This is the real life story of a woman and her clients that seems right out of Sherlock Holmes stories which has the potential to influence the course of the US Presidential elections.
In the early 1990’s, a powerful Wall Street billionaire financier named Jeffrey Epstein financed a blackmail-prostitution operation in Washington D.C.
As the Guardian reports,
With huge wealth came great influence, and Epstein built friendships with powerful figures in the establishment: celebrities, politicians, business moguls and royalty. His list of clients has never been publicly disclosed, although it is well known that one is the billionaire retail magnate Les Wexner, whose empire includes the Victoria’s Secret chain.Profiting from the 1980s boom, Epstein quickly amassed his own fortune. Often referred to as a billionaire, Epstein’s true net worth remains unknown – in part because much of his wealth is concealed, according to Forbes, in a financial entity in the US Virgin Islands, a tax shelter where he owns his own private island.
With huge wealth came great influence, and Epstein built friendships with powerful figures in the establishment: celebrities, politicians, business moguls and royalty. His list of clients has never been publicly disclosed, although it is well known that one is the billionaire retail magnate Les Wexner, whose empire includes the Victoria’s Secret chain.
He has been linked with Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Naomi Campbell, Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker and Manhattan-London society figure Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media titan Robert Maxwell. Many A-list celebrities broke off links with him after he was convicted of having sex with an underage girl.
Bill Clinton’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who served time in 2008 for his illegal sexual partners, included up multiple trips to the onetime billionaire’s private island in the Caribbean where underage girls were allegedly kept as sex slaves.
The woman who was kept in charge of the entire operation was Deborah Jeane Palfrey (dubbed the D.C. Madam by the news media). On May 1, 2008, Palfrey was found hanging in a storage shed outside her mother’s mobile home in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Police found handwritten suicide notes in the bedroom where she was staying, dated a week before her death. The autopsy and the final police investigation concluded her death was a suicide. However, there were some who were sceptical about her death being due to a suicide.
Just before her death she managed to document the entire list of her over 800 clients into a blackbook. Some of the clients on the list were identified in a recent court filing; 174 entities — but not individuals — whose phone lines were used to call Palfrey’s service, Pamela Martin & Associates, between 2000 and 2006, including those belonging to numerous federal agencies, foreign embassies and major companies.
For the past eight years, the D.C. Madams attorney, Montgomery Blair Sibley, has fought against the US Court’s sealing of this “black book”. He says he has phone records that could influence the outcome of the presidential election, and he’s threatening to release one or more names on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court if he’s denied a hearing on his right to distribute them.
The countdown clock is a safeguard, Sibley says, that ensures that if he disappears like others on this case the records will be published. The records are stored on four servers around the world, Sibley says, and dozens of reporters will receive a website link if the clock is not reset by him in 72 hours.
He said, four people he trusts have the records on CDs and would upload them if they don’t hear from him every 72 hours. One of his three ex-wives, two of his many ex-girlfriends and a close friend living abroad have the CDs.
A similar tactic was embraced by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2010 with release of an encrypted “insurance” file that could be unlocked with a password if the besieged transparency advocate chose to distribute it.
Although this entire story seems right out of Sherlock Holmes’ A Scandal in Belgravia, it remains to be seen what impact it has on the US Presidential race or if it goes the Holmes way with a ‘sweetheart deal’.
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