Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (2020)

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8.0 Overall Score

Gives victims a voice, pretty pro-victim

Too long and repetitive

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The crimes were awful, but the cover-up was also horrendous

Jeffrey Epstein was a mystery to most.  The billionaire seemed to keep a strangely low-profile, but also spent time with celebrities and powerbrokers like Prince Andrew, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump.  When accusations begin to surface that Jeffrey Epstein has been involved with underage girls and sex trafficking, investigations begin, but the investigations seem to keep going nowhere.  When the #MeToo movement renews interest in victim rights, Epstein might finally be charged…but things don’t unravel as planned.

Jeffrey Epstein:  Filthy Rich is a true-crime documentary series on Netflix.  It looks at the victims and their charges against Jeffrey Epstein (January 20, 1953-August 10, 2019).  It is based on the 2016 James Patterson book Filthy Rich:  A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy:  The Shocking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein.  It received positive reviews and received high levels of streaming.

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Sometimes bad things happen to bad people…but it rare

Like most people, I didn’t hear about Jeffrey Epstein until he exploded all over the news.  When I learned about Jeffrey Epstein, he was pretty much already guilty and there was very little doubt that the crimes he had been accused of were true.  With Epstein’s death, his victims didn’t get their day in court and this documentary does allow victims to tell their story.

The documentary is pretty explicit at points.  The crimes of Epstein are told again and again from victims, and through their telling of the massages and the pattern of abuse, you see a similarity that verifies their accounts and the evidence to back them up.  It is rough to watch and infuriating.

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Doesn’t do him any good in his deposition…comes off as callus and flippant

What is angering about the series is that the girl (or more properly children) involved often did the right thing.  Against their fears, many reported Epstein, his associates, and his actions, but the system failed them over and over again.  They were the prostitutes and seeking sex, and Epstein was given a pass due to this…despite the fact they were still children.  Epstein picked girls that could be manipulated and that was him MO.

Epstein was a predator on all terms.  In business and life, he targeted people who he could manipulate.  With a cadre of followers like Maxwell Ghislaine helping to promote his actions, Epstein even turned the victims against each other by helping them bring in other victims…which further allowed him to distance himself from charges.

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“I didn’t go to the island”

The series’ biggest fault is repetitiveness (which also shows how much Epstein got away with).  The series has a lot of information, and it has the content it needs to be a solid documentary.  The four episodes feel a bit drawn out, and like many similar true-crime documentaries, it feels like it was shot to watch episode by episode instead of binging.  The attempts to streamline events also has issues of keeping a solid timeline of crimes straight.  The story starts out solid by focusing on the Vanity Fair story, but it starts to splinter into the multiple paths that Epstein crimes took.  The case was difficult, and it was difficult to follow for prosecutors, and unfortunately, viewers at points.

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When two unscrupulous people get together, it is dangerous

Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulator and he also knew the power of evidence in manipulation.  There is probably stacks and stacks of evidence against Epstein and the people in his circles which is being held somewhere.  Hopefully, that evidence will come forward and more of the victims will get resolution.  This also will hopefully expose some of Epstein’s practices and who was involved.  Jeffrey Epstein:  Filthy Rich is worth seeing as both a cautionary tale and a means to understand the patterns of an abuser.  Exposing the secrets of abusers, helps protect people from abusers…but Epstein shows that money also goes a long way keep the truth hidden.  The series was followed by Ghislaine Maxwell:  Filthy Rich in 2022.

Jeffrey Epstein:  Filthy Rich Complete Episode Guide:

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“Hunting Grounds”

Episode 1        Hunting Grounds Release Date:  05/27/20

Jeffrey Epstein is rich, wealthy, and an enigma.  When Vicky Ward is assigned by Vanity Fair to write a story on Epstein, she discovers a hidden side to Epstein.  Epstein’s vice is young women, and people were starting to find out…and Epstein has the money and power to keep it quiet.  In Florida, the city of Palm Beach hears rumors of the crimes and begin to look into the stories.

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“Follow the Money”

Episode 2        Follow the Money Release Date:  05/27/20

Police in Florida raid Epstein’s home but find getting the people to prosecute Epstein.  Epstein’s past is explored and it is shown how he moved through society despite lack of a degree.  As the Florida prosecutors’ case begins to collapse, the FBI gets involved, but Jeffrey Epstein and his associate Maxwell Ghislaine’s power has reach.  Steven Hoffenberg explains how he gave Epstein the fortune he amassed with ties to Leslie Wexner.

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“The Island”

Episode 3        The Island Release Date:  05/27/20

A plea deal keeps Jeffrey Epstein and his associates out of jail for a while, but even when faced with jail time, jail means something different for a billionaire.  Epstein moves his operations to the island of Little St. James off of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, and while on a private island, Epstein has few limits.

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“Finding Their Voice”

Episode 4        Finding Their Voice Release Date:  05/27/20

The #MeToo movement sparks more investigation in to Jeffrey Epstein, and the nomination of Alexander Acosta to Secretary of Labor brings national attention to the deal made with Epstein.  Federal prosecutors arrest Jeffrey Epstein with hopes for atonement for his victims…but the story doesn’t end there.

Related Links:

Ghislaine Maxwell:  Filthy Rich (2022)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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