Via America’s Lawyer: It turns out Epstein used blackmail and coercion to keep his victims from fleeing his private island. Attorney and founder of Runaway Girl Carissa Phelps joins Mike Papantonio to discuss the haunting psychological impact of human trafficking and explains steps people can take to keep themselves safe from predators. Plus, disturbing new findings point to over a hundred everyday makeup products that have been contaminated with PFAS toxins. Attorney Sara Papantonio joins Mike Papantonio to break down how both regulators and manufacturers are to blame for these dangerous “forever chemicals” making their way into a laundry list of items being sold on store shelves.

Click here to learn more about PFAS lawsuits.

Click here to learn more about human trafficking lawsuits.

Transcript:

*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             You’ve seen the documents, you saw how bad the documents were in the 1960s, 1970s, monkeys were dying, all the monkeys were dying in the test. Beagles were dying, all the beagles were dying. Rats were dying. And as you know, I just took the deposition of the general counsel for 3M, who is making this product. And so at what point you say this wasn’t a mistake? That there was some intent involved. Just talk about that just, just a little bit.

Sara Papantonio:              It, it absolutely wasn’t a mistake. Like you said, we, 3M the company that manufacturers 90% of this chemical has known for decades. Since the, at least the eighties, that this is a bio-persistent drug that is not going to leave the body anytime soon. And that it’s going to react with the body.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. You’ve been asked, our firm’s been asked to handle this case in Europe, because we thought the PFAS was only a US problem. But the truth is it’s in everybody’s blood all over the planet right now. The government under, the government under Trump was trying to say, oh, well, you know, there’s nothing we can do about it. So sorry. And at the same time failing to say, oh, by the way, this causes cancer, birth defects, liver disease, hormone disruption, and it’s in the environment for a million years. Give me your call on what this administration will do.

Sara Papantonio:              Well, I hope they do the right thing and they find ways to take it out. I mean, like you said, it’s not going away anytime soon. But if we stop it in its tracks right now, we can protect generations to come. We can at least find solutions to get this out of the environment, to some degree.

Mike Papantonio:             So as we look at it, it’s something that regulatory oversight, what we’re finding as we look at these documents, regulators were actually told, all these, all these monkeys died. All of these beagles died when we did the experiment. We found out that the company, they held that back from the, from the regulators. But then at some point the regulators got it and still didn’t do anything. So right now it’s in our drinking water. Matter of fact, right here in this town of Pensacola, it’s in our drinking water. It’s in the drinking water of most cities, urban cities throughout the United States. There’s a way to solve that, isn’t there?

Sara Papantonio:              Yeah. I mean, there’s filters. There’s, there’s an ability to take it out, but it just lands on the regulators and it lands on companies like 3M to do their job and fix this problem that they’ve caused.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Okay. So you’ve heard the term, externalizing risk, right? So a company comes to town. They, they make the taxpayer take all the risks. They make the consumer takes all the risk and 3M keeps all of the money. And that is the new way that businesses conduct themselves in the US, let the taxpayers, let the consumers take all the risk. Isn’t that kind of what we’re seeing with this case?

Sara Papantonio:              Yeah. And, and I hope it changes relatively soon because that, it’s on 3M. This, they created this issue, they have to fix it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. And they’ve got the money to do it. They just need to get busy. Sara, thank you for joining me. Okay. That’s all for tonight. Find us on Twitter and Facebook @facebook.com/rtamericaslawyer. You can watch all RT programs on Direct TV channel 321. Also stream them live on YouTube and be sure to check out RT’s new portable app, where you can watch all your favorite shows. I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer where every week we tell you the stories that corporate media is ordered not to tell because their advertisers won’t let them and because their political involvement doesn’t allow for it. Have a great night.

Mike Papantonio:             A new filing in the cases against Jeff Epstein have revealed that he’d use blackmail and he used coercion techniques to prevent women from fleeing his property. Joining me to talk about this is Carissa Phelps. She’s one of our lawyers and just is an expert in this area. Carissa, look, start by telling us the story, the new development that’s coming around the Epstein case.

