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Who would want Jeffrey Epstein’s $125m ‘Islands of Sin’?

Two Caribbean islands belonging to disgraced financier go on sale

Jeffrey Epstein’s private Caribbean islands, where he was accused of abusing dozens of young women and girls, have been put up for sale.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Little St James and Great St James in the US Virgin Islands have been listed by the Epstein estate for $125m (£95m).

During the years that Epstein owned the islands they earned nicknames such as “Island of Sin” and “Paedophile Island”, said The Telegraph. Prosecutors claimed that Epstein had brought girls as young as 11 to the islands by yacht and private helicopter, and that he and his associates “trafficked, raped, sexually assaulted and held girls captive”.

The New York Post said some victims of Epstein and his associates have described trying to swim off the shore in the shark-infested waters, almost drowning to escape the abuse they faced.

On the islands

Little St James, which covers more than 70 acres, was bought by Epstein in 1998. It features a main residential compound and four guest villas. It also has a helipad, a private dock, two pools, three private beaches, a gym and a tiki hut. A building with blue-and-white stripes and a gold domed ceiling has been dubbed “the temple”.

Among the high-profile figures to visit the islands are Prince Andrew and former US presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

Io Dodds at The Independent reported last year that Little St James has become “something of a morbid tourist attraction” since Epstein died in 2019. One local told the Daily Mirror that “despite it looking like paradise on earth, any connection to a man like Epstein is bad. Everyone here just wants to forget about him and what he’s accused of.”

Potential buyers

The Wall Street Journal said proceeds of the sale will go towards resolving the estate’s outstanding lawsuits and towards the regular costs of the estate’s operations.

But, in December, the New York Post revealed that Epstein’s New Mexico ranch was still on the market, five months after it was put on sale. The property, where Epstein also allegedly trafficked several women, was “having a difficult time finding a buyer”, said the paper. According to the Daily Mail it has still not sold.

A former Goldman Sachs executive bought Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion, knocked down to $51m from the original $88m asking price, while the developer Todd Michael Glaser bought his Palm Beach property for an unknown sum and demolished it last April.

“By contrast, Little St James – which Epstein liked to call ‘Little St Jeff’ – appears to have changed little since the days when Epstein made it his primary residence, sheltered from the intruding eyes and lenses of governments and journalists,” wrote Dodds for The Independent.

“Ghoulish as it may seem,” Dodds adds, both islands “have attracted interest from rich buyers”, but it has taken until now to resolve a civil case filed by the US Virgin Islands government trying to seize the land.

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