(CBS Local)– Attorney Brad Edwards spent years battling Jeffrey Epstein. He’s represented more than 50 women who say they were sexually abused by the convicted sex offender. Now, in his new Simon & Schuster book, “Relentless Pursuit: My Fight for the Victims of Jeffrey Epstein,” Edwards details his encounters with Epstein, the role that Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly had in Epstein’s sex scandal, and why it took so long to bring Epstein to justice.
“2008 was the first time that I had ever heard Jeffrey Epstein’s name,” said Edwards in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I had a friend who said there’s a young girl named Courtney Wild, who wants to an attorney that understands crime victim’s rights. Courtney came in and it was one of those days that you remember like it was yesterday. She told me that she was abused, beginning when she was 14 years old by this powerful billionaire in Palm Beach. Now she starts explaining that it wasn’t just her, it was her friends and this massive sexual abuse ring that he had created.”READ MORE: 'An Important Time For Us': Chicagoans Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
The attorney fought for a long time in his representation of women like Wild and was even sued by Epstein himself. Edwards says all of this took over his world for over a decade before Epstein was finally arrested on charges of sex trafficking in New York and Florida in July 2019.
“In 2019, we were finally able to work with the prosecutors in New York in a very undercover operation,” said Edwards. “It was me and many of my clients and by this point, I’ve represented 58 victims. We are finally able to bring him to justice and he’s arrested. He’s going to be held accountable and then he escapes once again by committing suicide, which really hurt myself and the victims and everybody who had fought all this time.”READ MORE: Downtown Chicago Roadblocks Quell Mexican Independence Day Street Celebrations
Last month, Epstein’s former girlfriend and confidant Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested on charges related to serial sexual abuse by Epstein. Maxwell is a name that Edwards has known about for a long time.
“She was a name that came up early, just by doing an basic research on Jeffrey Epstein,” said Edwards. “You learn that this was his girlfriend for this whole period of the 90s. But, more than that, there was a complaint filed by Jane Doe 102. She at the time was represented by a different lawyer. In her complaint, she detailed being recruited when she was underage by Ghislaine Maxwell. She was trafficked and traveled around the world and was made to engage in these sex acts from the time she was 16 or 17 years old with not only Jeffrey Epstein, but some of his friends. The beginning of the Florida spider web of victims began with Ghislaine Maxwell’s recruitment of Jane Doe 102, who we learned was Virginia Roberts. In addition to being his girlfriend, she [Maxwell] was also someone that was introducing him to other girls he liked for sexual purposes, many of whom were underage. She is not responsible for every one of his victims, but she is responsible for creating the monster that everybody learned Jeffrey Epstein to be.”
One of the other fascinating twists of this story was the in-person meetings that took place between Epstein and Edwards. The meetings were perplexing to Edwards for several reasons.
“That’s something I thought was really important for people to understand,” said Edwards. A lot of people looked at this case and said these victims should’ve known what they were doing, almost like it was their fault. I was going into these meetings with the perspective of I know he’s molested 100 underage girls. I know the bad things he’s done and I know he’s sued me personally, making all kinds of false claims and still, I would sit at a table with him and two minutes into the conversation I found him so interesting and so engaging. He was somewhat funny and then you say wait I have to remind myself that this guy is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”MORE NEWS: 'We're Back': Store Owner Reopens Chicago Sports On Michigan Avenue After 2020 Unrest
“Relentless Pursuit: My Fight for the Victims of Jeffrey Epstein” is available now wherever books are sold.