Carissa Phelps:                  Well, fortunately, people are able to share their story as it’s taken so long for them to be able to do so around this case. And what he used was, you know, blackmail in the same way that he used blackmail in other cases, that’s what’s being alleged, is that you had people that were holding dossiers and information on his victims and holding acts. Maybe they were innocent acts. Maybe they were supposedly criminal acts that he convinced them they would get in trouble for. They would lose an opportunity over. And he was holding that over their head, allegedly.

Mike Papantonio:             The, the lawyer involved, Brad Edwards, longtime friend, wonderful lawyer who actually started all of this. He stayed with it. You know, he wasn’t, it wasn’t about am I going to make a big fee, it is, can I make some justice take place? Judges blew it. Regulators blew it. Department of justice blew it. State prosecutors blew it, did a terrible, terrible job.

Carissa Phelps:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And to me, we ought to take a close look about prosecuting some of them for their failures, because it was, it’s too close, the conduct is simply too close to say, well, it was just bad judgment. I think there was some intent involved there. And I think we had to take a serious look at it. But so, so this case centers around the one that Brad’s going forward with centers around Priscilla Doe, 22 year old ballet dancer, lay that out for me just a little bit.

Carissa Phelps:                  Well, if someone has hopes and dreams and they fought to get to where they’re at and they’re offered an opportunity, maybe for something that seems like an easy job or a shortcut to help them through the hard times where they’re trying to support something like in the arts that’s so hard to get support for in the United States happens. There, there could be some pressure, some recruiting that goes on, which it sounds like happened with her. In her complaint, she talks about a recruiter who kind of sold her this dream and this idea that she would only have to do massages or she would only have to do certain acts. And that’s usually how the lie starts is there’s only going to be so much you have to do, you have control and you have power and it’s just simply a lie.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Carissa Phelps:                  And then once they fall prey to it, once they’re in that trap, it’s a tangled web.

Mike Papantonio:             So this, this story centers around something called HBRK. Now as a corporation, attorney Wiener is the guy in charge of it and he’s working with Epstein. Who’s working with Klein, who’s working with Khan, who’s working with Wiener. So this whole group, this whole cabal is involved in something, whether they’re saying they intentionally knew or not, this resulted in a massive amount of trafficking of young girls. Not uncommon.

Carissa Phelps:                  Correct. I mean, what a trafficker requires are these third parties, these businesses that seemingly are legitimate to help effectuate what they want to get done, which is to have that power and control over an individual. So having those businesses on their side, having those professionals, those individuals who worked for him, taking care of this kind of business, helped him to grow in terms of the trafficking organization he was running and the larger blackmail scheme that he’s being accused of as well.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, now there’s even the possibility, I think you and I talked earlier, sometimes the stories can be made up. Okay. You’ve got, you’ve got Maxwell, you’ve got Epstein who’s passed money around from everybody to Bill Clinton, to Trump, to everybody with influence. And so he is in this influential position. Maxwell is in this influential position. They literally could make up a story and say, I’m going to go to the department of justice, or I’m going to go to the state attorney’s office and they’re going to believe me. They’re not going to believe you because you’re from the Ukraine. And you came over here to get a job. And then we put you as a waitress and then we moved you to a strip club. And then we moved you into, into prostitution. Who’s going to believe that, you see?

Carissa Phelps:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             And so, so the story is plausible, isn’t it?

Carissa Phelps:                  Well, yeah. And the worst trap of all Pap is, is this was your choice. That’s what they’re making them believe, right? This was your choice. Didn’t you want this? Didn’t you like having fancy things or having these, these opportunities to go to chase their dreams? They’re going to make them feel like it was their choice and it was their fault and they will feel ashamed of coming forward. And when they do come forward, if they’re not met with any kind of trained trauma informed victim centered approach, then they’re going to be ignored by the system.

