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I Was A Jeffrey Epstein Rape Victim And Survivor. This Is My Story.

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After graduating from high school I traveled to upstate New York to attend college in 2003.  While participating in freshman orientation, I met a girl who later befriended me and introduced me to Jeffrey Epstein at a restaurant in New York City.  While at that restaurant, Epstein and others presented me with the opportunity of a ‘paid modeling audition,’ and then, using that as a cover, Epstein sexually assaulted me, testing to see where I drew the line.  Unaware of his deception, during a second encounter with Epstein at his Manhattan residence, he brutally raped and tortured me.  To make sure I didn't cause trouble for him, he later had me stalked and threatened, making it impossible for me to tell authorities or even seek proper medical treatment. 

Being a victim in a high-profile case is like being thrown into a gross, smelly dumpster, strapped to a high-speed rollercoaster, and then set on fire. That might sound dramatic, but it’s honestly how I feel most days. There's a mixture of panic, pain, and rage that consumes me while I desperately try to keep up as the world whooshes past too quickly. 

People (incorrectly) believe the trickiest part is dealing with relentless journalists, navigating the legal system, or enduring the victim shaming and negative comments that unfortunately accompany sexual assault cases. And although much of that has plagued my life over the last several years, there’s one factor that’s often overlooked.

The public typically assumes that I’ve always known what my role was in the case. However, it wasn’t until 2020, when my world flipped upside down after I inadvertently watched the trailer for the Netflix Documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, that I discovered the truth.  

RELATED: Ghislaine Maxwell Facing 65 Years In Prison While Questions Remain About The Names In Epstein's Little Black Book

Now, you might be wondering, how could you not know? 

And it’s a fair question, one I often ask myself, but the answer is simpler than you might realize.

Because I was only ever privy to what Jeffrey Epstein wanted me to know, I had believed that my experience was unique, something that was my fault or just a freak accident for nearly two decades. There had been too many lies to sort through, and with Epstein’s threats and goons preventing me from getting the care I desperately needed, I had been too young, naive, and ill-equipped to make sense of what happened.

Because of Epstein’s uncanny ability to manipulate people, I hadn’t been aware of the other victims or his larger plan. Then, as my PTSD remained untreated, I used a mixture of denial and dissociation as a shield and pushed the memories way down deep.

To evade the onslaught of intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and intense feelings of dread after watching news stories about sexual assault, or anything that invoked traumatic memories, I’d simply change the channel, leave the room, or block it out altogether.  

When I saw the documentary, it caused what I had perceived as truth and reality to morph into something else entirely. It’s something that I’ll never forget.

Epstein’s voice caused pure white, hot, electric panic to sizzle across my body. I was shocked. I couldn’t breathe or talk as my heart pounded, time slowed, and my ears rang so loud it was deafening.

I became physically and mentally ill as I watched him in the courtroom. He looked almost the same, older for sure, but still had that distinct disturbing smug smile that haunts my nightmares. I had spent half of my life petrified of Epstein, thinking he was untouchable, yet there he was on my television. It was beyond comprehension, and I was never the same from then on.  

RELATED: 'Filthy Rich' On Netflix: How Did Jeffrey Epstein Make His Money? He Was Worth Millions Before His Suspicious Death

Within a brief time, I learned Epstein had been a con artist that lured many victims, and subsequently, became consumed by the guilt that I may have caused others to suffer by remaining silent back then. 

I concluded that the ‘friend’ who introduced us was most likely a recruiter, and the ‘assistant’ who scheduled my ‘audition’ had essentially arranged the date, on which I was raped.

After recognizing a pattern of childhood abuse among his victims, I reluctantly confronted the cruelty I endured before Epstein, finally appreciating that I never stood a chance.

Even more mind-blowing, I discovered that Epstein had killed himself, and while that might sound like something that should soothe his victims, it was too much information at once.

Instead, I became mentally ill as I processed emotions that were left to compound and rot for decades. The flashbacks, insomnia, intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, and anxiety associated with PTSD were unbearable.

Responsibilities like informing loved ones, finding a lawyer, and advocating for mental health services were impossible to complete in a healthy and timely manner. As the world moved faster than I could respond, I isolated myself from everyone and everything, using the pandemic as an excuse. 

When I did manage to pull myself together, the unavoidable images of Epstein’s face featured in the news, along with the jokes, memes, and parodies displayed during the nighttime shows, comedy sketches, and over social media platforms, quickly undid any progress made on my road to recovery.

The algorithms used by various streaming apps forced me to watch ads for law firms specializing in sexual assault, trailers for entertainment showcasing Epstein, and other triggering content. When opening an Etsy store, I stumbled onto Epstein t-shirts, stickers, décor, and more. I even discovered a category of pornography showcasing his heinous crimes while searching for freshly released news footage.

When court documents, rulings, and other details became available to the public, my mental health crumbled, allowing panic to resume control.

Although I now realize the news coverage and public interest are necessary to spread awareness, get answers, and find justice, at the time, it all seemed especially cruel. It made it impossible to escape and caused me to question the little faith I had left in humanity.   

RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein’s Cellmate Reveals Strange Details About The Final Days Before His Death

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If that wasn’t challenging enough, there had been one crucial rule that could never be broken for half of my life: Keep Your Mouth Shut.

After being stalked, threatened, and assaulted by Epstein or on his behalf on multiple occasions, fear had been seared into my brain, causing me to become triggered whenever I broke the rule. When selecting the best law firm to represent me, I anxiously shared what happened to each contender, causing my PTSD symptoms to flare.

The same occurred when I spoke with the FBI and then with therapists, loved ones, and medical professionals, time and again, until the feeling of constant panic became my norm.

However, through counseling, support groups, and other therapeutic resources, I eventually grew as a person and found my voice. My life would have been considerably better had I never met Epstein, but at least I’ve started to heal.  

While it’s not an opportunity that I wanted, being a victim in a high-profile case has given me a responsibility that I can’t ignore.

Sharing my story with the public was one of the most complex decisions I’ve ever made, but I’m glad that I did it. The entire experience is humbling, and I’m thankful. I’m continually blown away by the kind words, support, and inspiration from others. Life is still confusing, but the validation and encouragement provided by supporters have given me the courage to use my experiences to help others. 

RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein Took 8 Young Women On His Trips To See Bill Clinton At The White House, Visitor Log Reveals

There’s so much that I wish I would have known, as it would have saved me from years of anguish and self-hatred. I hope that my story will inspire others to seek the care and justice they deserve while also providing awareness of warning signs so others don't fall victim to other predators.

I plan to use my brand-new voice to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, but I can use as much help as possible.

Justice has not been achieved. Public interest must continue to grow, along with outrage and a demand for answers. If we standby and allow others, including children, to be tortured, sexually abused, and treated less-than-human, what does that say? I truly feel that if enough of us work together, no one can stop us from obtaining justice.

Sexual abuse of children and minors is incredibly common. According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 have experienced sexual abuse from an adult. Girls are far more likely to be victims of sexual abuse; the organization reports that 82% of all victims under 18 are female, and those who do suffer from assault and abuse are more likely to also develop mental health issues like depression, PTSD, and drug abuse.

Kelly Brennan is a writer, sexual assault survivor, and mental health advocate. To learn more about my experiences with Jeffrey Epstein, stay informed as my journey continues, or take an active role to support sexual assault victims, please visit CameraSweets.com

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