If there's a lawyer in South Florida in a position to hustle big cash settlements out of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, that lawyer is Adam Horowitz, who represents seven women who have filed suit against the billionaire, seeking damages based on claims he sexually molested them. That makes Horowitz the attorney with the most Epstein clients -- but he didn't use that as an investment opportunity, a la Rothstein.
"Whatever Rothstein said to investors, it didn't involve our firm's clients," said Horowitz, a partner at Mermelstein & Horowitz in Miami. Everything he knows about Rothstein's activities comes from the media. "I read about how he was marketing these cases and making representations, but no one from our firm had any contact with Rothstein on our cases against Epstein.
Brad Edwards is the former Rothstein Rosenfeldt & Adler attorney who did have a couple of clients with active suits against Epstein.
In a suit Epstein's attorneys filed this week, they allege that Edwards made court statements embellishing the number of Epstein victims. The suit claims those statements were false and designed to lure investors to Rothstein's Ponzi scheme. It even alleges that one of Edwards' clients was in on it, changing her testimony against Epstein as a strategy for improving the investments being offered by Rothstein.
Of course, even if those Epstein attorneys establish that Edwards and clients were acting in concert with Rothstein, there's still the question of how Epstein himself was damaged by such a scheme -- the complaint references Epstein's being exposed to "abusive investigatory tactics, unprincipled media attacks, and unsupportable legal filings." With that suit pending, it's a difficult matter for Edwards to speak about publicly, but Horowitz can offer his informed opinion about some of those claims in Epstein's complaint.
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"I find it disgraceful to sue the victim," Horowitz told me yesterday. "Whatever Rothstein did, it's highly unlikely any of his firm's clients were in cahoots with him. It's a classic case of shifting the blame: pointing the finger at someone else who did something wrong."
Then there's the issue of how Espstein was damaged:
"He is accused of molesting many girls," says Horowitz. "Even if Epstein is able to prove that Rothstein had made misrepresentations, I don't know how you tarnish the reputation of a sex offender. His public image was tarnished long ago when he did these horrific acts and then gave a guilty plea."
Even if it's a flimsy lawsuit, it still has the makings for some fascinating pretrial testimony: The Miami Herald reports that Bill Clinton, music executive Tommy Mottola, and magician David Copperfield are some of the famous people on the list to be deposed by Epstein attorneys. For more on how Epstein's case was exploited by Rothstein, see this post on Pulp.