A psychological examiner reported that Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased financier and sex-trafficker, had “no suicidal thoughts” and a “clear mental status” in the days leading up to his death while in prison in 2019, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.
The information about Epstein’s time in prison comes as an ongoing lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase continues to reveal information about his relationship with the rich and powerful.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Jes Staley, a major financier and close confidant of Epstein, alleges that he and Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, communicated “for years” about Epstein. This stands in sharp contrast to Dimon’s claim to not “know anything” about Epstein until 2019.
The lawsuit is being pursued by the US Virgin Islands and an unnamed woman who was the victim of Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring. The suit alleges that JPMorgan Chase facilitated Epstein’s sex-trafficking of young women at his Caribbean villa.
Staley was a significant player in Epstein’s world and was a leading financier himself. The Journal claims JPMorgan Chase has “sought to pin the bulk of the relationship [with Epstein] on Staley.” The bank has sued Staley on these grounds.
Staley was a leading executive at JPMorgan and considered to be a “leading candidate” to succeed Jamie Dimon, according to the Journal. Following his exit from JPMorgan Chase in 2013, Staley took over Barclays in 2015, one of the largest multinational banks, with assets over 1.5 trillion British pounds.
Staley is accused of sexually abusing a young woman through Epstein’s trafficking operation, an allegation he denies. He stepped down from Barclays in 2021, following investigations into his well-known relationship with Epstein.
Dimon and JPMorgan have both denied Staley’s claims. “I don’t recall knowing anything about Jeffrey Epstein until the stories broke sometime in 2019. … I didn’t even—had never even heard of the guy, pretty much,” stated Dimon.
One entry from Epstein’s calendar, dated March 2, 2010, notes a meeting including Epstein, Dimon and Staley. JPMorgan told the Journal that Dimon did not attend.
If Staley’s claims are true, it suggests that JPMorgan was more conscious of its dealings with Epstein, including the financial backing Epstein required to run his trafficking operation, than the bank lets on.
The day after the Journal released this information, on Friday, the Associated Press announced that it had obtained some 4,000 pages of documents from the federal Bureau of Prisons regarding Epstein’s imprisonment. The documents, some of which are now publicly available, were obtained using the Freedom of Information Act.
While the WSWS has only reviewed some of these documents so far, selections regard Epstein’s mental health, following his placement on suicide watch and psychiatric observation in late July, 2019.
An official log from his psych examiner notes in his “Suicide Risk Assessment”:
No mental health history, no substance abuse history, no suicide history, no suicidal thoughts. Clear mental status.
Later on, in multiple psychological observation follow-ups, the psychologist notes,
Denied suicidality; He stated he would never harm himself as he wants to be alive to fight his legal case and go back to live his life.
Two days before Epstein died, the final psych check-up reads,
No acute symptoms, distress or mental health concerns; denied suicidality, some concerns with sleep. Happy he received his PAC # [Personal Access Code, used to make phone calls] to make phone calls and requested to speak with someone without it being on a speakerphone. Wanting his books he left in the suicide watch area. Interacting and getting along with his cellmate. Getting ready of this [sic] attorney visit.
In 2019, following the extraordinary circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death, the WSWS wrote that
[T]he efforts of the media—and the New York Times in particular—to dismiss out of hand any suggestion that Epstein’s death was the result of anything but a suicide reek of a high-level cover-up.
The night Epstein died the two cameras outside his cell malfunctioned. Two guards, who were supposed to make regular rounds of his cell, failed to do so.
Dr. Michael Baden—a former New York medical examiner present at the official autopsy—claimed Epstein’s wounds were more consistent with strangulation and assault. The chief New York City medical examiner, however, disagreed, stating it was due to suicide.
While it is possible that Epstein was misleading his psych interviewer, the observer’s reports also correspond with those of Epstein’s lawyers who stated he was in “good spirits” before he died.
In the coming months, more high-powered figures are expected to give evidence. Sergey Brin, Google co-founder; Michael Ovitz, former president of Disney; Mortimer Zuckerman, real estate mogul; Elon Musk, the world’s richest man; and Thomas Pritzker, executive chair of Hyatt have all been subpoenaed as part of the ongoing Virgin Islands case.