Jeffrey Epstein’s onetime suicide-watch “companion” says he has no doubt the perverted financier killed himself in a federal lockup in Manhattan.
The former fellow prisoner, Bill Mersey, told DailyMailTV that Epstein was terrified of life behind bars and inquired about enlisting a black inmate to protect him in jail.
“He didn’t strike me as suicidal but sometimes you could see it in his eyes, ‘Oh my God, I’m never getting out of here.’ He would kind of drift off and I would try to bring him back,” Mersey, who was released from prison last month, told the British tabloid.
And while Epstein didn’t discuss his high-profile confidants, like British heiress Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew, Mersey claims the 66-year-old coughed up bawdy anecdotes about President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton. (Maxwell and Prince Andrew have denied any involvement in Epstein’s abuse of minor girls.)
“He didn’t brag about his lifestyle, but Epstein knew everybody that matters, so I did ask him one time, ‘Jeffrey, give me one anecdote that’s emblematic of the essence of Donald Trump,’” Mersey claimed. “Epstein thought about it and then said, ‘Donald and I are flying in my private jet to Florida and I have a French girl with me. Donald says to me, why don’t we land in Atlantic City so I can show your friend my casino?’”
“[Epstein] said, ‘I’m not landing in Atlantic City, it’s all white trash down there.’ So the French girl goes, ‘What does white trash mean? I don’t understand.’ And Trump says, ‘It’s me without money,’” Mersey claimed.
Epstein then allegedly, unsolicited, divulged a story about Clinton. “[Epstein] said he was walking down the street in a Chinese city with him and a really beautiful Asian girl walked by. [Clinton] turned to him and said, ‘That woman makes my dick harder than Chinese arithmetic.’”
Mersey, 69, pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion for under reporting income from his escort advertising website “Dollar Bill’s Psycho Roundup.” As part of his plea, Mersey agreed to pay the feds $3.5 million, the New York Daily News reported in October 2016.
As part of the “inmate companion” program, Mersey spent more than two dozen hours alone with Epstein after the money manager was put on suicide watch, just weeks after his July 6 arrest for sex-trafficking of minors and conspiracy. Mersey was one prisoner tasked with observing Epstein for as little as 12 cents an hour.
Mersey claims Epstein didn’t appear to lose his mind like some inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is known for its allegedly deplorable conditions. Before he died by hanging in early August, Epstein “never complained” and “didn’t whine” about MCC, which is plagued by understaffing, rodents, roaches, and water leaks.
Epstein’s barren lodgings were a far cry from the luxury he enjoyed at his opulent residences in Paris, Manhattan, Palm Beach, and elsewhere.
Inside his suicide watch cell, Epstein had a filthy steel toilet, metal bunk with a mattress and blanket, and a rubber thimble with which he could brush his teeth. The lights in the unit are never turned off; Epstein would cover his eyes with a sock in order to sleep. “Epstein was mostly unshaven as there was next to no hot water in the suicide cells. It’s really threadbare,” Mersey said.
Epstein apparently bonded with Mersey, who would jot down his observations about the financier every 15 minutes. “We were a similar age, race, religion and background. I was the obvious guy to relate to Jeffrey Epstein,” Mersey said. “My first impression was that he was unassuming, regular. He didn’t seem super intelligent.”
Mersey claims he assured Epstein, “I don’t want anything, you don’t have to worry about me. I’m not going to extort you, I’m on your side.”
Epstein allegedly asked Mersey “a thousand and one questions” about his crime and escort services. Epstein “wanted to know how the business worked: were the girls really cute, did I partake? How much money did the owners make, how much money the girls make?” Mersey said. “He asked about the girls’ tips, if they had a place to live and security. We talked for a long time about that.”
The prison pals, however, didn’t discuss Epstein’s abuse of underage girls. Mersey said he didn’t ask questions about the notorious sex offender’s latest charges, though he said Epstein “seemed like a really oversexed individual.”
“I felt like my role was to entertain, to make life worth living. Not to ask him pointed questions about his crime and depress him,” Mersey said.
Epstein wasn’t fearful of prison because he was an accused molester and rapist, Mersey claimed; Instead, Epstein was terrified of being targeted over his wealth. “I think he was more afraid because he was a rich man. He was afraid for his physical safety, he thought he was going to get his ass kicked,” Mersey said.
Epstein met with his lawyer from noon to 8 p.m., Mersey claimed. The convicted tax fraudster said he took his suicide-watch shift from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. “because it was a good time to hang out with” Epstein.
“He was probably paying $10,000 a day to hang out with his lawyer for eight hours a day and I asked him if he was getting anything done. He said, ‘We just read document after document after document.’ I got the impression that he wanted to get into a routine and hoping that somehow his lawyer was going to get him out on bail,” Mersey added.
Mersey said Epstein’s behavior turned strange during his last “companion” shift.
“The last time I saw him, he was eating his dinner sitting on the floor, with his food between his legs. I asked him what he was doing and he said, ‘It’s easier this way.’ He had just kind of spiraled down to the floor. I thought that’s a long way down from a $77 million mansion to eating prison food sitting on a stone floor,” Mersey claimed.
The jailbird added of Epstein, “He also offered me money. He asked for my full name and [prison registration] number, so he could put some money on my books [commissary account].” Epstein never followed through on that plan, Mersey said.
During that final shift, Mersey also wrote Epstein a letter while he slept, advising him to “take it one day at a time, stay positive, we are all in the same boat.”
Before Epstein was removed from the suicide unit, he’d unsuccessfully lobbied for Mersey to be his cellmate. “A guy named Lopez, who was in the next suicide cell, told me that Epstein requested me as his bunky,” Mersey said.
Sometime after Epstein’s Aug. 10 suicide, a fellow inmate identified only as “Brown” in the Daily Mail report told Mersey he heard Epstein tearing up his sheets. “Brown said he definitely killed himself, nobody killed him. About six o’clock in the morning, the guards came through. They did not come through during [the] night,” Mersey said.
Mersey rejects conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s death—including that he was snuffed out by more powerful people in order to keep dirt about them secret. “There would have to be so many people in on the conspiracy it would be really difficult to orchestrate,” Mersey claimed.
“I am 99.999 percent that he committed suicide,” he added. “I wasn’t there to see it so I can’t be 100 percent, but I wouldn’t bet 2 cents against $1 million that somebody did him. He did himself.”