A slew of high profile politicians, businessmen and royals have been named in the so-called Epstein documents, which began to be released last week, but a question mark remains about one prominent person who stayed unidentified.
Virginia Giuffre — the same woman who accused Prince Andrew — alleges in the fifth and final batch of papers she was forced to have sex with a “prominent American politician” while being trafficked by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his wife Ghislaine Maxwell.
But the identity of the politician remains a mystery as their name stayed redacted when documents from Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit against Maxwell were released on Tuesday.
The documents included Ms Giuffre’s deposition, in which she alleged she was raped by Bill Richardson, the former governor of the US state of New Mexico who passed away in September, and another politician when she was 17.
When asked whether there were any other “prominent American politicians” to whom she was sexually trafficked, Ms Giuffre responded with the two names — Richardson and the name that has been redacted.
Asked how many times she allegedly was raped by the unnamed official, she replied “twice that I can recall.”
Also in the deposition, which took place in 2015 but was partially unredacted on Tuesday, Ms Giuffre claimed to have received $15,000 to be trafficked to Prince Andrew.
She was asked: “Were you paid 10 to $15,000 by or on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein for having sex with Prince Andrew?”
Ms Giuffre responded: “Yes, I did receive $15,000. I don’t know what equivalent that is to pounds. I received it in American dollars.”
Andrew has strenuously denied any wrongdoing and claimed he never met Ms Giuffre.
In 2022, Andrew paid an undisclosed amount believed to be in the millions of pounds to settle a separate civil case with Ms Giuffre, who accused him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions.
Also in her deposition, Ms Giuffre described being trafficked to the south of France by Epstein and Maxwell to a world leader who was a “prince”.
She told the lawyers she did not know his name, but added: “He did speak foreign tongue, he spoke English as well, but I’m not too sure where he was from.”
Asked how she knew the man was royal, she said: “I was introduced to him as a prince.”
The names of several US politicians have already been revealed in the documents, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
Not all of the allegations aired in the files constitute criminal behaviour and many have not been tested in court.
Ms Giuffre claimed in the deposition she twice saw Mr Clinton on Epstein’s Caribbean island, as well as other guests including former US vice president Al Gore and model Heidi Klum.
Sarah Ransome, who has also accused Epstein of sexual abuse, alleged Mr Trump had sex with “many girls” including a friend she did not name.
Mr Trump branded the claims “simply false” after the documents were released, while Mr Clinton has previously said he was unaware of Epstein’s crimes.
Both Epstein and Maxwell convicted
In 2005, police began investigating claims Epstein had paid several girls to perform sexual acts with him.
Evidence included interviews with five alleged victims and seventeen witnesses under oath, as well as items found in Epstein’s trash and home which allegedly showed some of the girls were under 18, many were under 16 and the youngest was 14.
Epstein pleaded guilty and was convicted of just two of these crimes in a controversial plea deal. He served almost thirteen months in custody, with extensive work release.
Epstein was arrested again in July 2019 on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York.
He died in his jail cell the following month before the case could be resolved. His death was ruled a suicide.
Maxwell, Epstein’s long-term girlfriend and criminal associate, was found guilty of sex trafficking and other crimes in 2021.
She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Maxwell faces a second criminal trial for two charges of lying under oath about Epstein’s abuse of underage girls.