Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has died by suicide in his New York jail cell, the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a statement to THR, a spokesperson for the bureau said that at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, Epstein “was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit from an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff.”
The statement continued, “Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff. The FBI is investigating the incident.”
Epstein, 66, reportedly tried to kill himself last month. He was found semi-conscious in his cell with marks on his neck and subsequently placed on suicide watch. The Associated Press reported Saturday that Epstein had been taken off suicide watch from that previous attempt.
Atty. Gen. William Barr said he was “appalled” by Epstein’s death.
“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said in a statement. “In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
Manhattan U.S. Atty. Geoffrey S. Berman also issued a statement. “Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in court,” he said. “To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count — is ongoing.”
The billionaire financier was charged with allegedly helming a sex-trafficking ring involving underage girls.
Epstein was arrested July 6 and pleaded not guilty.
He was being charged with trafficking minors in Florida and New York between 2002 and 2005.
Federal authorities allege Epstein established a system where he would pay cash for “massages” from girls as young as 14 but later assaulted and/or sexually abused them.
Authorities claim that some victims in turn became recruiters for the money manager.
Following Epstein’s death, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “We need answers. Lots of them.”
From one of my Jeffrey Epstein victim clients this morning. pic.twitter.com/8gRozyQPMP
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) August 10, 2019
Trilby Beresford contributed to this report.