Actress/model Alicia Arden described Monday how she was fondled by Jeffrey Epstein during what she thought was going to be a modeling audition in Santa Monica in 1997, but said authorities never followed through on her complaint about what happened.
“I told the police that I did not ask or give permission to be touched or to have Epstein start taking my clothes off,” Arden said at a news conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred.
Arden, who has told her story in the past, and Allred spoke to reporters Monday in the wake of last week’s arrest of Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Epstein, who was accused of sexually assaulting dozens of underage girls, died in jail by suicide in August 2019.
Allred said if local authorities had acted on Arden’s police report back in 1997, it might have spared dozens of other women and girls from being victimized.
“Had he been investigated, and had he been prosecuted and convicted, perhaps countless victims would have been spared from the sexual assaults and rapes they were forced to suffer,” Allred said.
Arden said she met with Epstein in 1997 at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica for what she thought was going to be an audition to become a Victoria’s Secret model. But she said once she was in the room with him, Epstein puller her shirt over her head and yanked her skirt down.
She said she began crying, and when Epstein took a phone call, she headed for the door. She said Epstein offered her $100.
“I felt violated and mistreated,” she said.
Arden, who was 28 at the time, said that although she filed a police report, she was never contacted by police or prosecutors.
Allred and Arden said they’re calling on local authorities to explain why nothing was done at the time. Santa Monica police have previously said Arden declined to press charges against Epstein, but Arden has denied that allegation.
Allred, who represents 16 alleged victims of Epstein, also had harsh words during her news conference for Britain’s Prince Andrew, saying he should start talking to investigators about his ties with Epstein — especially now that Maxwell has been arrested.
“She knows quite a bit about the powerful men who were close to Jeffrey Epstein,” Allred said. “Ms. Maxwell is the one who introduced Prince Andrew to Jeffrey Epstein.”
She said it might behoove Prince Andrew to speak to investigators before Maxwell does.
“And the clock is ticking,” Allred said.
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