The Filipino Connection in Jeffrey Epstein's Sex Crimes
Things have gone slow for Jeffrey Epstein's criminal case since his apparent suicide on August 10, 2019. Upon his death, it seemed he left several questions up in the air, while taking his charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex to the grave. But, the recent arrest of his ex-girlfriend and longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell has set the case back in motion and shed new light into Epstein's life and crimes, including his Filipino ex-housekeepers Jojo and Jun-Lyn Fontanilla.
Here's everything we know about Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and Jojo and Jun-Lyn Fontanilla.
Who was Epstein?
Before his many criminal cases and apparent suicide, Epstein was known as a well-connected billionaire (though Forbes has debunked this claim). Likewise, the source of his money is also widely disputed. What is known, however, is that he made his fortune in the '90s in New York and Florida with a financial firm.
Epstein has been associated with political figures such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as royalty with Queen Elizabeth's son Prince Andrew. In 2002, Trump said in New York magazine: "I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy… He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
All three have since distanced themselves from Epstein, adding that they didn't know about his alleged crimes. Prince Andrew has spoken out several times against Epstein in public statements, as well as an interview with the BBC.
What happens next?
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and longtime associate, has been alleged by Epstein's victims as a chief enabler who recruited and groomed young girls for abuse.
Maxwell has denied all the allegations, saying, "I understand newspapers need stories to sell copies. It is well known that certain newspapers live by the adage, ‘Why let the truth get in the way of a good story.’ However, the allegations made against me are abhorrent and entirely untrue and I ask that they stop."
On July 2, Maxwell was arrested by the FBI "on charges related to a probe by New York federal prosecutors into Epstein’s alleged rampant serial sexual abuse of young girls and women," according to NBC News.
Following Maxwell's arrest, several news outlets have reported that she is keen on "naming some big names" to help her case. Her first court appearance is set for July 14, for an arraignment and bail hearing.
What is the Filipino connection in Epstein's crimes?
Epstein had Filipino ex-housekeepers Jojo and Jun-lyn Fontanilla working at one of his estates. According to the Fontanillas, they had been working for the financier since the '90s. And since their boss had several high-profile acquaintances, the Fontanillas regularly met with the likes of Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton.
Facebook photos show a slew of celebrities pictured with the two housekeepers, including Epstein himself, politician John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Hilary Swank, Chris Tucker, Prince Andrew, as well as his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York.
While another photo shows Fontanilla posing on Epstein's infamous taxidermied tiger in his 9 East 71st Street Upper East Side townhouse.