Mike Papantonio:             Real quick question. As I was looking at some of these stories, one thing was just nauseating to me. As Epstein had, had the Doe girl on the floor, rubbing his feet as he’s watching movies in a movie theater. You’re, you started this by saying, you got to take something away from these girls. What are you taking away from their, their, their character, their integ? What, what’s the takeaway on that?

Carissa Phelps:                  Well, you make them feel like they can only exist with you. So they’re only important because of you. They’re only important because you say they’re important. They’re only given power when you say they can have that power, that control or that voice. And that is, that’s a hallmark of exploitation and abuse. And this, this cycle goes on because they believe it themselves. They internalize that, that I, I belong to this person. I’m not worthy without them. And those types of acts like having them serve food when they’re an award-winning ballerina, you know, having them be demeaned into a position of being on the floor and rubbing my feet is my sick, you know, way of controlling that, that human being.

Mike Papantonio:             In other words, the control is you’re not good enough. You don’t fit in. There’s nothing that, that you can do about your situation. It is to demean them to the point to where it’s not, sometimes it’s not violence, it’s not slapping them around because the traffickers worried about, maybe I’m going to be discovered if I do that. But it’s really, really more of a matter of just taking away everything that ought to motivate them as a person. Right?

Carissa Phelps:                  Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             And we see this in the European situation, a lot. The recruits say in the Ukraine, how would you like to come to the United States, have a job working in a restaurant as a, as a greeter? And then, oh, you can make more money if you want to work in our club over here, it’s a strip club. And oh, by the way, you can make more money on the pole. And, you know, you can make more money by talking to Tom over here who wants to meet you. And before you know it, they’re in the system squarely.

Carissa Phelps:                  Well, and I’ve seen that turn into a form of labor trafficking too. So if they’re giving all of their, they’re basically being recruited to be held into these strip clubs or into these organizations that are labor trafficking them, right. That’s just that sheer definition of labor trafficking, whether or not someone believes it’s their choice, or they’re being powered. If they’re giving 90% and they’re being held and told that they’re, you know, being threatened, that they’re being threatened either with, with violence or demonic possession, everything’s been put out there in terms of threats and what a trafficker can use. There’s no holds bar when it comes to someone who has an evil plan.

Mike Papantonio:             Glimmer of hope, you’re the glimmer of hope. Okay. You’re the glimmer of hope because keep it up. We’re, we’re all in. We’re, we’re all in this fight and I, I’m optimistic some good’s going to come out of it. Thank you for joining me, Carissa.

Carissa Phelps:                  Thank you, Pap.

Mike Papantonio:             We’ve discussed on this show, how PFAS toxins have made their way into our drinking water. And now we’re seeing reports that these forever toxins are contaminating makeup products that are still being sold on store shelves. I have Sara Papantonio with me to talk about this product, this product and this story. You’ve worked on this PFAS project for awhile. You understand this case very well. I, when I saw this, that women are putting this on their face every day, that’s absorbed through the skin and regulatory is just like kicking the can down the road. What’s your take on this story?

Sara Papantonio:              Right and in order to understand this story, you got to understand just how potent of a toxin this is. PFAS is what we call the forever chemical. That’s what we’ve labeled it in, in pop culture as. And what that means is that it’s bio-persistent, it stays in the blood. It’s bio-accumulative, it accumulates the more you get and it’s bio-active. So it reacts with the organs. And so that’s what these people are putting onto their eyes, their face, their makeup, and the skin is the largest organ in the body. It’s absorbing it. And finally, we’ve got the courage and the commitment to do something about it. But the fact of the matter is, what this boils down to, is we have known PFAS is dangerous for decades and the FDA and regulators and government are just finally standing up and saying, okay, we’ll, we’ll take it out of your cosmetics.

