according to proof at trial for battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Reporters gathered in a 15th-floor conference suite on Wilshire Boulevard, where Allred, wearing a bright pink blazer, sat beside Doe 15, a slim 31-year-old with cropped silver hair. Allred, perched on a yellow pages booster seat, introduced Doe 15, describing her involvement in earlier Epstein litigation. The alleged victim had delivered an impact statement at an August hearing in New York, following the billionaire’s death. Then, the attorney turned the mic to Doe 15, who began to describe how she first met one of Epstein’s assistants on a field trip to New York City in early 2004.
“I first came into contact with an assistant of Epstein’s while on a High School drama club field trip to New York City,” Doe 15 said. At the time, Doe 15 had been living in Northern Michigan with her mother, step-father, and grandfather, in hard financial circumstances. While on the field trip, Doe 15 had gotten permission from the school’s chaperones to spend time with her sister, an 18-year-old model, who already knew Epstein.
Through her sister, the complaint states, Doe 15 was invited to to Epstein’s town house on the Upper East Side. There, she met Epstein’s secretary, described in the complaint as “a woman approximately in her mid-twenties with light-brown hair.” At the house, the secretary took pictures of the young student, gave her an iPod, and intimated that Epstein would like to meet her. In photos of Doe 15 at the time, provided to reporters by Allred, she looks much like other Epstein victims: blonde, waifish, very young.
Not long afterwards, according to the complaint, the secretary reached out to Doe 15, saying that Epstein had liked her pictures and wanted to meet her. Epstein was very interested in helping girls, the secretary said, who had come from difficult circumstances. She invited Doe 15 and her sister to fly to Las Vegas, attend a magic show, and then visit Epstein’s sprawling ranch in New Mexico. In late January of 2004, both sisters flew to Vegas, where they saw the show, where Epstein was reportedly in the audience, and met the performer. Then, the sisters joined Epstein and several other young girls on a private plane, which Doe 15 would later learn was nicknamed the “Lolita Express” by the press. They flew to New Mexico.
While on the plane, according to the complaint, Doe 15 met Epstein for the first time. He gave her a tour, stopping first at the bedroom. He told her to get on the floor of the bedroom and asked her how it felt. She told him it felt soft. “Epstein explained that there was a Tempur-pedic mattress covering the entire floor of the plane’s bedroom,” the complaint states. Doe 15 recalled being confused. “Epstein explained to Jane Doe 15 that, when he slept on the bed, he liked to have women sleep at his feet.” Again, this seemed odd to her. Epstein’s description of women sleeping around him on the floor “made her immediately think of slaves.” At one point, the complaint states, Epstein asked Doe 15 how old she was. She said fifteen.
Later, when Doe 15 chose a seat on the plane, Epstein told her “that is where his ‘good friend Bill Clinton always sits.’” Recalling the exchange at the press conference, Doe 15 said the comment seemed calculated, “as if to reassure me of the elite normalcy of that type of behavior.” According to the complaint, she recognized one of the other passengers on the plane. It was a young model who had been on a magazine cover that month. Her presence reassured Doe 15. She thought, “If she’s here, it must be ok.”
The complaint described Epstein’s ranch as “like a park.” The girls could do anything they wanted—ride horses and ATVs, use the pool and the hot tub. “One of Epstein’s agents,” the complaint states, “a woman with red hair, told Jane Doe 15 that the water jets in the hot tub were positioned so that many girls could use them to masturbate at the same time.” Once while Doe 15 was swimming, Epstein walked up and ordered her to give him a hug. Because she had not brought a bathing suit, she was wearing her underwear. Epstein told her, “they needed to get her new underwear because it was not nice enough.”
Later, the red-haired woman asked Doe 15 about her sexual experience. Doe 15, “deeply embarrassed,” responded that she had none. The next day, according to the complaint, the red-haired woman called Doe 15 to the main house and announced she would give the girl a massage. She told Doe 15 to strip and lie on a table. Doe 15, noticing that there were cameras on the room’s ceiling, “felt deeply uncomfortable.” When the massage began, it was unusual. Namely, the red-haired woman didn’t use her hands, but her tongue, focused primarily on Doe 15’s genitalia. When the massage ended, the red-haired woman apologized. She could tell “Doe 15 had not enjoyed the contact.” Still, she said, Epstein “really wanted to give Jane Doe 15 an orgasm.”
