When disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein sat for a deposition in 2009, he was almost immediately flustered by a bizarrely personal question from the opposing counsel.
"Is it true sir," West Palm Beach lawyer Spencer Kuvin asked Epstein, "that you have what’s been described as an egg-shaped penis?"
At the time, Kuvin was representing three young girls in a lawsuit against Epstein following his 2008 conviction in Florida for soliciting a prostitute and of procuring an underage girl for prostitution. Even though dozens of accusers had come forward to authorities, Epstein struck a sweetheart plea deal that resulted in him serving only 13 months of an 18-month sentence. During his incarceration, he was allowed to be at his downtown office for 12 hours a day, six days a week.
The three girls suing him in this civil action were all minors when they say he sexually abused them.
The "egg-shaped" query jarred Epstein and the deposition was nearly cut short by the financier's attorney before it had barely begun. But Kuvin persisted over their objections.
"Sir, according to the police department's probable cause affidavit, one witness described your penis as oval-shaped and claimed when it was erect it was thick towards the bottom but was thin and small towards the head portion and called it egg-shaped,” Kuvin said. “Those are not my words, I apologize.”
That was enough for Epstein and his team, who ended the session in less than 100 seconds. Kuvin told Oxygen.com that was the very result he wanted, and fitting because his own young clients had been asked victim-blaming questions during their own depositions.
“The lawyer would ask the girls if they ever had abortions, if they ever had sex, what type of sex they had — oral sex, regular sex — I mean, they were asking all kinds of embarrassing, personal and nasty questions and these were children who were victims,” Kuvin, who said his clients were still under 18 at the time of the lawsuit, explained during a phone interview Friday. “So, I was working in that backdrop.”
Kuvin said his team hired a psychologist to give them a profile on Epstein. The psychologist determined that he was a narcissist who valued his self-image more than anything else.
“What I wanted to do was figure out the best way to rattle him,” Kuvin told Oxygen.com, adding that he already knew that Epstein was going to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Epstein can be seen pleading the Fifth in multiple deposition footage included in Netflix’s recent docuseries "Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich.”
Kuvin said he wanted to attack Epstein’s ego so that he could get a reaction from him, which he could turn into public humiliation. Kuvin told Oxygen.com that he was feeding stories to a reporter from the Palm Beach Daily News, an insert for the Palm Beach Post that often featured socialite and charity ball pictures, at the time.
“I knew that if I could get an embarrassing story in the Daily News, that would hit him right in his backyard with all of his friends and all of his buddies,” Kuvin said.
While media members couldn't be present at a deposition, they could see a transcript if it became public record. Kuvin's goal was to make it public.
Kuvin developed a series of questions from looking at witness statements and affidavits that could hurt Epstein’s ego. A witness described Epstein’s penis as egg-shaped so Kuvin drafted a question about that. After taking the question list to peers for advice, Kuvin said they unanimously told him to use the egg one.
The plan worked.
“He terminated it like I expected he would,” Kuvin told Oxygen.com. “He didn’t have a right to terminate it and he walked right into the trap that I laid for him.”
Since the termination wasn’t justified, Kuvin filed a motion for sanctions. In doing so, he filed a copy of the transcript and the video with the court.
“That’s exactly what I wanted to do because as soon as I did that, it became public record and any news reporter who wants to walk down and get a copy of it can,” Kuvin explained. He then encouraged his contact at the Palm Beach Daily News to request a copy of that court docket.
The end result was a humiliating story for Epstein and his team.
“His attorneys went apes--t for lack of a better phrase when that got out because it embarrassed the hell out of him when it came out and everybody was talking about it,” Kuvin said.
He said that shortly thereafter, all three of his related cases got resolved.
Epstein was thrust back into the limelight in July 2019 when he was arrested in a sweeping sex-trafficking case involving the alleged sexual abuse of young women and girls for years. Once again, his accusers didn’t get to see him go to trial as Epstein, 66, was found dead and hanging in his cell last August.
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