With the trial of his longtime partner Ghislaine Maxwell set to start at the end of November, newly released files describe how financier Jeffrey Epstein spent his last days in prison at the New York Metropolitan Correctional Center.
These findings come from a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons via The New York Times after the agency denied a FOIA request asking about Epstein's experiences while in prison. It was only then the outlet got their hands on emails, memos, and other notes written by inmates about him.
Yet the central piece to the report is a psychological post-mortem reconstruction that went over how Epstein slowly lost grip on his sense of purpose:
Epstein was able to capitalize on his celebrity status for a while, but it was fleeting and eventually Epstein was just another inmate trying to find out who cooked the best prison food. The time between Epstein being placed in jail and dying was 36 days. The infamous financier was arrested at an airport in New Jersey and indicted on trafficking charges and paying for sex.
While in the general population area of the prison on his first evening there, an assistant described Epstein as "distraught, sad and a little confused" in his cell. He told this female staffer he was okay, but his body language betrayed him.
July 7 had Epstein moved to a "special housing unit" because of the high-profile nature of his case. The next day, the jail's psychological team first flagged him as a possible suicide risk given the circumstances of his situation.
July 9 is said to have been the first day that Jeffrey Epstein underwent an in-person psychological assessment. The initial reports said he was optimistic and convinced that he'd be released on bail in a matter of weeks.
It was during a July 11 session with the psychologists that Epstein told them: "Why would you ever think I would be suicidal? I am not suicidal and I would never be."
The documents say Epstein found comfort in having a legal team work on his case — they visited him nearly every day — but that became his system of dependency and hope. None of the famous friends he used to have wouldn't be seen with him now. No more Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, or Prince Andrew to pal around with.
The first time Epstein tried killing himself was on July 23. It was five days after Judge Richard M. Berman declined his request for bail.
"Given the potential impact of the judge's decision, a psychologist should have assessed Mr. Epstein's mental status upon his return to the institution," the psychologist report reflected after the fact.
Epstein was taken off of suicide watch after a mere day and a half. He was seemingly able to convince those around him that he'd never consider such a thing, as it was purportedly against the Jewish religion.
Federal marshals flagged Epstein as a suicide risk on July 31. He had another psychological evaluation but the conclusions by the doctor were that Jeffrey stated "he lives for and plans to finish this case and to go back to his normal life."
The day before Epstein died there was a big break in the federal appeals court as "2,000 pages of previously confidential documents" were unsealed. The findings therein are said to have added enough additional stress on his life, as the unfolding situation with Maxwell began to spiral out of his control.
Two days before his death, a pair of Epstein's regular lawyers who visited him had come by to oversee his most recent will. The evening of his death he made a call facilitated by the evening manager. Epstein told the guy it was his mother but it actually was to his girlfriend on the outside, Karyna Shuliak.
Epstein hung himself in his cell with a bedsheet on Aug. 10, 2019. He didn't have a cellmate to stop him from going through with it and the guards that were assigned to monitor Epstein slacked off on the job.
Despite the public doubts by Epstein's brother and his lawyer, The New York Times highlights how an inmate heard him tearing up his bedsheet. "He wanted to kill himself and seized the opportunity when it was available," they said.