Back in the News: Jeffrey Epstein and His Special Friend

Jeffrey Epstein, the shadowy money manager who pleaded guilty in 2007 to soliciting underage teen girls for sex, is expected to leave a Florida prison in a couple of weeks. (Not that he's been spending much time behind bars in recent months: As part of a work-release program, he's been allowed to leave the jail from 10am to 10 pm, six days a week, to "work" out of his "office" in West Palm Beach.) But while Epstein has something to be cheerful about these days, one of his old acquaintances was handed a major defeat last week. Maximilia "Ava" Cordero, the transgender teenager who sued Epstein and claimed she'd been forced to engage in "bizarre and unnatural sex acts" with the billionaire in exchange for his help advancing her career as a model, just lost her libel and defamation lawsuit against the New York Post.

Cordero sued the paper not long after the Post ran a front-page story that revealed she'd been born a man. (The headline: "Gender-Bend Shocker: Kinky-Sex Suit Gal Is a Man.") The piece also included details about Cordero's life, which were gleaned from several MySpace pages she supposedly maintained, including one which detailed a "masturbatory fantasy" she had of "being with multiple men and then multiple women," and another that listed some of her recreational habits. ("I love to have fun, hang out and party! Oh and I'm a junk head... pills, designer substances...")

Cordero's "lawyer, roommate and ex-boyfriend," a man by the name of William Unroch, helped Cordero assemble a libel and defamation lawsuit against the paper, arguing that the MySpace pages were actually fakes and by describing the fantasies in detail, readers were left to conclude that his client (and ex-girlfriend) was a "promiscuous slut." (Go figure.) Cordero and Unroach scored an early victory when a lower court denied the paper's motion to dismiss the case. Last week, however, an appeals court weighed in and came to a different conclusion, and kicked the case to the curb.

So Cordero's lawsuit is now history. And Jeffrey Epstein will be getting out of prison in a couple of weeks and will presumably be looking to reconnect with the outside world. Here's hoping the two reunite and make up and the story has a happy ending!

Ava v NYP Holdings, Inc. [NY Supreme Court, Appelate Division]