Mike Papantonio:             Sara, I look at a case like this, the hesitation always seems to be, they have political influence. Okay. There’s people at the top that are on boards. They’re on government regulatory agencies. They stop it cold. You’re familiar with the case tried up in the Ohio river valley. They made a movie out of it, The Devil We Know. That was only the edge of the story. And still we have regulatory dragging their feet on this product. How are these products used? Give me some examples of these cosmetics.

Sara Papantonio:              The, the, the fact of the matter is these are in every, PFAS is an everyday products. It’s used to create water resistance. So it’s in makeup, it’s in waterproof eye liner, eye shadow and all, all the, it’s everywhere. And so, like you said, the regulatory industry, what they’re doing now is they’re, they’re lifting their hands and saying, hey, look, we’re going to create legislation that takes this out of cosmetic products. But instead of being proactive, we’re constantly being reactive. The fact of the matter is if we would have known about this, if we would have taken it out of our products decades ago, you would have protected an entire generation from this.

Mike Papantonio:             You’ve seen the documents, you saw how bad the documents were in the 1960s, 1970s, monkeys were dying, all the monkeys were dying in the test. Beagles were dying, all the beagles were dying. Rats were dying. And as you know, I just took the deposition of the general counsel for 3M, who is making this product. And so at what point you say this wasn’t a mistake? That there was some intent involved. Just talk about that just, just a little bit.

Sara Papantonio:              It, it absolutely wasn’t a mistake. Like you said, we, 3M the company that manufacturers 90% of this chemical has known for decades. Since the, at least the eighties, that this is a bio-persistent drug that is not going to leave the body anytime soon. And that it’s going to react with the body.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. You’ve been asked, our firm’s been asked to handle this case in Europe, because we thought the PFAS was only a US problem. But the truth is it’s in everybody’s blood all over the planet right now. The government under, the government under Trump was trying to say, oh, well, you know, there’s nothing we can do about it. So sorry. And at the same time failing to say, oh, by the way, this causes cancer, birth defects, liver disease, hormone disruption, and it’s in the environment for a million years. Give me your call on what this administration will do.

Sara Papantonio:              Well, I hope they do the right thing and they find ways to take it out. I mean, like you said, it’s not going away anytime soon. But if we stop it in its tracks right now, we can protect generations to come. We can at least find solutions to get this out of the environment, to some degree.

Mike Papantonio:             So as we look at it, it’s something that regulatory oversight, what we’re finding as we look at these documents, regulators were actually told, all these, all these monkeys died. All of these beagles died when we did the experiment. We found out that the company, they held that back from the, from the regulators. But then at some point the regulators got it and still didn’t do anything. So right now it’s in our drinking water. Matter of fact, right here in this town of Pensacola, it’s in our drinking water. It’s in the drinking water of most cities, urban cities throughout the United States. There’s a way to solve that, isn’t there?

Sara Papantonio:              Yeah. I mean, there’s filters. There’s, there’s an ability to take it out, but it just lands on the regulators and it lands on companies like 3M to do their job and fix this problem that they’ve caused.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Okay. So you’ve heard the term, externalizing risk, right? So a company comes to town. They, they make the taxpayer take all the risks. They make the consumer takes all the risk and 3M keeps all of the money. And that is the new way that businesses conduct themselves in the US, let the taxpayers, let the consumers take all the risk. Isn’t that kind of what we’re seeing with this case?

Sara Papantonio:              Yeah. And, and I hope it changes relatively soon because that, it’s on 3M. This, they created this issue, they have to fix it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. And they’ve got the money to do it. They just need to get busy. Sara, thank you for joining me. Okay. That’s all for tonight. Find us on Twitter and Facebook @facebook.com/rtamericaslawyer. You can watch all RT programs on Direct TV channel 321. Also stream them live on YouTube and be sure to check out RT’s new portable app, where you can watch all your favorite shows. I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer where every week we tell you the stories that corporate media is ordered not to tell because their advertisers won’t let them and because their political involvement doesn’t allow for it. Have a great night.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.