How Jeffrey Epstein Nearly Killed Me
Epstein’s Impact On My Life Is Never-Ending
My name is Kelly Brennan, and I am a survivor of sexual assault perpetrated by Jeffrey Epstein in 2003. The impact that Epstein had on my life (and continues to have to this day) is profoundly negative and widespread, branching into all aspects of my life and even into the lives of those around me.
In 2003, as a senior in high school, I wrote a letter to my future self as a school assignment, only months before my encounter with Jeffrey Epstein. It was meant to be opened and read in 2013, ten years from when it was first written; however, I opened it just over a year later at the age of nineteen, not long after Epstein committed numerous crimes against me. As I read it, I updated answers by crossing out text and adding new content, depicting my new way of thinking and how my life has gotten so far off course.
Recently in 2021, while working with my lawyers, I was asked to express how my experiences with Epstein had impacted my life. To do so, I recorded a video of myself reading the letter for the first time in well over a decade while analyzing and commenting on the drastic changes in my answers. I include details about the assault and how I almost died in the video.
The original purpose of this exercise was to create a video that I could include with my submission with proof of what happened. Since the letter was like an artifact that documented my state of mind and overall well-being both directly before and after Epstein, it was able to portray how much I had changed better than I could put it in words. However, it was never submitted. Believing the video might help people understand the impact of sexual assault and the urgent need for effective mental health services to heal, I’ve decided to share it with the public. Please note that the video has been edited to protect the privacy of others mentioned in the video. The video has also been shortened by removing long pauses and irrelevant information.
Below are additional details about the entire experience and my current mental state. Click on the video to watch my first-hand explanation of how Epstein impacted my life and nearly killed me.
Disclaimer: The video contains mature information and may be triggering to some. Viewer discretion is advised. To view the video on YouTube, go to: https://youtu.be/23tLNSesAl4.
SINCE THE RECORDING
Please know that my mental state has drastically improved since the recording of this video through therapy, support groups and medication. I appreciate the well wishes and empathy, but it’s not necessary. More than anything, I hope you reach out to your family members and other loved ones to communicate proactively. I’ve created a series of image stickers that can easily be mailed or texted to assist with this. Go to https://www.camerasweets.com/resources/stickers to obtain all of the free stickers now.
Protect your loved ones by proactively communicating.
Over the last year or so, as I worked with my lawyers at Merson Law to participate in the Victim’s Compensation Program, I was asked to express how my encounter with Jeffrey Epstein had impacted my life. Until the Netflix Documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, had aired in 2020, I had ignored that part of my life, pushing the horrific memories deep down inside, pretending they never happened. However, the documentary, intense public interest and constant news coverage made it impossible to ignore the pain and forced my eyes open. Previously emotionally unable and unwilling to face what Jeffrey Epstein did to me or how he ruined my life, my mind had unwittingly switched to autopilot, allowing my old friend, Denial, to take the reigns, pushing the abuse aside and prioritizing survival over all else. Because of this, until recently, I had never thought about his impact on my life, as it was impossible without ever acknowledging the trauma first.
Since then, I’ve worked to improve my mental state, becoming strong enough to face the abuse and accept the related imprint on my life. Yet, even when ready as I’d ever been, I still stumbled, unsure of how to start at first and then unable to find the right words.
Luckily, having just moved, I had recently found a letter that helped me complete the task during the packing process. After digging it out of a box in the basement, I set my phone to record a video* of my reading the letter aloud.
In 2003, a teacher at my high school handed out an assignment directing each student to write a private letter to their future self. If students struggled with what to write, they could use a questionnaire that the teacher had provided.
At seventeen, as a confused senior in high school, I had no idea what my future would bring or who I wanted to be a decade later; no less what to write to my future self. After deciding to use the template, which consisted of twenty-five thought-provoking questions, I carefully wrote my answers, sealed the letter in an envelope, and placed it in a special memorabilia box that I kept in my room. I intended to follow the directions by opening it ten years later, in 2013.
However, only a year or so later, my life changed drastically. While away at college during my first year, I was introduced to Jeffrey Epstein. After gaining my trust, he went on to lie, manipulate and rape me before later arranging to have me stalked and threatening to stay quiet.
Unable to finish out the year, I returned home before venturing out on my own not much later. During that time, feeling nostalgic and lost, I combed through my box of memorabilia filled with trinkets, letters, gifts and other odds and ends that I had collected through the years while recalling brighter days and wishing to go back in time. After stumbling across the letter, feelings jipped and lower than ever, I opened and read it, crossing out text and writing new answers. In doing so, I had unknowingly created an artifact that represented two pivotal times in my life, just before my experiences with Jeffrey Epstein and just after.
After reading the letter, it was clear that Jeffrey Epstein had a substantially negative impact on my life and overall well-being. I changed from a child that had hope for a bright future to a broken 19-year-old with nothing but pain to look forward to. The impact continues today as I still suffer from PTSD and live in fear of Jeffrey Epstein, even after his death and his associates.