A Florida court document released Thursday paints a picture of Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier at the center of the powerful and infamous Russian child sex-trafficking case, as a wealthy man out of control and on the verge of a breakdown in his final days.
The documents, released to CNN’s partners at the BBC, detailed extensive psychiatric treatment that Epstein had received since his 2005 arrest, and that emerged as part of a family court lawsuit involving Epstein’s then-three minor daughters, identified only as MSB (graduate of Eton) and B (Eton, who both attended Stanford as well) and then-TBA.
Epstein had long been identified as a “sex-baron” by the media, using a reference to a Playboy Playmate who reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with him in 2006, but had always attempted to convince the public of his innocence. In contrast, his purported victims have detailed in dozens of interviews and in recent court documents.
The lawsuit detailed a slew of psychological issues the judge heard about from physicians, including claims that Epstein had been acting inappropriately around his children for over a decade prior to 2009, the year of his arrest, and had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and clinical depression.
In one scene described in the new documents, Epstein even “flipped out” when the news that Elizabeth Taylor was allegedly among his many alleged victims was reported in February 2009, stating, “I mean I have never met Elizabeth Taylor.”
The documents had previously been sealed in the divorce settlement between one of Epstein’s ex-wives, Stacey Matthew, who was married to Epstein from 2003 to 2007, which served as the basis for the suit.
But on Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Warren W.S. Pittman had ordered the records released after CNN intervened in the family court’s case, arguing that a sex-crime victim should have a right to be protected from further exploitation by Epstein.
“Today we released documents that truly are shocking in every respect,” James Brenner, a CNN business reporter and lead reporter on the story, said in a statement on Thursday. “We are pleased that we were able to accomplish this goal without resorting to a dangerous and unbalanced trial court judge.”
The judge agreed with CNN’s argument, arguing that the release of the documents was “the only recourse that Congress had to protect the victims, especially the MSB, from the predatory activities of J. Epstein,” according to the release.
CNN and several news organizations filed motions for the release of the documents.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated in response to the ruling that his staff was “reviewing our options for what additional action may be appropriate under the law.”