Jes Staley, the former boss of Barclays, has been accused in documents lodged at a US court of “personally observ[ing] the sexual abuse of young women” by Jeffrey Epstein.
Staley, 66, who resigned as chief executive of Barclays in November 2021 after a preliminary investigation by the UK regulators into his relationship with Epstein, is named in a lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s victims.
The woman, known only as Jane Doe 1, is suing JP Morgan, where Staley was chief executive of its exclusive private bank until 2013 and had Epstein as a client.
In the complaint filed at Manhattan federal court and seen by the Guardian, she alleges that Staley knew of Epstein’s trafficking of young women and witnessed his abuse of them.
She claims that Staley often visited Epstein at his homes, including at “the massage room” of his New York townhouse, his private island in the US Virgin Islands, and a “victim stash house” property on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
“Staley … was a regular visitor of Epstein’s … and personally observed Jane Doe 1 as a sexual trafficking and abuse victim at times including through his departure from JP Morgan in 2013,” the complaint states.
“To be clear, during his years as a top executive at JP Morgan, Staley was not only one of Epstein’s closest pals, but more importantly, he was a frequent visitor at Epstein’s townhouse, including visiting the massage room; Staley met many of Epstein’s trafficking victims, including Jane Doe 1; Staley visited the Epstein-owned victim stash house apartments at [an address on the Upper East Side], and Staley personally observed the sexual abuse of young women, including Jane Doe 1,” the filing states. “These actions were within the scope of Staley’s employment at JP Morgan.
“As a result of Staley’s direct and actual knowledge of Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture, JP Morgan had direct and actual knowledge of Epstein’s sex-trafficking venture.”
Staley’s lawyer declined to comment, but has previously said: “We wish to make it expressly clear that our client had no involvement in any of the alleged crimes committed by Mr Epstein.”
JP Morgan declined to comment. The bank has previously called on the court to dismiss the lawsuit claiming it did not participate in or benefit from sex trafficking by their former client. “Jane Doe 1 is a survivor of Epstein’s sexual abuse, and she is entitled to justice” but has filed meritless claims against the “wrong party”, the bank said in December.
In a separate US court filing last week by the US Virgin Islands, which is pursuing its own case against JP Morgan accusing it of abetting Epstein’s sex trafficking, Staley was accused of having such a “profound friendship” with Jeffrey Epstein that it could “even suggest that Staley may have been involved in Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation”.
Staley developed a relationship with Epstein in 2000 when he was hired to lead JP Morgan’s private bank, which handles wealthy clients. Staley stayed in contact with Epstein for seven years after the latter was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008, and visited Epstein in Florida while he was still serving his sentence and on work release in 2009.
Epstein was found dead in a New York jail cell in 2019 where he was being held without bail after his arrest on sex-trafficking charges. He was facing trial in Manhattan on federal crimes, having worked out a plea deal in Florida years earlier on charges of sex offences.