'It's outrageous': Inside an infuriating series on Epstein

How perversely twisted is the American justice system that a Gatsby-esque billionaire, friends with such powerful figures as Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Donald Trump, alongstanding donor to Harvard and MIT, could buy his way out of an almost certain life sentence for child sex abuse and trafficking? “There was just so much more to be said that will never be said.” Video: Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich - official trailer (Newsweek) There is, however, much to be learned from the sordid, winding, thwarted path to Epstein’s eventual arrest on sex trafficking charges in July 2019. Filthy Rich doesn’t so much break new ground as synthesize the abundance of information with the visceral impact of first-person testimony on Epstein’s crimes – stories of predation, self-doubt and shame by numerous survivorsbetrayed by the justice system supposed to protect them. Epstein’s decades-long legal saga is “the biggest example I’ve ever seen of somebody using their money and influence tothwartreporting on the subject and to work out an outrageous deal,” Joe Berlinger, an executive producer, told the Guardian. “The level of incompetence and back-door dealing that allowed him to get off – no one on thisproduction thought he would ever be arrested during the making of the show,” said Berlinger, who first began work on an Epstein project in spring 2018, after he received a copy ofmysterynovelist James Patterson’s 2016 true crime book on the reclusive billionaire (and neighbor in Palm Beach). Given witness testimony in the series by a former Epstein employee who alleges he saw the prince engaged in poolside “foreplay” with a topless Giuffre on Epstein’s island, Andrew’s defense and lack of cooperation with prosecutors reads even more shabbily here. The show stokes justifiable outrage through each survivor’s account, retracing how the Palm Beach police department’s investigation bumped up to the FBI, and was then derailed by a “non- prosecution agreement” the Herald called “the deal of a lifetime.” Signed in 2008, the deal – brokered by state attorney and later Trump labor secretary Alex Acosta and Epstein’s all- starteam of lawyers, including OJ Simpson defender Alan Dershowitz (the only Epstein acolyte to attempt a defense in the series) – was controversially sealed and kept private from theaccusers.It offered Epstein and named and unnamed co-conspirators immunity from federal criminal charges; instead, he plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court, and served11of 13months in Palm Beach jail, out six days a week on “work release”.