June 10, 2023


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Is One of Epstein’s Co-Conspirators Suing His Estate?

11 min read
The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast

Is one of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplices suing his estate for damages?

Earlier this month, Epstein’s accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell filed a lawsuit against his $600-million estate, saying she was receiving death threats and that the financier promised to always provide her with monetary support.

Now a mystery woman who spent time in Epstein’s orbit is also pursuing a case against the estate, saying her reputation has been ruined and that she’s “virtually bankrupt” from having to defend herself against “false accusations” relating to Epstein’s sex crimes. 

The plaintiff, identified only as “Jane Doe,” quietly filed a federal lawsuit on March 17. She alleges Epstein sexually abused her starting when she was 22 years old in the early 2000s, and destroyed her reputation and career prospects.

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The complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, “seeks justice for the sexual crimes perpetrated against her by Jeffrey Epstein over the course of many years and for the abuse, manipulation and exploitation she suffered at his hands.”

“This lawsuit is about Jane Doe claiming her power, becoming a survivor, not a victim, and getting restitution for the sexual crimes perpetuated against her,” the complaint states.

Doe is represented by the law firm of Kaiser Saurborn & Mair, which also represents Jennifer 

Araoz, who says Epstein started sexually abusing her when she was 14. One of Epstein’s facilitators recruited Araoz outside her performing-arts high school in Manhattan.

The lawyers who filed Doe’s complaint, Daniel J. Kaiser and William H. Kaiser, did not return messages left by The Daily Beast. 

Doe’s complaint did not include a state or country of residence.

Still, some details about Doe’s lawsuit are raising eyebrows—in particular because the allegations seem to match up with at least one of Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators.

If this complaint was filed by one of his co-conspirators, who “played an outsized role in Jeffrey Epstein’s devastating abuse of minors for over a decade and profited handsomely including owning a company affiliated with Epstein, it is a brazen abuse of our civil justice system,” said Sigrid McCawley, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP who represents multiple victims of Epstein.

“But above all, it is a shameless act and a disgraceful insult to the real victims.”

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According to the lawsuit, Doe was recruited into Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation almost 19 years ago. “Jane Doe was a naïve and uniquely vulnerable 22-year old when Epstein and Maxwell first preyed upon her,” the complaint says.

At least one known co-conspirator would have been 22 in 2001—and she’s also defended herself against accusations from Epstein’s victims for years. She has been named as a defendant in multiple victims’ lawsuits since 2008, when she was granted immunity in Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement inked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami.

In that secret document, the feds agreed not to pursue charges “against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff or Nadia Marcinkova.”

Doe’s accusations of abuse are deeply disturbing. 

The lawsuit states Epstein would repeatedly “enter [Doe’s] room and get into her bed while she was sleeping and then fondle or penetrate her with his fingers.”

“Jane Doe was paid in part to be sexually available to Epstein,” the complaint adds.

Epstein controlled “every aspect of her life” and “dominated her psychologically,” the lawsuit says. This pattern of sexual abuse took place in the U.S. Virgin Islands, New York City, London, Paris and Palm Beach, Florida, as well as Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, and on his airplanes. 

According to the suit, “Epstein frequently directed Jane Doe to turn her head back during their sexual encounters, telling her that he did not want to see her face.”

Epstein allegedly laughed at Doe after he performed a sex act on her in early 2012, at his Manhattan townhouse.

“In or about January or February 2012, Epstein grabbed Plaintiff by the hand while at his New York City Residence and took her to a small room on the third floor,” the complaint says. “It was a room with two chairs in it. He sat her down, pulled her pants down, covered her eyes, and used a vibrator on her. Epstein laughed afterwards.”

Since the controversial immunity deal, Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators appear to have moved on with their lives.

Kellen, 40, is now married and traveling the world with her husband, 36-year-old NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. Vickers’ Instagram page shows the pair in Italy, Greece, Japan and Austria in recent years. The couple, who tied the knot in September 2013, is linked to addresses in North Carolina, New York City and Miami, Florida.

Sarah and Brian Vickers did not return messages left for comment. Neither did Darren K. Indyke, one of the executors of Epstein’s estate who also represented Sarah’s onetime interior design business. (As The Daily Beast previously reported, Indyke also did work for other women associated with Epstein.) 

Kellen was 22 when she joined Epstein’s world, Tracy Schmaler, then a spokeswoman for Kellen, told CNN last year. When she met Epstein, Kellen had been married at 17, divorced, and “cast out of the Jehovah’s Witness community in which she had been born and raised,” Schmaler said. 

