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Epstein's Happy Ending in Jeopardy

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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BAD WITH KIDS Epstein

Money manager Jeffrey Epstein's PR machine is in overdrive. But his ploy to wipe away accusations of sex with underage girls might be about to backfire.

The multi-millionaire (and former Radar backer with New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman) is accused of paying girls as young as 14 to come to his Palm Beach mansion and give him erotic massages, often while he assaulted them with a variety of brightly colored sex toys. (Epstein, of course, claims he didn't know the girls were underage.) He was arrested on a single prostitution charge. Now, with the help of former Clinton/Whitewater special counsel Kenneth Starr, the man formerly known as one of Manhattan's most eligible bachelors is said to be close to a deal in which he'll plead guilty to the state prostitution charge in exchange for 18 months in prison (the charge carries a max of five years) and avoid having to register as a federal sex offender.

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Meanwhile, Radar has learned that the incidents in Palm Beach were not the first time complaints were made by parents about Epstein's treatment of their daughters. They stretch back as far as four years, according to a high-level executive at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, where Epstein would use the spa. Often, waitresses and others would get invites back to Epstein's mansion, our source says. "But there was an incident where the daughter of a member had gone to Epstein's home and something very, very unpleasant happened. Understandably, her father made a big stink at the club ... and Epstein was told never to come back."

Furthermore, the parent of one of Epstein's youngest victims is outraged that he could walk without registering as a sex offender and tells Radar, "What this man did to my daughter was horrible. He thinks that with all his money, his big deal lawyers, and his hired thugs, he can get away with anything. I pray that other young girls will never have to suffer like my daughter did. The whole world should know that he is a sex offender."

The Palm Beach State Attorney's Office declined to talk about its ongoing prosecution, and Epstein's lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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