“When somebody says it’s not about the money,” H.L. Mencken famously said, “it’s about the money.”
At least five women who have accused the now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein of wrongdoing are saying it’s not about the money. They are, however, suing Epstein’s estate in Federal District Court in Manhattan, accusing him of rape, battery and false imprisonment.
By Tom Roberts
The way the liberal New York Times sees it, the lawsuits these women have filed “have another purpose: to build momentum for changing the statute of limitations in New York and elsewhere for civil claims stemming from sex crimes, which are under growing scrutiny across the United States.”
Politicians in New York State “now want to create a one-year window that would allow adults to revive old sex-crime accusations and bring them to court, mirroring a mechanism in the state’s child victims law,” reported the Times. “The proposed Adult Survivors Act, which was introduced in October and is supported by the Democratic majority leader of the State Senate, will be debated in next year’s legislative session.”
To be sure, the Epstein estate has plenty of money. In fact, those who represent it have said they wish to set up a fund “using the late financier’s fortune to compensate women willing to forgo a spate of lawsuits seeking damages for sexual abuse,” according to ABC News.
“In the papers in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the co-executors of the estate asked the court to approve a voluntary program committed to giving the plaintiffs “compassion, dignity and respect” while sparing them “the rigors and publicity of litigation.” The papers say there are 12 pending suits in New York alone accusing Epstein of sexual misconduct,” ABC reported.
One of those advising the estate is Kenneth Feinberg, the one-time administrator of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, “which disbursed billions of dollars to victims of the terrorist attacks and their families,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Over the years Mr. Feinberg has distributed billions of dollars to victims of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and those injured by defective ignition switches in General Motors Co. ’s vehicles. This summer Boeing Co. hired him to help pay out $50 million to families who lost relatives in two crashes involving its 737 MAX planes,” the Journal wrote.
Lawyer Roberta Kaplan, who represents one of the women suing Epstein’s estate, “expressed skepticism of the plan,” according to theguardian.com. “Given that this latest fund was launched without our input or consent, we will keep an open mind because we are supportive of attempts to fairly compensate these survivors, but both the estate and the new administrators have a lot to prove,” she said in a press release.”