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Jeffrey Epstein Docs Inspired These Misleading Pics and Videos To Go Viral

The unsealing of documents related to Epstein reignited rumors about his past connections to former presidents and celebrities.

Published Jan 12, 2024

 (Snopes archives)
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Rumors about Jeffrey Epstein’s inner circle filled social feeds in early 2024 after a judge in New York unsealed legal documents related to his sexual abuse of teenage girls.

While the records added few details to what was already known about Epstein’s offenses, they gave fodder to people eager to fictionalize the late, convicted sex offender’s impact on high-profile people and evidence of his crimes.

From fake photos generated by artificial intelligence (AI) to miscaptioned videos, several misleading pieces of media circulated widely in tandem with the documents' release. Here's a sample:

Think you’ve come across a fake photo or miscaptioned video involving Epstein? Send it our way for potential fact-checking.

Not all rumors linking Epstein to former presidents are made up. For instance, a photo showing Trump with two of his children, Ivanka and Eric, alongside Epstein in the ‘90s is real, as well as a photo that was taken a few years later including Melania Trump and Epstein’s longtime partner, Ghislaine Maxwell. Also, there is a genuine photograph of Chauntae Davies, one of the women who has come forward to accuse Epstein of sexual abuse, giving Clinton a shoulder massage.

Moreover, Epstein's connection to former presidents has been well known for years. And, while politicians including Trump and Clinton appeared in the recently unsealed files, it was erroneous to frame that fact as evidence of their complicity in Epstein-related sex crimes.

— Snopes staff contributed to this report.

Jessica Lee is Snopes' Senior Assignments Editor with expertise in investigative storytelling, media literacy advocacy and digital audience engagement.