Little Saint James, U.S. Virgin Islands
A view of Little Saint James
|Area covered||0.28–0.32 km2 (0.11–0.12 sq mi)|
Little Saint James is a private island of the United States Virgin Islands, off the coast of St. Thomas, and belongs to the subdistrict East End, Saint Thomas. The 70–78 acres (28–32 ha) island was owned by American financier and convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein from 1998 until his 2019 death. During Epstein's ownership, the island acquired local nicknames such as "Island of Sin" and "Pedophile Island," as it was alleged to be a location where sexual abuse of underage girls occurred.
In 1997, Little St. James was owned by venture capitalist Arch Cummin and was for sale for $10.5 million. In April 1998, a company called L.S.J. LLC purchased the island for $7.95 million, and documents showed that Jeffrey Epstein was the sole member of L.S.J. In 2019, the island was valued at $63,874,223. The island was Epstein's primary residence and he called the island "Little St. Jeff". The main house on the island was renovated by Edward Tuttle, a designer of the Aman Resorts. In 2008, Epstein's estate on Little Saint James had 70 staff. According to a former staffer, Epstein insisted on secrecy from his employees.
In 1997, the island had a main house, three guest cottages, a caretaker's cottage, a private desalination system, a helipad and a dock. In addition, there is also a blue-striped boxlike building that initially was topped by a golden dome. The purpose of this construction is unclear, as it deviates in substantial ways from the plans for the music pavilion that had been submitted for approval in 2010 by Epstein's architects. The original building in the plans was of an octagonal footprint, rectangular in cross-section, and had two side-rooms extending from the outside walls - It was also much lower in perspective, and the dome extended from the octagon over onto the roofs of the side-buildings. The building that was eventually constructed was much taller, in the shape of a cube, and did not have any side-rooms. The dome was also well within the footprint of the cube, and the building did not have any of the proposed finishes applied to the walls, nor be constructed out of materials in those plans, namely stone.
According to a former employee, Victoria's Secret models were among the guests he saw there, and Les Wexner visited the island at least once. According to flight logs, Prince Andrew, Duke of York paid at least one visit aboard Epstein's private jet to the island, although former staff claimed he visited Little St. James several times.
In March 2006, before Epstein was charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, Stephen Hawking visited the island with a group of particle physicists, cosmologists and theorists, including three Nobel laureates and experts on gravity, dark matter and string theory. All had been invited to attend a conference funded by Epstein. A March 2006 photograph on Little St. James shows Hawking, David Gross and Lisa Randall at a barbecue during the conference. Other visitors have included Gerard 't Hooft, Frank Wilczek, Lawrence Krauss and Martin Nowak. Krauss said most of the conference took place on the neighbouring island of St. Thomas, but Epstein had thrown a party on Little St. James.
Bill Clinton is widely reported to have visited Little St. James. According to The Independent, Clinton flew on Epstein's private jet to Little St. James on multiple occasions between 2002 and 2005. According to Newsweek, Bill Clinton had been to Little St. James as part of Epstein's circle. Virginia Roberts, later known as Virginia Giuffre, claims in a lawsuit that while working at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort she was lured into a sex-trafficking ring run by Epstein and while traveling with Epstein she saw Clinton on the island. In a 2011 conversation with her lawyers, Roberts claimed Clinton traveled to Epstein's retreat on Little St. James in 2002. A Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service records of visits Clinton may have made to Little St. James produced no such evidence. According to Epstein's flight logs, Clinton never flew near the U.S. Virgin Islands. In July 2019, a Clinton spokesperson issued a statement saying Clinton never visited the island.
Alleged sexual abuse
According to The Independent, "Epstein's island developed a reputation for depravity, and it is alleged that underage girls were made to take part in orgies on Little St. James." It has acquired such nicknames as "Island of Sin," "Pedophile Island," and "Orgy Island".
According to attorneys for Epstein's alleged victims, Little St. James is where many of the worst crimes against minors were committed by Epstein and friends who traveled there with him. Court documents allege that the then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts was forced by Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions – in London, New York, and as part of an orgy on Little St. James. Buckingham Palace has denied this allegation. A lawyer for Epstein has described the allegations of orgies by Roberts as "old and discredited".
