Jeffrey Epstein died Saturday after hanging himself, according to authorities.
He was found unresponsive in his cell 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning and taken to New York Downtown Hospital under cardiac arrest.
His surprising death comes after the wealthy hedge fund investor had been on suicide watch beginning July 23rd after he was found slumped over with neck injuries. That suicide watch ended on July 29th when he was moved into a special housing facility.
Epstein’s suicide came just one day after hundreds of court documents were unsealed that alleged claims of sex abuse against him and several powerful associates, including a former president and England’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
The unsealed documents contained descriptions of sexual abuse by Epstein along with new allegations of sexual abuse by “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister and other world leaders.”
Others named in the documents were former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, financier Glenn Dubin, former Democratic senator George Mitchell, MIT scientist Marvin Minsky (deceased), and modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel. Mentioned anonymously were “another prince” and a “former president.”
Authorities said that Epstein hung himself in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center (MCC) where he was being held without bail pending his trial.
The FBI and the Inspector General are investigating Epstein’s death, according to Attorney General William Barr.
“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Barr said in a statement. “Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated as an earlier version incorrectly stated that Epstein was still on suicide watch and that he died in his cell.