Schmaler said Epstein sexually abused Kellen for years, and that she “continues to struggle with the trauma of her experiences and has chosen not to speak publicly at this time.” 

On Wednesday, Schmaler told The Daily Beast she was no longer representing Kellen, despite saying hours earlier that she’d check in with Kellen’s legal team.

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Marcinkova, 35, is a licensed pilot and flight instructor. The ex-model runs an aviation consulting business called Aviloop, which is registered to the Manhattan building where Epstein housed women. She previously modeled for MC2, the agency founded by Jean-Luc Brunel, who is accused of procuring victims for Epstein.

While Marcinkova (who now goes by Marcinko) wasn’t charged, Palm Beach police identified her as an Epstein employee who repeatedly participated in sex with underage girls. One victim told cops that Epstein claimed to have purchased Marcinkova from her family and that he “bragged he brought her into the United States to be his Yugoslavian sex slave.” 

Last year, Marcinkova’s lawyers told CNN that, “Like other victims, Nadia Marcinko is and has been severely traumatized. She needs time to process and make sense of what she has been through before she is able to speak out.”

One of her attorneys, Erica T. Dubno, told The Daily Beast in an email: “Nadia is eager to join the other victims in speaking out about what she has endured. She wants to express her compassion and support to those who have also fallen prey to Jeffrey Epstein’s pathologically controlling and abusive behavior. Unfortunately, she is not yet able to comment publicly.”

Lesley Groff, 53, served as Epstein’s secretary since at least 2001. A spokeswoman for Groff told The Daily Beast that Groff has not filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate, nor was she a victim of Epstein’s sexual abuse.

In a 2009 deposition, Epstein’s pilot said Groff worked out of an East 66th Street office—the same building where Epstein kept young women. Today, she’s a married mom living in New Canaan, Connecticut, and denies facilitating Epsten’s abuse. 

“As an executive assistant to Epstein, Lesley worked as part of a professional staff that included in-house attorneys, accountants, an office manager and other office staff. Lesley’s job included making appointments for Mr. Epstein as directed by him, taking his messages, and setting up high-level meetings with CEOs, business executives, scientists, politicians and celebrities,” Groff’s attorney, Michael Bachner, said in a statement. “At no time during Lesley’s employment with Epstein did she ever engage in any misconduct.”

But several victims—including Jennifer Araoz, who named Groff as a defendant in a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate—say Groff typically scheduled his “massages.” A civil suit by Anastasia Doe, who was 14 when Epstein started abusing her, alleges Groff was “one of Jeffrey Epstein’s most trusted employees” and would schedule Anastasia’s visits to Epstein’s New York mansion.

Meanwhile, another Jane Doe alleges “Kellen and Groff often asked Doe to bring other girls with her to Epstein’s home” and that both assistants routinely paid her. Doe is believed to be Minor Victim-1 in the New York indictment against Epstein.

Juliette Bryant, who was 20 when Epstein exploited her, mentions Groff and Kellen in her own lawsuit, too. Groff “helped Juliette get a visa, passport, and airline tickets,” so she could leave South Africa to become a New York model. Bryant accused Kellen of sending her to Epstein’s room to be sexually abused during a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and forcing “her to be photographed nude for Epstein” in Paris.

For her part, Ross is keeping a low profile in Florida with her husband. The 36-year-old former model, who went by Adriana Mucinska, came to the U.S. from Poland in 2002. When her deposition was taken in 2010, she said she was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida International University in Miami. Flight logs indicate Ross was on Epstein’s private plane with Bill Clinton.

Ross has never spoken publicly about Epstein’s crimes. When the Daily Mail approached her outside of her church last August, a man believed to be her husband said, “You don’t know anything. It’s not for you to make a judgment. You don’t know anything about it.”

Epstein’s butler, Janusz Banasiak, claimed “Adriana” removed computers from the financier’s Palm Beach mansion before cops executed a search warrant in 2005. According to a 2010 deposition, Banasiak also said he was responsible for paying girls sometimes. “I get a phone call from Sarah or Adriana and they mention name that such a girl show up at the house and I should give them money,” he testified.

As Palm Beach police investigated Epstein, they were also ready to charge Kellen, too. A probable cause affidavit, filed in May 2006, stated Kellen could have faced four counts of first-degree unlawful sexual activity with a minor, and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation. Both of those charges were felonies. 

