Epstein’s island, frequented by celebrities, global elites, scientists, and royalty, welcomed guests arriving in private jets and boarding helicopters to reach the 75-acre paradise known as “Little St Jeff.”
Locals, however, labeled it “Paedophile Island.”
Amidst the luxury and controversy, questions arise about the reality of this US Virgin Islands haven, once owned by billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
So, what was Jeffrey Epstein doing on this island?
Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit unveiled Little St James as the epicenter of a global grooming scheme orchestrated by the late Jeffrey Epstein. Recruiters targeted vulnerable women, exploiting them with displays of wealth to abuse and coerce them into sexual exploitation. The US Virgin Islands Attorney General echoed these allegations, stating Epstein transported underage girls as young as 12 to the island between 2001 and 2019, forcing them into servitude and sexual acts.
Explained: What Happened on Jeffrey Epstein’s Island? What Did He Do There?
In a shocking lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, it was revealed that Little St James, a secluded island in the US Virgin Islands, was at the center of a disturbing worldwide grooming scheme orchestrated by the infamous financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The lawsuit alleged that Epstein’s recruiters targeted vulnerable young women, exploiting their hopes and fears, mesmerizing them with displays of wealth and power, and then subjecting them to sexual abuse and manipulation.
These victims were coerced into having sex with Epstein’s clients, all the while living in fear due to threats and blackmail.
One of the most high-profile accusations came from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed that Prince Andrew of England had sexually abused her on Little St James when she was just 17 years old.
Prince Andrew vehemently denied these allegations. However, the legal battle between Prince Andrew and Giuffre reached a settlement on February 15, effectively ending the protracted legal case in a New York court.
The Attorney General’s office in the US Virgin Islands echoed Giuffre’s claims, stating that between 2001 and 2019, Epstein and his associates transported underage girls and young women to his private island.
These victims were then taken to Little St James via helicopter or private vessel, where they were subjected to sexual servitude, forced into sexual acts, and coerced into commercial sexual activity and forced labor.
The allegations against Epstein extended beyond sexual exploitation.
The Attorney General’s office contended that Epstein had formed associations with various individuals and companies willing to participate in, facilitate, and conceal his criminal activities.
These individuals and entities were allegedly motivated by financial benefits, including sexual services and forced labor provided by the victims.
Little St James served as a pivotal location in this global network of abuse.
According to Giuffre’s complaint, it was just one stop in a sinister chain of private flights that transported sex trafficking victims to various destinations, including Paris, Atlantic City, Tangier, London, Granada, Palm Beach, St. Louis, and beyond.
Shockingly, some of these victims were reported to be as young as 12 years old.
The lawsuit also painted Little St James as a prison for Epstein’s victims, where he maintained control over all communication with the outside world.
Attempting to escape was nearly impossible, as Epstein’s vast resources and ownership of the entire island made it extremely difficult for victims to seek help or escape unnoticed.
One chilling account even mentioned a 15-year-old who tried to swim away, only to be captured by Epstein’s search party and have her passport confiscated.
What Are Jeffrey Epstein’s Little St James and Great St James Islands?
Little St James, situated in the US Virgin Islands, is a picturesque island surrounded by coral reefs in crystal-clear waters. It lies near the southeastern tip of St Thomas, one of the three main islands in the Caribbean archipelago.
The US Virgin Islands have gained a reputation as a tax haven, offering substantial tax benefits for both corporations and individuals.
Epstein’s association with the US Virgin Islands began in 2010 when he registered as a sex offender following his first conviction for child prostitution in 2008.
Epstein acquired Little St James in 1998 from venture capitalist Arch Cummin for just under $8 million.
In 2016, Epstein expanded his holdings by purchasing Great St James, an island about twice the size of Little St James, purportedly on behalf of a Dubai businessman named Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
Before his 2008 conviction, Epstein frequented Little St James twice or thrice a month, often staying for several days.
The island employed approximately 70 staff members, responsible for various roles from groundskeeping to laundry services to boat captains.
These employees were bound by strict confidentiality agreements, preventing them from discussing their work or entering Epstein’s offices.
Epstein was also known for his fascination with “pirate treasure,” offering financial rewards to staff for locating old rum bottles and crockery on the island.
Who Is Linked in the Jeffrey Epstein Case?
Among the notable individuals linked to Epstein and reportedly hosted on Little St James were Nobel laureate Lawrence Krauss, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Chris Tucker, Victoria’s Secret magnate Les Wexner, and physicist Stephen Hawking.
The names of former Tony Blair aide Lord Peter Mandelson, Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom, and model Naomi Campbell have also come up. Bill Clinton faced allegations of being a guest on the island, which he vehemently denied.
Donald Trump reportedly flew on Epstein’s private jets, although it remains unclear if he visited the island. Magician David Copperfield was rumored to have proposed to supermodel Claudia Schiffer there.
Epstein’s guests were afforded a discreet arrival process on Little St James. They would disembark from one of Epstein’s Gulfstream jets at Cyril E King Airport on St Thomas, utilizing a private area separate from the main runway.
From there, they were shuttled to Little St James via Epstein’s fleet of black helicopters.
In a significant turn of events, US District Judge Loretta Preska ruled in December 2023 that there was no legal justification to continue redacting the names in court documents filed as “John and Jane Does.”
This decision paved the way for a significant revelation in January 2024, when up to 200 associates of Epstein are expected to have their identities unmasked.
What Happens to the Island Now?
Investor Stephen Deckoff announced his intention on May 3, 2023, to purchase both islands for $60 million. Deckoff envisioned transforming the properties into a luxury resort with 25 rooms, aiming for completion by the end of 2025.
This purchase price represented less than half the initial $125 million asking price attached to the islands.
In the interim, Little St James had become a curious attraction for morbid tourists, urban explorers, and social media influencers seeking to access the island and document their visits.
Travelers frequently inquired about it, and some local boat operators even incorporated visits to the island into their tours.
However, locals hope the island can be renovated into something that changes people’s morbid perception of it.
What do you think of this sprawling yet mind-boggling case? Which of the conspiracy theories regarding the Epstein island do you believe?
Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.