Rarely a thank you, because what would they be thankful for? Rather, it was just a new chapter, as it became alarmingly clear just how far the tentacles of Epstein's money reached, his wealth and philanthropy having gained him access to some very elite circles—political, royal, academic and beyond. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Shawna Rivera confessed that she watched her father and stepmother beat one of her stepbrothers to death in their home. Shawna Rivera confessed that she watched her father and stepmother beat one of her stepbrothers to death in their home. Overall, we’d be deemed worthy or less than based on how high we ranked up the alphabet- an otherwise random collection of letters, if it weren’t for society ascribing to it fortune-telling properties, mapping it like a linear constellation, turning it into a universally acceptable form of divination. Shawna Rivera, one of the voices of Filthy Rich. That, and we’d freeze. It then quickly delves into the lives of the women (identified in the show as survivors) who say they were molested as teenagers by the enigmatic businessman and his cronies—on his private island, at his mansion in Palm Beach, at his townhouse in New York. Photography: Courtesy of Netflix. When Jeffrey Epstein died last summer in jail, he left countless unanswered questions in his wake, as well as numerous alleged victims who didn't get the justice they hoped was finally imminent. If the one-girl-recruits-two-friends-and-they-recruit-two-friends-and-so-on pattern sounds familiar, attorney Brad Edwards, who represents Courtney Wild—who was introduced to Epstein when she was 14 and basically homeless because of her mom's drug use—thought the same. MOST READ IN NEWS But his demise was hardly the final word in this sordid saga that began almost 20 years ago. She maintains that she was recruited by Maxwell, who introduced herself when Giuffre (then Roberts) was working as a locker room attendant at future President Donald's Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, where Epstein was a regular guest, in 2000. "I have seen people on the island that came for a lunch or a dinner and they didn't stay very long.". That’s pretty much the stuff of magic, and it certainly does not unfold that way in reality- in fact, a lot of what goes on behind the scenes, the real hard work, the sacrifice, and often the forms of abuse that are endured in the process are often edited out of the way and remain unseen, unheard of. Robson recalls refusing Epstein's initial advances, after which he told her that if she brought her friends over, he'd give her $200. Some were offered financial or career assistance and hosted in lavish accommodations, which in turn led to the girls not wanting to seem "ungrateful" when he later made sexual advances. Change ). Without having received it first, seen it practiced by adults, those very people from whom we always expected a blueprint for the finest things in life, to trace over and color in with our own experiences, how would we stand a chance to replicate self-love on our own? For many young people, it’s a dream: ‘He was scouted outside of McDonald’s in Bucharest on his way home from school’, read a model’s bio on a model management website. After it’s happened for a while, we’d feel that we’re staying close to those who harm us for our own good; that it’s our only chance to feel seen, loved; that maybe they’d introduce us to the right people, pay for our education, help us get a job, build a life  that’s different from what we’d left behind. Young voice after young voice is heard in audio recordings of interviews conducted by Palm Beach Police Det. Learn how your comment data is processed. What if we would still allow these horrific situations to unfold, should we find ourselves in them, because of our inherent belief that if it doesn’t hurt, we’re not doing it right? ( Log Out /  Except that many of our parents perhaps never thought of that outcome as desirable in the first place: 30 odd years ago, teaching self-love wasn’t even marginally part of a healthy upbringing, and my years working in education have shown that it isn’t the norm nowadays, either. In fact, if anything, Rivera, like countless other young people living in adverse socio-economic conditions, were systematically let down by the very structures put in place to protect them: their family, the education system and law enforcement, the failures of which Epstein and the likes of him still have an easy time profiting from. To believe you. So, we would seek validation from anyone who’d be willing to give it: it could be older men or women, with their authority and money and power and promises; and it could just so happen that many of these were abusive family members, friends and partners, or drug dealers and child traffickers, who see in us an opportunity for exploitation, a presence that could serve their interests. © 2020 E! Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The need for it, then, could throw us into a cycle of abuse that we come to know as normal. They are not, yes we could and yes, we might let it happen to us, too, if presented with what we may see as an opportunity rather than a threat- and we’d welcome it irrespective of what we are trying to achieve or escape from, but perhaps more so if that’s poverty. The Feds did take over in July 2006 and went back to re-interview Annie and Marie Farmer as well. She felt as though they believed her, but no one ever followed up, she says. Some of us would find in school an escape, so we’d follow all the rules, learn all the material, recite it down to the last comma while looking up at the ceiling; we’d write it down in 40 minutes or less until our hand hurt and then forgot it was there- better. They include 14-year-old Shawna Rivera who had already traumatized by her family when she met Epstein. We’d beat ourselves up for falling asleep doing homework and would go from morning to afternoon to midnight, again, seven days a week and for the better half of Christmas break, feeling that we will never be enough. Get it right and you get ahead. Empathy is just not a common attribute of those who inhabit this world we live in. "You tell yourself that you didn't know for sure and you never really saw anything," Scully says, "but that's all just rationalization. In any case, it’s marketable. Also heard is Michelle Licata, whose childhood photos showed a teenager with braces and photos of Eminem plastered on her wall. If we’re lucky, very lucky, we’ll seek validation from our teachers and professors, our colleagues and employers, our friends, our significant others and even in the smile of the cashier at the corner store- which we often like to pretend that she’s not contractually bound to put on, but does it because she sees something in us. This is an age-old version of the rags to riches narrative for many young people around the world. The testimonies of the victims that had the courage to step forward and speak against the wealthy financier and his ring of power and abuse show a brutal reality: that of young, inexperienced women, most of them coming from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, who were lured into Epstein’s homes with the promise of an income or a career that would help them pull themselves out of their difficult realities; instead, they became part of a sexual pyramid scheme that they found very difficult to escape from. "We'll Put Him Away for the Rest of His Life". Recarey, even going through their trash outside the police station, and lawyers say the girls were exposed to routine intimidation. Joe Recarey (who died in 2018), the lead officer on the case, in 2005, when the local investigation into goings-on at Epstein's mansion began after a woman called to report that her stepdaughter had received $300 from a man for giving him a massage—and the man had told her stepdaughter that she was very pretty and he would like to keep her around to do other things. With the audience’s industry-induced desire for entertainment having infiltrated and corrupted even the highest ranks of power, including but not limited to the presidency,  it’s then hardly any wonder that society will challenge accounts of abusive experiences, call these the victims’ stories, consume them as fiction rather than fact, and end up often blaming the victims for reacting to their trauma throughout their lives, or for seeking justice (which they equate with ‘attention’)- as if the audience, by virtue of its paid subscription to televised programs, has the right to a final say in the outcomes of others’ lives. 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