Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Are Heard: The Broadsheet

August 28, 2019, 8:43 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Female candidates in Colorado question the DSCC’s quick endorsement of John Hickenlooper, 94% of WeWork stock awards over $1 million went to men, and Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers are heard in court. Have a nice Wednesday. 


- 'I am every girl he did this to.' After disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein killed himself two weeks ago, it was certain that the charges of sex trafficking against him would be dropped. It's what happens when a criminal defendant dies. And it could've occurred with a simple judicial order. But Judge Richard Berman, presiding over the case, took a different approach by welcoming Epstein's alleged victims to "be heard, if they wish" before the court yesterday. 

More than a dozen women showed up; some spoke anonymously or through letters or lawyers, detailing how Epstein had abused them and expressing regret that they couldn't confront him face-to-face. "I am every girl he did this to, and they are all me," said actress Anouska De Georgiou. "Today we stand together."

Many of the accusers urged prosecutors to continue to pursue charges against Epstein's alleged co-conspirators. "Please, finish what you started," Sarah Ransome said. The hearing was reminiscent of Larry Nassar's trial, in which the doctor's victims spoke directly to their abuser in open court. Of course, the difference was the absence of Epstein. One of the women who spoke anonymously said his apparent suicide was "new trauma all over again." 

Nevertheless, it was meaningful that the alleged victims had a chance to speak about their experiences, even if it wasn't at Epstein's trial. "I believe it is the court's responsibility, and manifestly within its purview, to ensure the victims in this case are treated fairly and with dignity," Berman said at the start of the hearing. It took entirely too long, but for Epstein's accusers—like Nassar's—it seemed as though someone was finally listening. 

Claire Zillman


- We(?)Work. WeWork's IPO is getting even worse for women at the company. After the news that WeWork has zero women on its board of directors, The Information now reports, among other news about WeWork's troubled human resources operation, that a study by compensation executive Lisa Bridges found that 94% of 58 stock awards worth more than $1 million went to men. (Remember that study on the equity gap?) WeWork put Bridges on leave after her report; she has since sued for sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The Information

- Controversial Colorado endorsement. After former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper dropped out of the presidential race, he entered a Senate primary in the state and quickly got the endorsement of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Now six women who were already in that race are calling on the DSCC to reconsider. "All of us, like many women in Colorado and across the country, have seen well-qualified women passed over for male candidates in the workplace time and again," the candidates—Diana Bray, Lorena Garcia, Alice Madden, Stephany Rose Spaulding, Michelle Ferrigno, and Warren Angela Williams—wrote. The state has never sent a woman to the Senate. Washington Post

- Cherokee Nation in Congress. Almost 200 years ago, a treaty promised the Cherokee Nation a delegate to the U.S. Congress. Now the Cherokee Nation is seeking to hold the federal government to account. Kim Teehee, a former Obama Administration official who is now vice president of government relations for the Cherokee Nation, is its nominee to head to Washington. CNN

- Macron v. Bolsonaro. Brazil is rejecting G7 aid to fight fires in the Amazon, a decision arriving in the midst of a fight between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and French President Emmanuel Macron. One sticking point: Bolsonaro's Facebook comment making fun of French First Lady Brigitte Macron's appearance. Bolsonaro commented "don't humiliate him" on a post comparing 66-year-old Brigitte Macron's appearance to that of Bolsonaro's own wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, who is 37. Macron called the comments "sad." Bloomberg

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Portugal chose deputy central bank Governor Elisa Ferreira as its nominee for the European Commission. Autodesk CMO Lisa Campbell and Intercom COO Karen Peacock join the board of directors at Dropbox. Jean Cramer, the candidate for Marysville City Council in Michigan who said that the community should be a "white community as much as possible," withdrew from the raceJerri Ann Henry resigned as executive director of Log Cabin Republicans in protest of the pro-LGBT GOP group's endorsement of President Trump; her resignations follows those of two board members. Leslie Jones is leaving Saturday Night Live. 


- Open to criticism? Despite increasing criticism of toxic content on YouTube, CEO Susan Wojcicki says the platform is committed to staying "open." "A commitment to openness is not easy,” she wrote in a letter to YouTube creators. “It sometimes means leaving up content that is outside the mainstream, controversial, or even offensive." CNBC 

- Football stars. U.S. Women's National Team star Carli Lloyd got an offer from an NFL team to kick during a preseason game after a video of her 55-yard field goal kick went viral; she had to turn it down because of her soccer schedule. Related: a profile in The Undefeated of Toni Harris, the first woman to accept a scholarship to play football at a four-year college—not as a kicker but as a position player. 

- Photos up, website down. A strange situation in Thailand; the Royal Household Bureau's website published dozens of photos of the Thai King with his official consort (full name, Maj. Gen. Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi). Then, the website went down. Sineenat, a member of the king's bodyguard corps, was named a noble consort last month—a title that "has not been conferred since Thailand abolished its absolute monarchy in 1932." The king is married to his fourth wife, who is Thailand's queen. This perplexing story is worth a read: New York Times 

- Venture trendsetter. Patty Abramson in 1997 founded one of the first venture capital firms dedicated to investing in women-owned businesses. Women's Growth Capital Fund was set back by the burst of the dot-com bubble, but it set the stage for operations like Female Founders Fund. Abramson's daughter, Jenny Abramson, is now managing partner at Rethink Impact; Abramson died at 74 this week. Washington Post

Today's Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe. Share it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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