June 10, 2023

Celebrities together with Kathy Griffin, Rosie O’Donnell and Chelsea Handler have spoken out in latest months to disclaim claims that they frolicked on convicted intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein’s non-public Caribbean island, Little St. James.

Following Epstein’s demise by obvious suicide in jail in 2019, lists have been shared on social media purporting to point out the high-profile individuals who had visited the island, which is east of Puerto Rico in the US Virgin Islands. Epstein bought the island in 1998 and owned it till his demise.

Moreover, there are allegations {that a} host of stars flew on Epstein’s non-public jet, which was used to move company to the island and derisively known as the “Lolita Categorical” following allegations that it was used to fly underage ladies to a few of his properties.

A number of celebrities’ names have been baselessly added to the combo of Epstein’s company by a faction of social media customers who’ve focused public figures as a part of an obvious marketing campaign to hyperlink them to the disgraced financier’s crimes.

Jeffrey Epstein on September 8, 2004, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Claims have arisen that Disney as soon as provided cruises to the convicted intercourse offender’s non-public Caribbean island.
Rick Friedman/Corbis by way of Getty Pictures

A Each day Mail article printed in February claimed that soon-to-be-unsealed court docket paperwork from Epstein’s case are “anticipated to incorporate info pertaining to at the least one ‘public determine.'”

Based on the outlet, court docket paperwork confer with “alleged perpetrators” or people accused of “severe wrongdoing.” The individuals are not named within the submitting.

The report added gasoline to conspiracy theories about quite a few celebrities accused of flying to Epstein’s island aboard his jet. Then-Inexperienced Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who’s now a New York Jet, urged in February that there was an Epstein “consumer listing.”

There is no such thing as a proof that those that visited Epstein’s island or flew on his non-public jet had been engaged in any criminality.

The Declare

Along with sure celebrities, Disney Cruise Line was lately hit with allegations that it gives an itinerary that features visits to Epstein’s island.

Musician and conservative commentator Dom Lucre, who’s also called Dominick Andrew McGee, made the declare in a Twitter publish shared on Could 18.

“Do you know that Disney […] Was Sending Children To Epstein’s Island For Snorkeling Journeys?” Lucre wrote. “The Disney cruise ship stopped at Little Saint James Island for day journeys for years regardless of Epstein’s historical past of pedophilia.”

Hooked up to the publish, which has been considered greater than 800,000 occasions, is a screenshot of an itinerary that describes a “snorkel cease [at] Little St. James Island—the place curious fish darkish backwards and forwards within the clear blue water, and colourful coral formations nestle subsequent to wonderful underwater formations.”

“See for your self,” Lucre added in a follow-up tweet as he shared a hyperlink to an internet site known as “Magical Kingdoms,” which describes the three.5-hour tour.

The outing is listed as advisable for guests aged 8 and above, with youngsters’s costs set at $60 apiece. The grownup value, for guests age 10 and over, is listed as $75.

“Captain Nautica’s Snorkeling Expedition,” as it’s titled, can be listed as together with a cease at close by Turtle Cove, Buck Island.

The itinerary is considered one of a number of listed on the web site, although the one one which names Little St. James amongst its island stops.

The Information

There are not any credible sources saying that Disney Cruise Line’s vessels make stops, or have ever stopped, at Little St. James.

In April 2022, the Related Press reported that Disney denied claims its cruises made stops at Epstein’s non-public island, or had any affiliation with it.

“The island, in addition to one other location, had been included within the description of a third-party tour in order that contributors might determine the areas the place snorkeling could be out there,” a press release from Disney learn. “The tour had no connection to the island itself and Disney has by no means had plans involving the island.”

NPR reported this month that Little St. James and the neighboring Nice St. James—additionally beforehand owned by Epstein—had been bought by financier Stephen Deckoff for $60 million by way of his SD Investments agency. Based on the outlet, plans are afoot to show the islands right into a resort vacation spot.

Disney Wonder cruise ship
A normal view of the Disney Surprise cruise ship at Avalon harbor on October 26, 2022, in Avalon, California.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Pictures/Getty Pictures

The inaccurate claims concerning Disney and Epstein had been a part of quite a few false claims trying to hyperlink each events and incorrectly paint the leisure conglomerate as sympathetic to pedophiles and predatory to younger youngsters.

When the false allegations arose final 12 months, Disney had made headlines for criticizing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Training invoice. The invoice, also called the “Do not Say Homosexual” regulation, says that “a college district could not encourage classroom dialogue about sexual orientation or gender identification in main grade ranges or in a fashion that’s not age-appropriate or developmentally acceptable for college students.”

It additionally says that folks “could deliver an motion in opposition to a college district to acquire a declaratory judgment {that a} college district process or follow violates this paragraph and search injunctive reduction. A court docket could award damages and shall award cheap legal professional charges and court docket prices to a guardian who receives declaratory or injunctive reduction.”

After DeSantis, a Republican, signed the invoice into regulation in March 2022, Disney mentioned in a press release: “Florida’s HB 1557, also called the ‘Do not Say Homosexual’ invoice, ought to by no means have handed and will by no means have been signed into regulation. We’re devoted to standing up for the rights and security of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney household, in addition to the LGBTQ+ neighborhood in Florida and throughout the nation.”

Disney, which continues to be at loggerheads with DeSantis, has since confronted criticism from a faction of conservatives angered by the corporate’s stance.

Whereas Disney’s guardian firm is headquartered in Burbank, California, its huge theme park in Florida employs roughly 80,000 folks within the state’s central area.

The Ruling


False. Disney has mentioned that the tour in query, which was listed by a third-party tour operator, didn’t embrace a cease at Little St. James, nor was the corporate affiliated with the island.

There are not any credible sources that dispute Disney’s assertion, and no proof that its cruise ships have ever made stops at Little St. James.

The allegations arose as a part of a smear marketing campaign in opposition to Disney during which detractors tried to hyperlink Epstein to the corporate after it opposed DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Training invoice, which was signed into regulation in 2022.

Of late, such tales about celebrities have gone viral amid a faction of conspiracy theorists who’ve shared different inaccurate claims about public figures. One other persistent rumor quotes Mel Gibson accusing Hollywood elites of torturing and murdering youngsters, earlier than ingesting their blood in satanic rituals. Gibson’s spokesperson advised Newsweek in March that this was “fully false.”

Newsweek has reached out to Disney representatives by way of electronic mail for remark.