It’s the sex trafficking scandal that rocked America, and now HBO is commissioning a new series into Jeffrey Epstein, based on a book that promises “the whole truth” behind the financier and his international sex ring involving the abuse of underage girls.
The TV channel HBO is creating a limited series about disgraced billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and his victims’ long pursuit of justice.
The unnamed drama will be executive produced by Adam McKay, the man behind HBO’s hit comedy Succession, according to a report in Variety.
It will centre on an upcoming book about Epstein by Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown, whose tireless investigation into the paedophile financier was the driving force behind his arrest earlier this year on sex trafficking charges.
Epstein is accused of the sexual assault and trafficking of hundreds of underage girls, some as young as 14, within a sex ring of powerful and wealthy international figures. He died by suicide in his Manhattan cell in August, before he could stand trial.
One of America’s richest men, the financier served an 13-month jail term in 2008, after pleading guilty to soliciting sex from over 30 underage girls at his property in Palm Beach, Florida. Authorities in the state had been tracking the house for three years, after a young girl said she was recruited there for massages and sexual encounters.
Epstein maintained that he believed the girls were over 18, and struck a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors at the time to avoid more serious charges.
The extraordinary plea arrangement – which occurred without the knowledge of Epstein’s sex abuse victims – meant the business mogul traded a possible life sentence for a much more lenient, state-led charge. He also paid settlements to his victims.
It was only when journalist Brown dusted off details of the abandoned 53-page indictment last year that interest in the case was renewed. Her report sparked a federal investigation into Epstein, resulting in his arrest on sexual trafficking charges.
“In addition to his own sexual abuse of the victims, Epstein directed other persons to abuse the girls sexually … Epstein worked in concert with others to obtain minors not only for his own sexual gratification, but also for the sexual gratification of others,” a federal judge looking into previous plea deal concluded earlier this year.
Brown’s book on which the new HBO series is based was acquired by HarperCollins last month.
“The narrative will expose the inner workings of the sexual pyramid scheme Jeffrey Epstein forced the girls into, and will implicate powerful, wealthy and influential politicians, academics, businessmen and public figures,” the publisher said, promising “the whole truth behind this tragic scandal”.
Lifetime channel is also working on a docuseries titled Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, while actor Patricia Heaton is developing a TV series charting the financier’s downfall.