Writtten by:
Marlo Fisken
Jul 15 · 10 min read

‘TRAINING’ EPSTIEN

As I waited for my coffee yesterday, I looked down at a table of newspapers and saw his face, right there, on the front cover of the Seattle Times. He looked just like he did in person. The smirk was gone, but he wasn’t disempowered. They reported that he’s back in jail again. Maybe this time he will lose his status as one of the most leniently punished child sex-offenders in history.

This is the story of how I, at 21 years old, was hired as a ‘personal trainer’ for one of the world’s most brazen pedophiles, Jeffery Epstein.

It started with a connection from palm-laden University of Miami, where I went to college. Lucille Ball’s granddaughter, Kate, was a fan of my 10pm dance classes at the UM Wellness Center (In case you are from any post-‘Nick at Night’ generation, Lucille Ball was ‘Lucy’ in the massively popular 1950’s TV show, ‘I Love Lucy’). Kate had just discovered that we were both living in NYC. She’d grown up in affluent uptown Manhattan neighborhood and attended an exclusive private school?— the kind where chefs prepare all the meals, and kids can compare how many estates their parents own.

Kate sent me a message, inviting me out.

We met in a multi-level bar in midtown that catered to the after-work crowd. She introduced me to a friend she went to school with. She was slim and blonde with professionally managed hair, clearly coming from a wealthy, status-oriented life. She’d just had her breasts augmented, and was very proud of them.

This friend, we’ll call her “Samantha”, told me that she was Charlie Rose’s personal assistant. I had no idea who Charlie Rose was, but she made it sound important (Rose was a CBS and PBS staple who was later booted for discourteous and abusive behavior towards women. https://pagesix.com/2018/12/12/cbs-settles-lawsuit-with-charlie-rose-accusers).

Kate boasted about my abilities as a dance and fitness instructor. Then Samantha mentioned that her very wealthy friend was in search of a personal trainer. She was, effectually, one of his recruiters. She took my number and arranged to have me meet the new client at his residence.

Several days later, when I walked up to the East 71st street address, I was baffled. I’d never been in a neighborhood (which doesn’t even seem like the right term for an area like that) with a purpose other than, ‘marvel at the mysteries of extreme wealth’.

The address was a few steps from Central Park, and there was only one doorbell on the imposing 9-story building. As I understood it, large buildings have a selection of buzzers?—?or in uppity neighborhoods, a door man would ring the buzzer and ask the resident if you were, in fact, invited.

Not this one. The entire building was the home. It was the largest private residence in all of New York City.

A maid quietly answered the door and walked me through a gargantuan skylit marble foyer, subtly reluctant. She put me in the elevator alone. She took the stairs and met me as the doors opened, still avoiding eye contact. I wished that I had been invited to take the stairs, but I was realizing that I was visiting a different planet. I should just follow the customs if I wanted the gig.

The maid guided me to a palatial, lavishly decorated common room. Kate’s friend was already there, cleavage presented. She introduced me to Jeffery and some other ORWM (Old Rich White Man).

They gestured me to one of the squishy patterned couches, but I smiled and said I preferred to stand. Shit. Already, I was violating the customs of this place. I stood on a sideline of the couches as Samantha carried on in conversation with the men and left-turned the discussion towards her new bosoms. “Do you want to see?” she said. Within seconds, the whole room had seen her high-riding new tits, the little butterfly bandages still on. The men seemed pleased but also made it clear that this was a mundane occurrence. This was a place for casual tit approvals.

Jeffery then asked me a few questions, the nature of which I can’t remember. That happens when you visit new worlds.He told me the pay would be $100 an hour, cash, to come several times a week to train him. He knew nothing of my knowledge beyond hearsay from Samantha who heard it from Kate.

Without hesitation, I said, ‘OK’. The whole experience had been odd and confusing, but that was more than I’d make in any gym at my age and experience level. Plus, I was someone who willingly did things that seemed like semi-bad ideas but would make for good stories.

Jeffery’s primary, publicly recognized girlfriend appeared just before I left. She looked like she had abandoned a life of modeling for Victoria’s Secret catalogs to live a life of leisure. She was in her late 20’s, maybe even low 30s, and she had diamonds on her fingers that likely left her arms tired at the end of the day. I assumed her to be older than me because she looked unfathomably rich and beautiful, but truly, I had no idea. Her beauty was disorienting.

When I returned a few days later for our first session, I was escorted to an upper floor of the home, either the 5th or the 7th floor, past the in-home barber shop and into the gym. This time, it was the butler who showed me the way. He left me waiting in silence. As I anxiously scoped out what equipment was available and wracked my brain for what sensible training sessions on different planets were like, I noticed how many large photos of bare breasts hung on the walls. Tits literally lined the halls of this place.

During the first session with Jeffery, the phone rang repeatedly. It was an old cream-colored landline phone, the kind you’d see in a sleazy hotel. He answered every time, but it wasn’t a conversation; it was like he was listening to updates of some sort. Occasionally he’d say a word and then hang up. Whatever the calls were about, it made our session choppy and unimportant.

I resorted to teaching basic dance weight transfers since he didn’t seem willing to do any assessments, mobility, or body-weight strength work. I strained to guide his attention to his movement but I couldn’t find anything for him to focus on…other than tits and wordless phone calls.

At the end, he told me I’d have to travel to an outpost of this planet to get paid and that he wanted me to train his ‘girls’. I had no idea what that meant, other than more money, which sounded good.

I went to a huge ground-floor office in the New York Palace Hotel on 51st and Madison to pick up $800 cash, a partial advance. A sun-streaked room that probably should’ve housed a couture gown shop, instead, was dedicated to managing Jeffery’s finances. The space was brimming with enormous paper stacks and manila envelopes, edging on disarray.