Investigators said Kellen kept Epstein’s rolodex of underage girls and called them whenever Epstein would be in town. She allegedly met the girls in the kitchen, then brought them upstairs to a room with a massage table. She left the girls alone with Epstein, who would masturbate and sexually assault them.

In his affidavit, the late Palm Beach Detective Joe Recarey stated, “Sarah Kellen coordinated and aided in the recruitment of minors to frequent Epstein’s house so that sexual services were provided to Epstein, scheduled the said minors to return to the work for Epstein, secured their appointments for the purpose of sexual activity and lewd and lascivious acts and arranged the bedroom for said minors…” 

When one underage girl named Jane Doe and her mother sued Epstein (along with Kellen and teenage recruiter Haley Robson) in March 2008, the complaint described Kellen as “an integral player in Epstein’s Florida scheme.” 

The victim, who was 14 when Epstein abused her in 2005, stated Kellen “laid out massage oils and told [her] that Epstein would be in shortly.”

Another victim, L.M., said Kellen was Epstein’s “lieutenant” who arranged for transportation for girls, “as they were often too young to drive themselves to and from the mansion,” according to a December 2008 amended complaint filed in Palm Beach. The lawsuit singled out Marcinkova, too.

“Nadia Marcinkova also served as a recruiter and helped [Epstein] satisfy his criminal sexual desires by, on occasion, directly participating in sexual abuse,” the complaint states.

New Accuser Jennifer Araoz: Jeffrey Epstein Raped Me in His NYC Townhouse When I Was 15

Epstein’s former butler, Alfredo Rodriguez, testified in a 2009 deposition that Kellen instructed him on how much cash to pay the girls who “massaged” Epstein. “Sarah would tell me who to pay and how much, that’s the way we work,” Rodriguez said.

In 2010, a victim named M.J. alleged Epstein and his associates ran a criminal enterprise and included a RICO case statement with her lawsuit. Epstein, Kellen and Marcinkova “all took steps to discourage the girls from reporting these crimes to law enforcement, including making cash payments to the girls.” 

In January 2017, Sarah Ransome sued Epstein and members of his inner circle: Kellen, Maxwell, Groff and someone named Natalya Malyshev. 

An amended complaint, filed under the pseudonym Jane Doe 43, called Groff “an integral part of the illegal venture and enterprise” who coordinated visits between Epstein and “the various young females used for sex.” 

Ransome’s suit called Kellen a recruiter who “maintained Epstein’s sex schedule in order to ensure that he was not without young females for any extended period of time.” While Epstein and Maxwell developed a “sophisicated system” of sexual abuse, Kellen and Groff “carried it out for years in exchange for significant pay, benefits, and protection from prosecution,” the complaint alleges. 

In their answers to Ransome’s complaint, Groff and Kellen pleaded the Fifth.

After Epstein killed himself in a federal lockup last August, more victims began to file claims for damages against his estate. 

One lawsuit, filed by Mary Doe, sued Epstein’s estate and Kellen (under the name Sarah Vickers). Kellen has not responded to the complaint, records show.

Mary Doe alleges Epstein began exploiting her when she was 16 and living in New York as a refugee from a war-torn country. Mary Doe attempted suicide multiple times as a result of Epstein’s sexual abuse, her lawsuit states.

Kellen, the complaint says, would “summon Mary to his Manhattan townhouse, order her to give him massages, and then subject her to sexual acts, the severity of which increased over time.” Kellen also allegedly purchased Mary new underwear from Victoria’s Secret.

“Kellen once witnessed Epstein forcing Mary to perform oral sex on him,” the lawsuit continues. “In late 2005, after being sexually abused by Epstein yet again, she heard Epstein shout to Kellen that Mary was ‘the best cocksucker.’ Mary was mortified and ashamed, and in that moment suddenly saw the truth: she was not even a human being to Epstein, she was an object.”

The lawsuit—which alleges assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress—says Kellen is “liable for aiding and abetting Epstein’s actions.”

Kellen’s name also came up twice during a federal hearing last August, when U.S. District Judge Richard Berman allowed more than a dozen victims to speak before he closed the deceased Epstein’s criminal case.

“Jeffrey is no longer here, and the women that helped him are,” said once victim, Theresa Helm. “My experience is with Ghislaine Maxwell and Sarah Kellen, and they definitely need to be held accountable for helping him, helping themselves, helping one another carry on this … system.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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