Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion demolished by new owner

‘Symbolic power of destroying house of horrors cannot be overstated,’ says attorney representing around 50 alleged victims of convicted sex offender

Maroosha Muzaffar
Wednesday 21 April 2021 10:26

The new owner of the Palm Beach mansion that once belonged to billionaire financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has started work demolishing the building, claiming it was personally satisfying to see it being torn down.

Developer Todd Michael Glaser, who bought the South Florida property last month for $18.5m (£13.2m), has said he wants to flatten the existing structure and build a new one.

Epstein was accused of sexually abusing women and girls under the age of 18 at his waterfront facing Palm Beach property and Manhattan mansion in the early 2000s. Awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges in a Manhattan federal jail, he killed himself in August 2019.

On Monday crews started demolishing the Palm Beach mansion, which was dubbed the “House of Horrors”.

Mr Glaser has said that he will replace the mansion with a “14,000-square-foot Art Moderne home”.

Demolition crews have begun pulling down the South Florida mansion once owned by the convicted sex offender

Lawrence Moens, a real estate broker in Palm Beach who represented Mr Glaser, told the Palm Beach Daily News: “I only got involved in the sale of Jeffrey Epstein’s residence to ensure it would be wiped off the map of Palm Beach.”

Epstein, 66, was accused of forcing school girls to massage him, sometimes naked or in their underwear, in the South Florida mansion. He bought the property in 1990 for $2.5m and it included the main six-bedroom house, a pool cabana building and another three-bedroom staff house. Mr Glaser confirmed that all of these are being demolished, including the swimming pool.

The property, built by architect John Volk in the 1950s, had been closed and locked up since his arrest. It had been graffitied with the words “Gone but not forgiven” in blood-red paint.

The Palm Beach property was one of a number of properties where Epstein groomed and sexually assaulted minor girls, prosecutors said.

Brad Edwards, a Fort Lauderdale attorney who represents around 50 clients who say they were abused by Epstein, described the demolition as “symbolic”.

He told the media: “I think that the symbolic power of destroying the house of horrors cannot be overstated. I can imagine there is going to be some amount of relief that the nightmare of what went on in the house [has] been buried to some degree.”

The Palm Beach mansion went on the market in July last year for $21,995,000.

Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, remains jailed on sex trafficking charges, to which the British socialite has pleaded not guilty.

Ms Maxwell is accused of recruiting three girls, including one who was just 14 at the time, for Epstein in the 1990s.

Prosecutors later added another charge for a fourth girl who they said was groomed and abused in the early 2000s.

Ms Maxwell’s trial is scheduled for July.