This was recorded May 3, 2016; it runs to 89 pages. (The page numbers alluded to below are the original document numbers, not the page numbers of the PDF file).
Before reading any further, bear in mind this is a woman who claims to have been a sex slave and to have been trafficked for sex to numerous powerful men.
Sex trafficking is the new narrative of the anti-prostitution industry; it is used because it sounds sinister to claim a woman is trafficked whereas to say she is a prostitute sounds sordid by giving her agency for her own actions.
It is a regular trick of those actively opposing prostitution to conflate sex trafficking with child sex trafficking. In her deposition at page 90, the former Virginia Roberts admits she was 16 when she met Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, having previously claimed she was only 15. She tries to claim this was a mistake, but that claim isn’t tenable because at the time she was working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, and she would not have been so employed had she been under 16.
At that time, the age of consent in Florida was as it is today, 18, so technically Epstein was breaking the law by having any kind of sexual contact with her. She says she spent her seventeenth birthday with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell on Epstein’s private island in the United States Virgin Islands. She was given some make-up, a bracelet, and, she thought, some ear rings.
She celebrated her eighteenth birthday early and (page 92) “he surprised me with tickets to Thailand”.
He was in fact sending her to an institute for a massage course.
What does a slave do? Virginia Roberts went scuba diving with her master and mistress.
Much has been made of her having sex or not with Prince Andrew in London; after that when she returned to Florida, she bought her first car.
She was taken to France three times, the first time “we stayed at a really fancy hotel” in Paris. Just like a slave would. Not.
At page 165, she claims she was molested as a child. She said she told her parents, but the police were not informed. So there is no paper trail, and only her word this abuse actually happened.
At page 186, she says Epstein rented an apartment for her at Fort Lauderdale.
She claims to have had sex with a number of wealthy men, who are named. She did so because she was directed to by Epstein and Maxwell, as usual she has no agency for her sordid acts.
On pages 242-3 she makes another, somewhat odd admission. In Palm Beach, she was accused of theft and would probably have been charged had Epstein not intervened. It is clear from this affair that she wasn’t under Epstein’s thumb in any way, and was living independent of him.
From page 249, she is questioned about writing and attempting to sell her book, but no publisher would touch it. This was after she’d received a six figure sum from The Mail On Sunday.
Asked about the journalist Sharon Churcher with whom she had co-operated, she is clearly unhappy. Here and elsewhere she says Churcher embellished what she said about Donald Trump.
It goes without saying that Sharon Churcher wasn’t the only embellisher here; at page 272, she alludes to forty victims of Epstein, but it is clear this figure wasn’t from her personal knowledge. It may be there were more than that, but it is clear that her knowledge of Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell was limited primarily to her service of the former, and that whatever her employers did to other girls, she lived a very privileged life with them.
Interestingly, while admitting she had suffered no physical consequences for publishing her allegations against Epstein and Maxwell, and while apparently receiving no threats of physical harm (except perhaps from the usual Internet trolls), she claims her mental well-being has suffered by being branded a liar. In fact, this caused her so much distress that she consulted a doctor in the United States and another in Australia.
At page 333, we see a rare admission of agency; asked “Before you met Jeffrey Epstein, had you used any drugs?”
She said although she had never abused alcohol she had smoked marijuana, as well as taking ecstasy and snorting cocaine.
She mentions the charity she started, Victims Refuse Silence. It is clear from this deposition that in her case, charity begins at home.
Two things she doesn’t mention herein are actual rape or her role – admitted elsewhere – of facilitating Epstein. The word rape doesn’t appear anywhere in the transcript. Nor should it, because she wasn’t raped, by Epstein or by anyone else.
One question that hasn’t been asked much less answered is who has been financing her all this time? True, she did receive a hefty payment from a major newspaper, but lawyers’ fees at four or five hundred dollars an hour would have eaten most of that away by now.
The one thing that can be said is that however strong the case against Ghislaine Maxwell, this deposition contributes nothing to it, indeed it might in some sense be called exculpatory. Although slavery was abolished in the United States long before anyone reading this article was born, there are still plenty of descendants of slaves in the Deep South who have their own family stories to tell. One wonders how many of these family stories include staying at first class hotels in Paris or anywhere, swigging champagne in an exclusive nightclub, or partying with a prince.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.