The Jeffrey Epstein scandal is way from over.
Yes, the disgraced billionaire allegedly took his personal life final 12 months whereas awaiting trial on quite a few counts of sexually abusing minors.
That corrosive legacy lives on within the faces of his victims, a few of whom communicate out within the Netflix docuseries “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich.” These ladies — hardened, indignant and looking forward to justice — forge the guts of the four-part sequence.
The saga reminds us of some uncomfortable truths about wealth and energy in our society, however it doesn’t push a lot past what we already know. The sequence repeatedly assaults former Trump labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, a key determine in slapping Epstein on the proverbial wrist.
It’s a drubbing he might richly deserve.
Other targets embody liberal authorized eagle Alan Dershowitz, former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter and longtime Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell. How she isn’t rotting in jail after the revelations right here is astounding.
Still, the documentary pulls some punches, from glossing over President Bill Clinton’s time on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” to the individuals above Acosta who could also be simply as responsible as he.
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The first two minutes of “Filthy Rich” are all you actually need to see. Epstein, with a calmness born from vanity, repeatedly pleads the Fifth throughout a 2010 deposition. An unseen interrogator asks, over and once more, if he ever solicited intercourse from minors in varied elements of the globe.
Sickening. Nauseating. And the worst half is apparent. He is aware of he’ll wiggle out of this entice, and he’s proper.
We then meet the ladies lured into Epstein’s internet. They all share comparable tales, “graduating” from Epstein’s $200-a-session masseuse to his sexual plaything. The ladies come throughout as affordable, credible. It helps that they share particulars of Epstein’s lair that match the bodily descriptions.
Plus, the Epstein methodology hardly ever modified, even when it concerned the ladies themselves inviting their faculty friends into his clutches.
The tone right here is somber, appropriately sufficient, with the type of slick manufacturing values worthy of a Netflix manufacturing. The victims’ crush of tales is, after some time, pointless. Still, they’re allowed to inform their story, and that’s vital.
Epstein’s highly effective buddies proves a secondary narrative, from Bill Clinton to Donald Trump. The sequence treads oh, so evenly on the Clinton connections whereas repeatedly displaying photographs of Epstein and Trump. Given the sorry state of liberal media bias, the lean right here is restrained however unmistakable.
We study little about Clinton’s Epstein ties till late within the sequence. Then, we re-learn how flight logs present Clinton flew with Epstein 26 occasions. More damning? An Epstein worker stationed on the billionaire’s distant island remembers seeing the previous president there.
Team Clinton shared a dramatically totally different model of his Epstein ties, together with a denial that the previous president each set foot on stated island.
In brief, they lied.
It’s the type of element a documentary ought to dig deeper into, however that doesn’t occur right here. Doesn’t the inventive group behind the sequence keep in mind Clinton’s appetites and the way a lot he risked to feed them over time?
The sequence does affirm sexual abuse allegations in opposition to Prince Andrew, even together with his prepare wreck interview on the topic final November.
We additionally meet an Epstein worker who says he noticed the Duke of York aggressively fondling an underage lady on the billionaire’s island.
Dershowitz, Epstein’s former lawyer, is accused by one among Epstein’s victims of assaulting her, too. He gives a full-throated denial of the fees. It’s a mesmerizing sequence, whether or not you imagine him or not.
Early within the sequence we meet a Vanity Fair journalist with an early scoop on Epstein’s predatory conduct. The story appears strong, if not gorgeous, with two sisters sharing how the financier repeatedly abused them. It’s sufficient to deliver anybody down, even a billionaire with infinite connections.
Carter, a serious pressure in journal journalism, spiked it for authorized causes. His rationalization echoes what journalists heard for years whereas attempting to report on movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Just ask Ronan Farrow.
It all smells like a canopy up, all the way down to the threats Carter obtained through the investigation, together with a cat’s head showing on his property. Carter later stated they didn’t affect his resolution to not writer journalist Vicky Ward’s story.
So what did?
“Filthy Rich” bounces forwards and backwards in time, utilizing a spinning calendar visible to floor every flip. That provides the sequence loads of methods to assault Acosta and tie him to Trump.
We’re additionally informed, oh so briefly, that the ridiculous plea deal Epstein secured needed to be accepted by the U.S. Attorney General on the time — circa 2008. Is that correct? What different key gamers have been a part of this course of? The docuseries lasts roughly 4 hours however leaves no time for these particulars.
Acosta could also be responsible as sin, however it’s clear he didn’t act alone.
More importantly, that slap on the wrist proved much more farcical than at face worth. Epstein freely left jail throughout his 13-month incarceration, and the documentary exhibits he flouted the parole guidelines as soon as he gained his freedom.
Money. Power. Influence. It’s gross and deserves to be spotlighted. For essentially the most half, “Filthy Rich” does a meticulous job of simply that.
The fourth and ultimate installment exhibits how the Epstein case overlapped with the budding MeToo motion. The filmmakers couldn’t predict that feminist revolution would crash and burn to save lots of Joe Biden’s presidential marketing campaign.
That’s a documentary for an additional day, though one Hollywood would by no means make.
Also unnoticed of “Filthy Rich” are the glitterati, from Katie Couric to George Stephanopolous, who partied with Epstein after he was formally registered as a intercourse offender. Still, the sequence wraps on a good looking observe, empowering Epstein’s victims to jot down their very own endings.
“Epstein didn’t act alone … there are such a lot of of them on the market. None of them have been held accountable,” one sufferer says of the late billionaire’s enablers and fellow abusers. “The monsters are nonetheless on the market, and so they’re nonetheless abusing different individuals. Why they haven’t been named and shamed but is past me.”
She’s proper. The full story of Jeffrey Epstein hasn’t been informed, and it could by no means occur. It’s chilling to see how Epstein’s energy, his sphere of affect, didn’t die with him.
“Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich” debuts on Netflix Nov. 27.
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