Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, Lifetime’s four-part documentary series about the disgraced financier and the recorded sex offender, premieres Sunday night with two episodes.
The series, similar to that of Netflix Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich published in May of this year, takes an in-depth look at the sexual abuse and trafficking accusations that Epstein faced before his death in 2019.
It draws on the testimonies of eight different women who say they were abused by Epstein, as well as experts and former members of his inner circles and Ghislaine Maxwell. In addition to personal stories, Survive Jeffrey Epstein paints a damning picture of how the disgraced financier allegedly treated his victims.
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The team behind the program said they updated it shortly after Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in July on charges of conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse minors. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges and her attorneys have argued that she was made a scapegoat after Epstein’s death.
Two more episodes air Monday, August 10 on Lifetime, including one that takes a closer look at the allegations against Maxwell.
Here are the most surprising elements aired in the first two episodes of Survive Jeffrey Epstein:
The birthday song
Journalist Christopher Mason, a former acquaintance of Maxwell, claims in the documentary that she has already retained her to write a birthday tribute to Epstein to mark her 40th birthday.
“I barely knew him, but Ghislaine was very precise on certain phrases and information that had to appear in the song,” he says in the first episode of the series.
He describes the anniversary reunion as “six guys wearing black ties” – far from the “big party” he expected.
« [Maxwell] asked me to knock on the door at the appointed time, to come in, to sit on the floor and to perform this song, ”he adds.
Mason then reads the song aloud, starting with a fairly innocent joke about Epstein being 40 years old and having gray hair. The tone, however, changes as he continues: “He looks older but it’s clear in his smile, the older he gets the more youthful he is.” Ghislaine lavishes her affections on him, she claims he has 24-hour erections.
The lyrics, according to Mason’s account, later refer to Epstein’s past as a math teacher at Dalton’s high-end school and continue: “The villain blushes at the thought of schoolgirls and all their banging. heart.”
Between reading the lyrics, Mason said to himself: “My God, that seems so scary, I’m afraid. ”
How Ghislaine Maxwell would have given Epstein a “veneer of respectability”
Maxwell’s alleged role in helping Epstein find victims is explored in the first part of the documentary. The fourth and final episode, which aired Monday, August 10, was remade after his arrest to focus more on the subject.
“Epstein’s victims explained that they didn’t know who this guy was, but since Ghislaine seemed so decent it must surely be legitimate,” said reporter Daniel Bates.
“His chic upbringing, his accent gave this veneer of respectability. Coming from a woman, I think it was incredibly manipulative and I think it was absolutely essential in Epstein’s surgery.
Epstein’s “sociopathic” behavior
Dr Barbara Ziv, psychiatrist and key expert witness to the Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby trials, provides her insight into Epstein’s psyche and modus operandi in the documentary.
“He was manipulating vulnerable individuals and alone. The girls he knew there would be no adults in their lives who would defend them, ”she says. “And I think that’s part of Jeffrey Epstein’s deviance.”
Ziv later adds: “His behavior was really sociopathic: manipulative, superficial charm, lack of anxiety and above all lack of empathy.
“He made the choice to act on these sexual urges as he did. And he made the choice to exploit vulnerable individuals.
This time, Epstein was the “Bachelor of the Month”
Survive Jeffrey Epstein also explores the ways Epstein developed a veneer of sympathy in the ’80s – moving from his teaching job at Dalton to a career in finance.
In 1980, in fact, Epstein made an appearance in Cosmopolitan as the magazine’s “Bachelor of the Month”.
The documentary briefly revisits that moment in time and includes an excerpt from the insert, which reads next to a photo of a young Epstein: “Financial strategist Jeffrey Epstein, 27, only talks to people who earn over a million per year! If you are “a pretty girl from Texas” write this New York dynamo to 55 Water St, 49th floor, NYC 10041. ”
“Not your typical Dalton teacher”
Susan Semel, a former teacher at Dalton, describes Epstein as such: “He’s not your typical Dalton teacher. ”
Holding up a photo of Epstein during his time at the elite institution, she adds: “Usually, [teachers] did not wear wide lapels, gold chains and open shirts exposing a certain amount of chest. Straight out of Saturday night fever. »
Surviving Jeffrey Epstein airs on Lifetime on Saturday August 9 and Monday August 10