TV Review: 'Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich had me from the opening shot'

I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I’m usually a restless viewer, picking up my phone if the pace drops to see if I’m missing anything on Twitter. Not this time.
TV Review: 'Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich had me from the opening shot'

Jeffrey Epstein appears in court in West Palm Beach, Fla. (Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

We put off watching Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (Netflix) for most of the summer. It's the story of a serial paedophile and the slime-balls around him, but our friends and family kept recommending it, so we put on the four-parter and prepared for the worst.

I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I’m usually a restless viewer, picking up my phone if the pace drops to see if I’m missing anything on Twitter. Not this time — Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich had me from the opening shot.

You’re probably familiar with Epstein — a New York billionaire and convicted sex offender with friends in high places and palaces, arrested for further charges of trafficking minors for sex in 2019. He hanged himself in custody, leaving many unanswered questions. We know about him on this side of the Atlantic because he was regularly seen in public with Prince Andrew, and Andrew is the type  who thinks it’s a good idea to do a TV interview on the BBC about his friendship with a convicted paedophile.

The Duke of York, speaking for the first time about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis. 
The Duke of York, speaking for the first time about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis. 

One of the awful things about the allegations around Andrew, Epstein, and  Epstein's alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, is that you can get distracted by the glamour of private Caribbean Islands and mansions in New York. This show strips away the glamour. Yes, Epstein and Maxwell lived down the road from Donald Trump’s place in exclusive Palm Beach, but the testimonies of the teenage girls he lured  will have you glued to the screen in horror.

Ghislaine Maxwell who has "a lot of information" about powerful people with connections to billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the producer of a new documentary has claimed.
Ghislaine Maxwell who has "a lot of information" about powerful people with connections to billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the producer of a new documentary has claimed.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch it. As well as bearing witness to lives ruined by Epstein, it shows how money can clear the way for evil people. I never believed in the notion of evil people before this, but I do now. Epstein, allegedly helped by Maxwell, recruited school girls from the adjoining, poorer area of West Palm Beach. Many of these girls were from broken homes — one of them witnessed her father beating her brother to death. These are the people Epstein preyed on. Aware that this could get him in trouble, he visited the Palm Beach Police Department and donated $100,000 worth of technology to the chief of police, Michael Reiter.

It didn’t work. Reiter is one of the heroes here , believing the victims when they told their story and building a case against Epstein that charted more than 100 cases of abuse. Bizarrely, prosecutors in Florida cut a deal and Epstein spent 13 months in a private wing of the jail, while enjoying immunity from further prosecution  and the possibility of being  locked up for the rest of his life.

It’s jaw-dropping. There is a conspiracy theory  on Facebook that Covid-19 is a hoax, dreamed up by the global elite that are  sex-trafficking young people. It’s bullshit, like most things doing the rounds on Facebook. But it’s unfortunately plausible, thanks to what Jeffrey Epstein did with his massive wealth. There seems no end to the damage he can cause.

More in this section

Price info
IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Scene & Heard
Newsletter

Music, film art, culture, books and more from Munster and beyond.......curated weekly by the Irish Examiner Arts Editor.

Sign up