Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Jeffrey Epstein’s Little St. James Island: What We Know

shared this story

Little St. James Island.
Photo: Gianfranco Gaglione/AP/Shutterstock

More than two decades ago, Little St. James Island, a small body of land tucked in the U.S. Virgin Islands, began to change in ways that that locals on other islands regarded with suspicion. Plants were cleared. Poles bearing American flags went up. Security guards lined the beaches.

These transformations, according to the Associated Press, happened when the island was bought by a now-disgraced billionaire: Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted earlier this week on charges that he ran a sex-trafficking ring of underage girls in the early 2000s. What exactly has transpired on the island, which is Epstein’s main residence, has largely remained the subject of rumors, and not confirmed facts. The island has, however, gained a handful of sinister nicknames over the years: “Orgy Island,” “Pedophile Island,” and “Island of Sin.”

Below, here’s everything to know about the Epstein’s ties to the island.

Though the exact date is unclear, more than two decades ago, Epstein purchased Little St. James Island, which is situated between the larger St. Thomas and St. John Islands. Since he’s been the owner of the 78-acre body of land, Epstein’s ordered quite a bit of construction.

Close to the beach sits a massive stone mansion, which is surrounded by smaller buildings and a helicopter pad.

There’s also what appears to be a mysterious blue-striped temple. According to INSIDER, which investigated the structure, it previously featured a gold dome that flew off in 2017 when the hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the region. While the purpose of the temple is unknown, one possibility is that it had served as a place for the classically-trained Epstein to practice piano — workers described it as a music room with acoustic walls and a grand piano inside, as the AP reports.

Get unlimited access to The Cut and everything else New York.

Learn More »

Get unlimited access to The Cut and everything else New York.

Learn More »

Conspiracy theorists waged that the temple was either a secluded setting for Epstein’s abuse or that it concealed a hidden underground location for the same purpose. James Both, a contractor whom INSIDER consulted with for the story, noted that while it was possible to install an underground space or elevator, the construction would have most likely been documented by a vendor to ensure regular inspections.

Get unlimited access to The Cut and everything else New York.

Learn More »

“A simple stairwell would be a better option if someone wanted to conceal their activities at the location.” Both also pointed out the temple’s questionable wooden door, which features a reinforcing lock bar. “What makes it peculiar is that if you wanted to keep people out, the bar would be placed inside the building, [but the] locking bar appears to be placed on the outside … as if it were intended to lock people in,” he said.

However, not much else is known about the property. Per the AP, many people who had worked for Epstein had signed non-disclosure agreements.

According to Fox News, Epstein had a dedicated team of workers on the island who trafficked girls as young as 12 to his clients. Sarah Ransome, one of his alleged victims, said she tried to swim off the island only to be found by a search party that included Epstein and his cohort Ghislaine Maxwell. Ransome also said that they kept her passport so she couldn’t leave.

Virginia Roberts, who claims to have been trafficked by Epstein, told her lawyers in 2011 interview that she saw Clinton with “two young girls” on the island. “I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’ kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said, ‘Well, he owes me a favor,’” Roberts told her lawyers.

Clinton, however, has repeatedly denied this allegation through his spokesperson.

“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” Angel Urena said in a statement. “He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”

In 2016, Epstein purchased the nearby Great St. James Island, which is approximately 165 acres, for $18 million. This year, he had begun construction on a compound there despite a stop work order that had been in place since December. The compound was to feature an amphitheater, an underwater office, and pool, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.

On July 9, U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett said she would be matching the donations she had received from Epstein over the years to give to organizations in her district that focus on women and children. “I am uncomfortable having received money from someone who has been accused of these egregious actions multiple times,” Plaskett had said.

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