The case of convicted sex offender and child rapist Jeffrey Epstein has taken another dramatic twist. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has been named in sealed court filings, along with several close associates of the deceased financier, of having sex with one of the underage girls Epstein trafficked.
Prior to his death last year in a maximum-security US prison – under what many consider to be extremely dubious circumstances – Epstein masterminded a sex trafficking network which ensnared some of the most powerful people in the world. A recent book: Epstein Dead Men Tell No Tales, even made the bombshell allegation that the former socialite and girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell were in fact Israeli spies.
Ari Ben-Menashe was cited as Epstein's Mossad handler while the 66-year-old ran a "honey-trap" operation in which he provided young girls to prominent politicians from around the world for sex, and then used the material to blackmail them in order to attain information for Israeli intelligence.
In the latest twist, US lawyer Alan Dershowitz-who was accused by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein's victims, of being trafficked to the 81-year-old, obtained documents naming Barak along with a number of important men of being part of Epstein's sex scheme. The documents are part of an ongoing case between Giuffre and Dershowitz.
Giuffre last year sued Dershowitz for defamation, only to be countersued in response. The celebrity attorney and one of the most powerful pro-Israeli voices in the US, strongly rejects the claims made by the 36-year-old and is trying to clear his name.
In what appears to be an attempt to discredit Giuffre by exposing the long list of accusations made by her against prominent figures, Dershowitz's attorney Howard Cooper said in court that the team had in fact already obtained some of the depositions and that Dershowitz identified Barak as one of a number of people accused of sex crimes.
"Giuffre has also alleged that she was forced to have sex with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barack [sic]," the filing read in response to the claims against Dershowitz. "Giuffre has offered no proof other than her uncorroborated word."
Many of Epstein's victims, like Giuffre, are still attempting to obtain compensation for the sexual abuse endured at the hands of the late financier. She recently appeared on a hit Netflix documentary series Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, amid her legal battles with Dershowitz and Maxwell, where she described Epstein's sex trafficking empire and the abuse she had suffered.
Barak has strongly rejected the allegation. His close ties with Epstein, however, have made him vulnerable to attack from political opponents. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for example, has used Barak's ties with the financier to attack the former prime minister. After his name was ensnared in the Epstein scandal, Netanyahu, according to the New York Intelligencer, shared a screenshot of an article on an obscure Hebrew-language news website that highlighted Epstein's business relationship with billionaire Les Wexner, whose foundation granted Barak several million dollars between 2004 and 2006. He also claimed that Barak had attended a party hosted by Epstein in 2016 — long after he took a sweetheart plea deal that required him to register as a sex offender.
Epstein, who was facing charges for sex trafficking minors, was found dead in his New York prison cell on 10 August. According to official reports he committed suicide, but there has been much speculation and evidence put forward that he was in fact killed, with many stating he may have been assassinated due to his knowledge of the figures he blackmailed and the acts they committed.