According to locals, Epstein continued to bring underage girls to the island in 2019, after he was registered as a sex offender, and authorities did nothing to stop him. In August 2019, following Epstein's death, FBI agents searched his residence on Little St. James.
- Ward, Vicky (June 27, 2011). "The Talented Mr. Epstein". Vanity Fair.
- "Jeffrey Epstein arrested on sex trafficking charges". miamiherald.
- Coaston, Jane (December 3, 2018). "Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender who is friends with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, explained". Vox.
- Jr, Landon Thomas (July 1, 2008). "Financier Starts Sentence in Prostitution Case" – via NYTimes.com.
- "Private Properties". Wall Street Journal. April 18, 1997.
- "Whispers, suspicion about Epstein on Caribbean island". July 11, 2019 – via Associated Press.
- Stieb, Matt (2019-07-10). "Everything We Know About Jeffrey Epstein's Private 'Pedophile Island'". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
- "The Mystery Surrounding Jeffrey Epstein's Private Island". www.bloomberg.com. 12 July 2019.
- Lisette Voytko (July 16, 2019). "Court Documents Confirm Jeffrey Epstein Is Nowhere Near A Billionaire". Forbes.
- Cartwright, Kate Briquelet|Lachlan (March 12, 2019). "Notorious Billionaire Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein Funded This 'Women's Empowerment' Advocate" – via www.thedailybeast.com.
- EST, Catherine Ostler On 01/29/15 at 9:52 AM (January 29, 2015). "Jeffrey Epstein: The Sex Offender Who Mixes With Princes and Premiers". Newsweek.
- "INSIDE THE TIMES: July 1, 2008". query.nytimes.com.
- Rich Schapiro (August 1, 2019). "Jeffrey Epstein's bizarre blue-striped building on private island raised alarm". NBC News. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
- "Stephen Hawking pictured on Jeffrey Epstein's 'Island of Sin'". The Daily Telegraph. January 12, 2015.
- Pavia, Will (January 9, 2015). "Stephen Hawking joined Jeffrey Epstein private island soiree". The Australian.
- "Pictured: Stephen Hawking on Jeffrey Epsteins "sex-slave island"". The Independent. January 13, 2015.
- "The Salacious Ammo Even Donald Trump Won't Use in a Fight Against Hillary Clinton – VICE News". News.vice.com. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
- "Prince Andrew sex allegations: Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein 'had 21". The Independent. January 6, 2015.
- "Jeffrey Epstein – the billionaire paedophile at the centre of the Prince Andrew sex claim". The Independent. January 2, 2015.
- Brown, Julie K.; Blaskey, Sarah (9 August 2019). "Huge cache of records details how Jeffrey Epstein and madam lured girls into depraved world". Miami Herald. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre, says she was 16 and working as a locker room attendant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort when she was approached by Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s associate, about becoming a masseuse for Epstein.
- Gerstein, Josh. "The one weird court case linking Trump, Clinton, and a billionaire pedophile". POLITICO.
- "Plenty Of Innuendo, But No Hard Evidence Of New Clinton Sex Scandal". BuzzFeed News.
- Sullivan, Kate (July 8, 2019). "Bill Clinton 'knows nothing' about Epstein's 'terrible crimes,' spokesman says". CNN.
- Espinoza, Galina (April 9, 2001). "A Lift Out of Life". People.
- Metcalf, Jonathan Levin, Greg Farrell, Tom. "Mystery surrounds Jeffrey Epstein's private island in the Caribbean". latimes.com. Retrieved 2019-07-13.
- Swaine, Jon (January 13, 2015). "Jeffrey Epstein's donations to young pupils prompts US Virgin Islands review" – via www.theguardian.com.
- ""The girls were just so young": The horrors of Jeffrey Epstein's private island". Vanity Fair. July 20, 2019.
- "FBI searches Jeffrey Epstein's home in Virgin Islands". CNBC. August 12, 2019.
- "FBI agents swarm Jeffrey Epstein's private Caribbean island". August 13, 2019 – via NBC News.