The following day, Doe 15 was summoned again to the main house. This time, she was taken to an upstairs bedroom where Epstein lay on the bed in only a bathrobe. He ordered her to give him a massage, then opened his robe, exposing himself. Doe 15 froze. According to the complaint, Epstein then said they were going to “try something different.” He grabbed her by the shoulders, laid her on the floor, and began to assault her with a very large vibrator. After “what felt like an eternity,” Doe 15 realized Epstein expected her to react. She pretended to have an orgasm. He stopped, showed her to the window, and “told her that he wanted to show her how beautiful the world is.”
“I only knew Jeffrey Epstein for five days,” Doe 15 said at the conference, “during a trip to Zorro Ranch, his massive compound surrounded by government land in the New Mexico desert. Epstein took my sexual innocence in front of a wall of framed photographs of him shaking hands and smiling with celebrities and political leaders. I was only 15 years old. After, he wanted to talk with me about what had just been my first sexual experience and directed me to take time to myself that night to cry. He said that would be beneficial to my growth.”
The day after the assault, Epstein met with Doe 15 again. He brought her a box. Inside, was a new pair of underwear. He forced her to put them on and took photos of her. Doe 15 began to have trouble breathing. According to the complaint, Epstein noticed and “led her through breathing exercises.” Then, he asked her about her future plans. She said she wanted to go to college to study biochemistry.
“He said he wanted to give me money for college,” Doe 15 said at the press conference. “He asked me how much money I thought he should give me. At 15 years old, living in Northern Michigan with my mother, step-father, and grandfather, I had no idea how to respond to a billionaire who had just raped me. I was being asked to quantify in monetary terms what had been taken from me. When I agreed to $5,000, he smiled and wrote a check made out to the college I so desperately wanted to attend and that I was not sure my parents could afford.”
According to the complaint, Epstein also gave her several hundred dollars in cash. Soon after, Doe 15 left the ranch. At the press conference, Doe 15 described how, not long after her trip, the billionaire invited her to come to his private island. “I was told that Prince Andrew, among others, would be a guest,” Doe 15 said at the press conference.” She declined. She never saw Epstein again.
In Doe 15’s statement, she paid close attention to the class power dynamics that Epstein manipulated to coerce his victims. It wasn’t the billionaire’s physical force that had overpowered her, she said, so much as the symbolic weight his prestige and money had afforded him. “Epstein wielded great villainous power in his ability to make victims feel shame of their backgrounds to the point where we felt grateful for any attention or invitation into his inner billionaire playground, no matter the trauma it brought upon us,” she said. “It was the weight of Epstein’s wealth, the isolation to which he subjected me and his discussion of his social connections that crushed me into submission, far more than his physical strength.”
She told reporters not to feel sorry for her, but angry—angry at the extensive network of people who knew—powerful people who may not have played an active role in the billionaire’s sex trafficking ring, but enabled it by looking the other way. “Jeffrey Epstein was only a small part of an insidious system of privilege that exploits children as sexual commodities and robs them of their youth,” she said. “It was clear from the time I spent with Epstein that something was very wrong with his lifestyle and it didn’t take a victim to see that. We were not hidden. It is upsetting to me to think that anyone who was closely associated with Jeffrey Epstein might argue that they didn’t suspect he might have been sexually abusing children.”
At the end of her remarks, Doe 15 called on those witnesses to come forward. Allred has already urged Epstein associates like Prince Andrew to provide a willing testimony to law enforcement. Doe 15 echoed her attorney, bidding the Prince and anyone else to give a statement under oath on whatever knowledge they have. “All information pertaining to and around this case is important,” she said. “Just because Epstein is dead does not mean that others around him don’t deserve their day in court as well.”