Two women have filed a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein‘s estate in federal court, claiming he sexually assaulted them at his New York home in 2004 after they were recruited to give him a massage.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York, four days after the multimillionaire financier died from an apparent suicide in jail while awaiting trial on criminal charges accusing him of running a sex trafficking ring.
Besides Epstein’s estate, the women name as a defendant a woman they allege was a recruiter, referred to in the suit by the fictitious name of “Sue Roe.” There are nine other unnamed defendants; the plaintiffs assert that they were employees or agents of Epstein, the lawsuit says.
One plaintiff was 18 years old, and the other 20, when Epstein assaulted them, their lawyer Lisa Bloom said Friday. They withheld their names in the suit, referring to themselves only as “Jane Doe 1” and “Jane Doe 2.”
Women allege a recruiter approached them at the restaurant where they worked
The suit alleges that “Sue Roe” approached the pair separately, in or around June 2004, while the plaintiffs were working as hostesses at a Manhattan restaurant.
“Sue Roe” offered the women hundreds of dollars if they would give Epstein a massage at his home, the suit alleges. The recruiter intimated to one of the women that “there may even be future opportunities to make more money,” the suit says.
The recruiter later took both women to a club and told them that she “had worked for Epstein for a long time and that the job for which she was recruited simply entailed a brief massage,” according to the lawsuit.
The recruiter told both women that the massages would not involve any unwanted touching, according to the lawsuit.
Both women were “reasonably excited and hopeful about the opportunity” as they both were struggling financially, the lawsuit says.
Epstein assaulted the women at his home, lawsuit says
In separate trips, Jane Does 1 and 2 went to Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and gave him massages. During the encounters, Epstein told one to strip naked, and he sexually assaulted both of them, according to the suit.
Both claim that they were paid “hundreds of dollars.” The recruiter offered one of the women a job to “scout other women for money,” but she refused, the lawsuit says.
The plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, $100 million in compensatory and punitive damages, or an amount to be determined at trial, for suffering and psychological damages.
Bloom, their lawyer, said they are suing Epstein’s estate under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act, alleging they were lured or tricked into a commercial sex act.
“Jeffrey Epstein hurt so many girls and women in his life,” Bloom said in a news release Friday. “We call upon his beneficiaries to do right by them after his death, to set aside a victim’s compensation fund where their attorneys can present evidence of each victim’s claim and provide for fair and swift compensation for them rather than years of protracted litigation.
“If they do not, we will fight for the justice our clients deserve in the courts.”
Epstein’s attorneys did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Despite Epstein’s death in jail on August 10 from an apparent suicide, civil lawsuits can continue against his estate, legal experts have said.
On Wednesday, a woman who says Epstein raped her at age 15 filed her own lawsuit against his estate and other defendants.
Epstein had been in jail since July after an indictment accused him of running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls, some as young as 14 years old. He had pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking of minors.