For a time, Epstein was markedly forthcoming about some of the allegations against him. In one communication with Palm Beach police in 2005, his attorney said, “Mr. Epstein is very passionate about massages. … The massages are therapeutic and spiritually sound for him; that is why he has had many massages.” He even donated $100,000 to Ballet Florida purely so that dancers could also have massages.
Despite the severity of the crimes he was accused of, Epstein avoided major consequences thanks to his wealth and connections.
He was able to hire a team, including private investigators, Dershowitz, and Starr, famous for his investigation of Bill Clinton. His investigators and lawyers worked to discredit or intimidate the women and girls who came forward, and the authorities working on the case, according to the Herald.
After the case was referred to the FBI, Epstein’s team mounted a “year-long assault” on federal prosecutors, investigating them and their families looking for “personal peccadilloes” that might disqualify them from the case, according to a 2011 public statement by Acosta.
None of this would have been possible without Epstein’s substantial fortune. But his relationships with other powerful people may also have played a key role. Epstein’s plea agreement refers to unspecified information he supplied to federal investigators, according to Brown. It’s not clear what that information was, but Brown notes that Epstein was a key federal witness in the prosecution of two executives with Bear Stearns, the investment brokerage that failed as part of the 2008 financial crisis. Epstein had at one time been an investor in a hedge fund managed by those executives. So it’s possible that his knowledge about other wealthy men helped keep him out of prison. (The executives were eventually acquitted.)
Ultimately, Brown reports, Acosta caved under the pressure. He and his team not only allowed Epstein to avoid a long prison sentence but also worked with Epstein’s lawyers to make sure the case was kept as quiet as possible.