Over the past few days, kicking off on 1 January 2024, the internet has been privy to a series of unsealed court documents listing dozens of high-profile celebrities who, at one point, were in contact with the now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
However, just like the last season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, these documents are being released bit by bit. Last night, an additional 19 documents, totalling around 300 pages, were released to the public, quickly prompting yet another online frenzy.
Unfortunately, the amount of new information in both documents has been incredibly sparse. The crucial details that everyone was hoping for were notably absent: specifically more information about Epstein’s trafficking of teen girls and women, or a list of people who were directly involved in it.
Nevertheless, the papers provided some insight into his wide network, spanning from entertainment stars to politicians, scientists, fellow businessmen, and athletes.
Epstein’s connections in the sports industry included key players in the Formula One motorsport. According to GB Blog, Epstein has been associated with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, Italian businessman Flavio Briatore and Aston Martin chairman Lawrence Stroll. However, the sex criminal wasn’t just cosying up to people in the business lounge. He also had contact with famous F1 drivers, such as Jacques Villeneuve, who won the 1997 Formula One World Championship, and Eddie Irvine, who finished runner-up in the 1999 World Drivers’ Championship.
Formula E—the championship for electric cars—founder Alejandro Agag also seemed to be one of Epstein’s associates.
It should be stressed that whether any of these individuals were aware of Epstein’s behaviour, or participated in it, remains unknown.
Nevertheless, it seems like Epstein’s extensive connections might have been more smoke and mirrors than originally assumed. Here are some of his most shocking contacts explained:
The Hollywood A-lister and star of Charlie’s Angels was one of many celebrities mentioned in the court documents. However, in response to this reveal, a representative of Diaz told The Guardian: “Cameron never met Jeffrey Epstein, nor was she ever in the same place as him or had any association with him whatsoever, regardless of the fact he may or may not have mentioned her name or implied that he knew her.”
One of the world’s most famous actresses and climate activists is another celebrity named in the court filings, who does not actually have a direct link to the sex offender. According to The Independent, Blanchett and DiCaprio’s names were both mentioned in a witness statement citing a false press report claiming the witness had met them. Consequently, both of them denied having any contact with Epstein.
This is probably the strongest allegation within the unsealed documents. One of Epstein’s accusers claimed that the late physicist participated in an “underage orgy,” although Epstein himself denied this. In 2006, at the age of 76, Hawking was pictured visiting Epstein’s private Caribbean island, Little St James. During the same year, he and 20 other well-known scientists attended a conference on gravity on a neighbouring island, funded by Epstein.
According to the newly released files, Epstein wanted to deny allegations that Hawking took part in an underage orgy on the island, emailing Ghislaine Maxwell to ask her to help prove that the allegations were false. Hawking is not currently being accused of any wrongdoing.
Yep, the Star Wars filmmaker was also mentioned in the filings, once. When Johanna Sjoberg, one of Epstein’s most prominent accusers, was asked about meeting guests at his residence, Lucas’ name was mentioned. Nevertheless, Sjoberg clarified that she does not remember meeting him.
The British supermodel and entrepreneur was mentioned once in the documents that have been released so far. In the files, Sjoberg was asked if she remembered meeting her, to which she replied no.
What all of these celebrity names reveal is Epstein’s penchant for name-dropping and making his network seem more impressive than it was. When a lawyer asked Sjoberg if Epstein was “name-dropping,” she replied affirmatively.
Sjoberg went on to state: “I did not meet them, no. When I spoke about them, it was when I was massaging him [Epstein], and he would get off—he would be on the phone a lot at that time, and one time he said: ‘Oh, that was Leonardo,’ or, ‘That was Cate Blanchett or Bruce Willis.’ That kind of thing.”