I was a welcomed guest of a world where ground floor offices in luxury hotels are where your accountant does your personal bookkeeping and other people handle cash payouts to ‘trainers’. The energy in the room was both quietly frantic and stale. I felt many high-society secrets had funneled through this place. At this point, I was certain that whatever the current permutation of this room, more secrets were probably involved.

A lady working there told the white-shirted man nested amidst the piles that I was the new trainer. He continued on with his call, and leaned over the phone wire to pass me an envelope of crisp hundred notes.

The ‘girls’ lived on the Upper East Side. Having spent all my time downtown, the upper east side surprised me. Apartment buildings were tall. People looked uppity, unlike the edgy creatives of downtown. I made my way to an apartment where two sinewy teenage models lived. One of them was Eastern European, the other, Latina.

Did Jeffery pay for their housing? The interior was sparse; it looked more like a pre-furnished rental apartment than a home. The contents of the kitchen, or lack thereof, provided evidence that these two shunned food.

Training them was challenging. They were kind, but were very low energy, too weak to manage their own weight and worried about developing any visible muscle tone.

I went back to Jeffery’s house several more times. It was uncomfortable trying to fit into this world, but I was enjoying the cash and the potential of where the connections might lead. Once, while on one of his calls, he asked me to sit on his hamstring while he was prone. He said he liked the pressure of sits bones on his leg, and that’s what his Thai masseuse did. It was eyebrow raising, but not beyond my boundaries, so I obliged. He laid face down and took a call while I sat on his hamstrings and massaged his calves.

Another time, he told me that his Russian ballet trainer massaged his testicles to aid his flexibility. I told him that I didn’t offer that service and tried to bring his attention back to the stretch we were doing.

The next time I was to be paid, I was sent to the home of his assistant, Sarah Kellen. Sarah was Jeffery’s primary assistant and was somehow connected with Samantha who brought me in initially. Kellen had a brownstone with a maid’s quarters. In other words, she was living quite well as a personal assistant. When Jeffery wanted a session, Sarah was the one to text me. I wondered why this man of infinite wealth had to send me around town to get a few hundred dollars cash from other people, but it didn’t seem like prying was favorable.

The last time I ever trained Jeffery, he said, “So if you are a dancer, why are you so out of shape? You’re overweight.” A bit shocked at the delivery, but not disbelieving its truth, I tried to explain. I was new to the city, I wasn’t dancing much because I was trying to make a living, and I didn’t need to be super thin because of the type of dance I pursued. Prior to that, I hadn’t considered that the small pad of softness around my middle made me ‘overweight’. In this world, I was.

I started to understand that Jeffery liked very slim teenage girls for personal use, and supermodels for public display. If you weren’t one of them, he wasn’t interested in anything you had to offer. Twenty-one and athletic, I was too old and too thick for his taste. He didn’t want a trainer, he wanted a smattering of women to appease him.

I wasn’t contacted again.

I went on with my life, seeking employment in gyms and making my way into the world of commercial dance. But I didn’t speak much of my time with Epstein. Even though I went into it looking for a story to tell, I didn’t. It ended abruptly and it left me empty of words to describe how I felt.

Years passed before Jeffery’s indiscretions hit the news. As I dug into the reporting, finally getting insight to what I had sensed, I discovered interviews with massage girls whom he picked up as 15 year-olds and details of his odd bulb-like penis (which I took particular delight in knowing). By the ages of 18 and 19, the girls he controlled were disposed of; they’d become too old for him.

I learned that the apartment where I went to train the girls was, in fact, his. It was where he housed girls he brought in from other countries. The media referred to these girls as his ‘sex slaves’. They were for him, but they were also an offering for his high-profile connections.

Sarah Kellen (her name has since changed), the one who used to book me, received immunity for testifying against Jeffery. She was the one who would bring girls to his mansion to be abused.

The gorgeous girlfriend likely was a supermodel; Jeffery was friends with Victoria’s Secret’s CEO Leslie Wexner and was connected to the MC2 modeling agency- which was one of the funnels he used to find new girls.

His once underage erotic masseuse and recruiter of more girls, Virginia Roberts, said, “His appetite was insatiable. He wanted new girls with fresh, young faces every single day?—?that was just the sickness that he had…”.

Many news outlets reported that Jeffery was close friends with Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, and the Clintons. His wealth provided him limitless connections and a network of people to feed his desires. Many of the recruiters tasked with bringing him girls by promising modeling work and education were female, like the few I met. Once in his world, the underage girls were coerced into sex acts with him and his high-society friends in his mansions and on his private island. The island, which is part of the British Virgin Islands, became known as ‘pedophile island’ by people in neighboring areas, and the large staff that worked there because of how many young women he sheperded in.

I was fortunate to be a bit too old, meaty and independent for Epstein’s tastes. While I was merely granted day passes into Epstein’s world?— I now know the girls in the Upper East Side apartment were in deep. I think he believed he owned them. They were just two of dozens who were embroiled in his abuse.

It is so easy for someone with tycoon-level power to groom young women (or probably nearly anyone) for manipulation- especially when they are coming from other countries or have relocated to follow a dream. Sex trafficking is estimated to be a 150 billion dollar-a-year industry by the International Labor Organization* and it happens at every level of society. Sometimes, someone you know is involved.

Even though news first broke about Epstein’s crimes about 10 years ago, he only spent a month in a private wing of a county jail after the original trial. While on probation, he was allowed to hire his own psychologist and continue flying on his private jet, bouncing between his properties.

We will see if that finally changes.

I give my fullest support to Jeffery’s victims, and I hope that his wealth and connections cannot continue to protect him from justice.