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The new Epstein series doesn’t nail VIPs, but does it matter if his victims were abused by presidents & princes, or just by men?

Jason O’Toole
Jason O’Toole

Jason O’Toole is an author of several best-selling books who has worked as a senior feature writer for the Irish Daily Mail, a columnist with the Irish Sunday Mirror and senior editor of Hot Press magazine.

Jason O’Toole is an author of several best-selling books who has worked as a senior feature writer for the Irish Daily Mail, a columnist with the Irish Sunday Mirror and senior editor of Hot Press magazine.

The new Epstein series doesn’t nail VIPs, but does it matter if his victims were abused by presidents & princes, or just by men?
There are some fresh allegations against famous people in ‘Filthy Rich’, Netflix’s new documentary about Jeffrey Epstein, but no smoking gun. What’s scary is the sordid scale of the disgraced billionaire’s paedophile ring...

It’s easy to imagine Bill Clinton having heaved a great sigh of relief when he woke up on Thursday morning to see the newspapers hadn’t gleaned any fresh information about his awkward friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein from the new Netflix documentary that landed on Wednesday.

The former US president might have had his fair share of sex scandals – all with consenting adults, it must be stressed for legal reasons – but this documentary doesn’t shed any light on what, if anything, he got up to with the disgraced billionaire socialite, who was found hanging in his prison cell last year. Nor does it prove conclusively whether Clinton visited Epstein’s Caribbean island, where the financier is said to have held sex parties that included underage girls.

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But, as the saying goes, dead men tell no tales, which means the crazy idea that the Clintons somehow had Epstein murdered in his prison cell because he had ‘the goods’ on Bill is one far-fetched conspiracy theory that’s not going to go away in a hurry.

Even before this documentary, we knew that Clinton once flew on Epstein’s private jet – or to fuel things even further, as President Trump once said to reporters, “I know he was on his plane 27 times… the question you have to ask is, did Bill go to the island? I was never there…”

But even if Clinton was there, I just won’t buy into him sleeping with minors, seeing as his main kink seemed to be married women – or, if he was really ‘lucky’, getting pleasured under the Oval Office desk by a twenty-something intern.

I also don’t believe that Trump or any of his ilk visited the island, because if ever there was a time for witnesses to come forward and spill the beans it would’ve been now, in this exhaustively researched series. No doubt we’ll one day discover more of the names that were on Epstein’s island, but it’s hard to imagine there being any more big fish to fry than, say, Prince Andrew, who comes across like a creepy pervert in the documentary.

Also on rt.com Video from outside cell during Epstein’s first ‘suicide attempt' deleted – after being lost & found

It was also creepy to watch the video footage included in the programme of the current commander-in-chief being so chummy with Epstein as they bantered about women. It's a pretty gross sight to see a wide-grinned younger Trump in action, pointing out beautiful young women dancing in front of them in a scene early on in the four-part series. It would’ve been sensational stuff if the clip from 1992 was new material, but sadly it’s all old hat that was gleefully first aired by NBC News in 2019.

But while there’s no new ammunition, nor any new smoking gun, about whether or not any former US presidents or A-Listers had sex with minors, it shouldn’t deflect from the fact that these vulnerable young girls were ruthlessly exploited and treated like pieces of meat by Epstein and some of his “filthy rich” partners in crime.

In fairness, ‘Filthy Rich’ is a very well-intended documentary that depicts an accurate and terrifying portrait of a sex monster. It shows Epstein to have such an evil mind that he comes across as being similar in many traits, though less likeable, to Ted Bundy, the serial killer whose own Netflix documentary was probably much better viewing. And that’s mainly because there’s no real ‘gotcha’ moment in ‘Filthy Rich’.

The title is an apt one, too. The shocking accounts of how the FBI initially didn’t rigorously pursue allegations (which the documentary should’ve have pushed more), or the retelling of the old story of how Vanity Fair buried their planned expose on Epstein, will leave viewers feeling both angry and frightened with how the ‘filthy rich’ really are above the law (most of the time). And you’ll be left with these strong mixed emotions even before we get to the chilling stories of how some victims were menacingly threatened, and even some police were stalked, by a ruthless Epstein trying to stop the truth from getting out.

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The best parts of the series are obviously the very poignant interviews with those victims who bravely went on camera to tell their stories, but it also really comes alive when it looks into Epstein’s own background, in an effort to find out what made him tick and how far he was willing to go in order to save face.

The Epstein saga is “the biggest example I’ve ever seen of somebody using their money and influence to thwart reporting on the subject and to work out an outrageous deal,” said Joe Berlinger, an executive producer on the series.

A fascinating part of the documentary is the retelling from some of the victims’ perspectives – including one naive teenager who received 200 bucks every time she brought a friend to the billionaire’s Florida mansion – of how Epstein had a “sexual abuse molestation pyramid scheme” with Ghislaine Maxwell, who allegedly helped him groom the girls. Maxwell continues to strenuously deny the accusations.

So the only real question left to answer is: why haven’t the Feds yet discovered any other high-profile sexual predators linked to Epstein? Without trying to sound too conspiratorial here, is it a case of the other ‘Filthy Rich’ being protected by power and wealth?

Clinton’s reputation might (arguably) have escaped mostly unscathed here, but he will no doubt be back in the media firing line next month with the publication of a new book which claims that he too had an affair with Ghislaine Maxwell, who comes across as a very damaged woman who was probably brainwashed by Epstein.

Also on rt.com Bill Clinton hung out with Epstein because of affair with late financier’s madame Maxwell, new book alleges

It’s hard to find any other explanation for her bizarre behaviour as his enabler, who allegedly helped groom and also abuse the unfortunate young victims herself.

Saying that, Ghislaine was probably damaged goods before she even met Epstein. It strikes me as an eerily major coincidence that she just happens to be the daughter of the disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell who, ironically, also died in suspicious circumstances, just like her repulsive lover.

It’s all entertaining viewing – for lack of a better word. But nobody familiar with the story will learn anything new, because the documentary ends up asking more questions than it answers. Such as why the hell did L Brands’ billionaire owner Les Wexner never press charges against Epstein when he stole at least $46 million from him? That’s just one thing that they never get to the bottom of – pun intended, seeing as Wexner is the proprietor of Victoria’s Secret.

No doubt more names will creep out of the woodwork in time – but my only surprise from watching ‘Filthy Rich’ is that the sinister Epstein hasn’t been linked with any unsolved murders…. yet.

Perhaps Donald Trump might rectify that one for us by spouting off some more conspiracy theories about Epstein, in an effort to deflect attention from himself, the next time some reporter fires questions at him about his old ‘Filthy Rich’ friend.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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