SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:
Court filings in a lawsuit against one of Jeffrey Epstein's associates have been unsealed, and journalists have been combing through them for more information about Epstein and the various people in his circle. The billionaire financier is facing sex trafficking and conspiracy charges in New York. Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown has been investigating Epstein's case since 2007. Good morning, Julie.
JULIE K BROWN: Good morning. How are you?
PFEIFFER: I'm good. What's the latest in your reporting?
BROWN: Well, you know, he was found this morning in his Manhattan jail cell. Apparently, he had hung himself. And authorities now, I guess, are trying, I guess, scrambling to figure out what's next in their investigation.
PFEIFFER: Julie, where are you hearing that news?
BROWN: Well, I had it confirmed by a federal source of mine that he did in fact commit suicide this morning.
PFEIFFER: And I'll add that NPR has not confirmed that information yet, but we are working to do that. If this confirmed, Julie, how could that news affect the lawsuit?
BROWN: Well, I mean, there's a lot of different legal things hanging out there with his case. I think the most pressing thing is whether they're going to pursue the case against his so-called madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was prominently mentioned in the court documents that you mentioned earlier. She is accused of helping him with his sex trafficking operation. So, you know, I think that probably what authorities will do is try to refocus their investigation on her and other people, quite frankly, who helped him.
PFEIFFER: Well, you mentioned other people. And these unsealed documents name a number of prominent men. We should also emphasize that none of them have been charged or sued in civil court that we're aware of. But what do we know about who is named in these unsealed documents?
BROWN: Well, you know, there are some very prominent wealthy businessmen and politicians who, you know, who associated with him years and years ago. And, you know, what we know is at least one of Epstein's teenage victims has said that she was directed to have sex with some of these men. And they've - all of them have flatly denied it. But the fact remains that there are - these allegations have been out there for a while that she was sort of trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to some very prominent people. So I would think that that would also be part of the investigation in New York.
PFEIFFER: One of the prominent people mentioned was former New Mexico Governor Terry (ph) Richardson. We want to note that NPR did reach out to him, and he denies that he was involved. Julie, is it correct that there are not - these are not the final documents to be released but just a first batch? And if that's true, what else are you expecting to see?
BROWN: Well, this case has never been very predictable. You know, every time that you think that you find something else, something more outrageous comes out. So it's hard to say what will be left in this batch, but from what I understand from my sources, there's a lot more information about Ep - I'm sorry - a lot more information about Maxwell's involvement in his sex trafficking operations. She doesn't come across too good in the papers that were released yesterday. Her deposition, she was at one point banging her fists on the table. So, you know, this does not bode well for her, let's put it that way.
PFEIFFER: That's Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald. Julie, thank you.
BROWN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.