Yesterday a judge in Manhattan held a hearing to allow Jeffrey Epstein’s victims to vent their feelings in light of the fact that Epstein escaped justice by killing himself in prison. Buzzfeed published a list of quotes from some of the victims, many of whom spoke only as Jane Doe. Here’s a small sample:

  • “Something I think is very important to communicate is that loss of innocence, trust, and joy that is not recoverable. The abuse, spanning several years, was devaluing beyond measure and affected my ability to form and maintain healthy relationships, both in my work and my personal life. He could not begin to fathom what he took from us.”
  • “I used to be relatively carefree, inquisitive, hopeful, and excited about life, but my life changed because of Jeffrey Epstein. My perspective on life became very dark when I was unknowingly recruited by one of his agents. Jeffrey Epstein ruined me.”
  • “When I was 15 years old, I flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane to Zorro Ranch, where I was sexual molested by him for many hours. What I remember most vividly was him explaining to me how beneficial the experience was for me and how much he was helping me to grow.”
  • “I had never even kissed a boy before I met him, and never throughout the horrific abuse did Jeffrey Epstein kiss me even once. When he stole my virginity, he washed my entire body compulsively in the shower and then told me, ‘If you’re not a virgin, I will kill you.’ And then I wasn’t a virgin anymore.”

One of the women who spoke yesterday was Virginia Roberts, who claims she was recruited as Epstein’s sex-slave when she was a teenager. Outside the courthouse, Roberts renewed her claim that Epstein had loaned her out to other powerful men including Prince Andrew:

Giuffre, asked by reporters Tuesday to comment on the statement, said: “He knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it.”

David Boies, a lawyer for Epstein’s accusers, added: “Anybody can deny things in a printed statement. It’s a different thing to come here and answer questions under oath and subject to cross-examinations. Those are the kinds of answers that we are eventually going to get.”

Last Sunday, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying Prince Andrew was “appalled” by Epstein’s crimes. I wrote about why that’s not true here. Over the weekend, Andrew released a personal statement:

“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction,” the duke said.

“I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release [from prison] in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.”

Another person Roberts claims she had sex with at Epstein’s behest is attorney Alan Dershowitz. He has adamantly denied that for years. This week he denied it once again at a conservative conference, calling himself a victim of the MeToo movement:

One final point about Prince Andrew. Today the Daily Mail reports that Andrew’s legal team is suggesting the photo of Andrew with his arm around Virginia Roberts (above) is not reliable:

The Duke of York’s legal team are said to have asked to be shown the original image saying the royal has ‘absolutely no recollection’ of it ever being taken.

Sources close to Andrew today said there are questions over the veracity of the photo, amid claims the hand round his accuser’s waist does ‘not look right.’…

A source said: ‘Look at his fingers in the photo. The duke has quite chubby fingers, they don’t look right and nor does the height of the duke and the girl.

I think the Prince’s legal team has learned something from the Governor of Virginia’s reaction to the blackface photo found in his yearbook. If you simply deny the photo is accurate, even belatedly, some people will believe you.