Some 40 of 250 previously sealed documents relating to the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein have been released by a US court.
After Judge Loretta Preska ruled they could be unsealed in December and no objections were made, the first set of court papers were published on 3 January.
They largely consist of legal arguments and interviews carried out for Virginia Guiffre’s 2015 civil lawsuit against Epstein’s former lover Ghislaine Maxwell, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for recruiting and grooming girls for him.
Ms Guiffre has been the most vocal of Epstein’s accusers and settled a sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew for a reported $12m (£9.5m) in 2022. The Duke of York, who stepped back from public life and was stripped of his titles over his association with Epstein, vehemently denies Ms Guiffre’s claims.
One of the files released this week is evidence from a woman called Johanna Sjoberg, another of Epstein’s alleged victims.
In it are references to celebrities, politicians, and philanthropists, many of which are not accused of wrongdoing but are believed to have known or associated with the late paedophile. Epstein was first arrested in 2005 and later found dead in his New York prison cell awaiting trial on further sex trafficking charges.
Here we look at some of the most well-known names in the newly released documents.
Ms Sjoberg is asked in evidence: “Did you ever meet anybody famous when you were with Jeffrey?”
She replies: “I met Michael Jackson”, adding that it was “at Jeffrey’s house in Palm Beach”.
But asked if she “massaged him” as she alleges she was forced to do with Epstein and others, she responds: “I did not.”
The former US president was pictured socialising with Epstein and Maxwell and the pair are thought to have been friends.
Asked in her evidence if she ever massaged him on Epstein or Maxwell’s request, she said no.
She later says that on one occasion she was on a plane with the pair and Virginia Giuffre, which was told it could not land as expected in New York. Instead, it was diverted to Atlantic City, where Mr Trump had a casino.
Ms Sjoberg says: “Jeffrey said ‘Great, we’ll call up Trump and we’ll go to – I don’t recall the name of the casino, but – we’ll go to the casino’.”
A spokesperson for Clinton said in 2019 that he “knows nothing of Epstein’s terrible crimes” and cut off all contact with him after he was first arrested in 2005.
Ms Sjoberg is asked: “Do you know if Bill Clinton was a friend of Jeffrey Epstein?”
She replies: “I did not know they were friends until I read the Vanity Fair article about them going to Africa together.”
Epstein flew many well-known philanthropists and politicians around the world in his private jet to visit various international development project sites.
Quizzed if Epstein “ever talked to her about Clinton”, she replies: “He said one time that Clinton likes them young, referring to girls.”
Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett and Bruce Willis
Ms Sjoberg is asked about a “press report that said you had met Cate Blanchett or Leonardo DiCaprio” in her evidence.
She says she didn’t meet either of them, but “when I was massaging him [Epstein], he would be on the phone a lot of the time, and one time he said ‘Oh that was Leonardo, or ‘That was Cate Blanchett, or Bruce Willis. That kind of thing”.
The interviewer clarifies: “So name-dropping?”, to which she responds: “Yes.”
Among the other Hollywood stars she is asked about is actor Cameron Diaz.
But like the others, when asked if she ever met her via Epstein, she says: “No.”
Ms Sjoberg’s evidence says Prince Andrew touched her breast while on a sofa at Epstein’s New York mansion in 2001 while he, Maxwell, and Ms Guiffre were there. The Duke of York and Buckingham Palace strongly deny this.
She says Maxwell took out a puppet – believed to be the one of the duke used for the BBC satire Spitting Image.
The evidence reads: “It looked like him. And she [Maxwell] brought it down and presented it to him; and that was a great joke, because apparently it was a production from a show on BBC.
“And they decided to take a picture with it, in which Virginia and Andrew sat on a couch.
“They put the puppet on Virginia’s lap, and I sat on Andrew’s lap, and they put the puppet’s hand on Virginia’s breast, and Andrew put his hand on my breast, and they took a photo.”
Ms Sjoberg claims that illusionist David Copperfield was a friend of Epstein’s and that she met him once.
“Someone called me from the house and said he would be there and if I wanted to come have dinner then I could meet him,” her evidence reads.
When she arrived, he wasn’t there, but a girl named Sarah Kellen was, along with another girl she didn’t know but “seemed young”.
She asked her what “school” she went to, but didn’t recognise the name of it, she says. Therefore she assumed “she could be younger than 25 college age”.
But she then agreed with the interviewer that “school” could have meant secondary school as opposed to university, meaning she could have been even younger.
Asked what Copperfield did during the dinner, she just says, “some magic tricks”.
Quizzed if Copperfield “ever discussed Jeffrey’s involvement with young girls with you”, she says: “He questioned me if I was aware that girls were getting paid to find other girls.”
But she adds that he didn’t go into further specifics.
Ms Sjoberg was asked if she had ever met the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak.
She said she hadn’t, adding that she had never met “any foreign president” or “Nobel Prize winner”.
She was also asked about the then Democratic governor of the US state of New Mexico.
She says: “I want to say he was supposed to come to dinner when we were in New Mexico. I don’t know if I met him.”
“I believe that he and Ghislaine had dinner separate from myself,” she adds.