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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 13, 2019 12:37am-1:08am PDT

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[ cheers and applause ] this is "nightline." >> tonight, suicide scandal. jeffrey epstein's accusers outraged. >> i really wanted justice. i really wanted him to be put in jail or prison. >> what it now means for the case. what's fueling wild conspiracy theories surrounding his death and finger pointing at the prison. caught off guard. plus, reveal repeal. celebration, jubilation. now contemplation. rethinking gender reveal parties. >> the problem was -- the expectations we're putting on our kids. >> the woman who started it all now having second thoughts about
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putting a label on baby. but first, the "nightline" five.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight the hunt for answers after the shocking death at the center of one of the country's highest-profile sexual abuse and sex trafficking cases.
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jeffrey epstein, the wealthy financier who rubbed elbows with some of the world's most powerful men, found dead by an apparent suicide in his jail cell. now the growing outrage from his accusers and officials demanding justice be served. >> i really wanted justice. i really wanted him to take up for what he did and to be put in jail. >> reporter: the alleged victims of jeffrey epstein, the financier charged with sexually abusing and trafficking dozens of underage girls, reacting to his death by apparent suicide. he was found hanging in his cell saturday morning at the metropolitan correctional center in downtown manhattan. this photo showing emts attempting to revive epstein as he's wheeled into a new york hospital. many of his accusers like michelle lacota now worried their chance at justice is gone. >> i know that everybody else is livid, angry, that they don't get to see him go to jail. >> reporter: his death sending shock waves and raising questions about whether or not he was being watched carefully
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enough by the prison. >> it touched off immediate cries of how does this happen. jeffrey epstein was a high-profile inmate in a federal jail that's filled with high-profile inmates. >> reporter: as questions swirl, federal investigators were seen raiding jeffrey epstein's property in the u.s. virgin islands today. >> is that significant? >> it is clear that they want to turn over everything in epstein's life at this point. they want to know any wrongdoing that he was up to. >> reporter: it was less than three weeks ago that epstein was first put on suicide watch. >> whatever happened with jeffrey epstein in prison back in mid july still has not been fully explained. he was unresponsive in his cell with what sources describe to us as marks on his neck. he even went to the hospital. >> reporter: but just six days later epstein was taken off suicide watch, in part at the urnling of his defense attorneys. sources familiar with the decision told abc news. >> he would have undergone more than one psychiatric evaluation and the move even went all the
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way up to the deputy attorney general jeffrey rosen, who was informed that epstein was no longer on suicide watch. >> reporter: attorney general bill barr said he is appalled by the federal prison's failure to secure epstein. >> we are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation. the fbi and the office of inspector general are doing just that. >> there have been complaints of chronic understaffing inside mcc manhattan. a number of overtime shifts. >> reporter: guards were supposed to check on epstein every 30 minutes. but sources say the protocol was not followed in the hours before he was discovered. the wealthy financier was set to go on trial next year. prosecutors from the u. attorney's office allege that from about 2002 to 2005 epstein sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in manhattan, new york, and palm beach, moflorida.
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among other locations. using cash payments to recruit a vast network of underaged victims. some of them as young as 14 years old. his death came less than 24 hours after 2,000 pages of new court documents including depositions and police reports were made public. >> the people who have to be really concerned are the ones who may have been involved with helping, aiding, abetting because they're looking at this as a possible korns. >> reporter: the documents now in a civil defamation case between alleged trafficking victim virginia roberts gufray and long-time epstein associate the british socialite ghislaine maxwell who epstein yierz describe as his madam. in deposition testimony she says maxwell recruited her to be a teenage sex slave taupestein and that epstein directed her to have sex with powerful men including former governor bill richardson, former senator george mitchell, and prince
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andrew. all of these men have adamantly denied these accusations. mitchell and richardson issued statements that they never met gufray. maxwell has not been charged and consistently denies the accusations against her. over the weekend a medical examiner performed an autopsy on epstein but released a statement saying that their determination is pending further information at this time. >> medical examiner's offices often want to see any pictures, any video, hear any witness accounts before they announce their determination of cause and manner of death. i'm told, though, there is no doubt in the medical examiner's office that jeffrey epstein took his own life by hanging. >> reporter: a private pathologist, dr. michael bawden, observed the autopsy at the quf epstein's lawyers. >> i think what happened to jeffrey was he felt trapped, that he's never going to get out of this. quite possibly in the back of his mind is there's always other things they could potentially charge me with. it's like a house of cards that
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he's living in and the cards now are starting to tumble and he can't control them. >> reporter: but the lack of official information has put conspiracy theories into overdrive because of epstein's circle of connections. >> president trump who's known to retweet conspiracy theories even retweeted one about the clintons because bill clinton had been associated for a time with jeffrey epstein. >> it's shameful that the president is retweet iing conspiracy theories a t clintons, and it would be shameful if another person of the president's stature was retweeting something implicating the president. because there's no evidence to support it. >> reporter: president clinton did have a social connection to epstein but his office has denied he knew anything about epstein's terrible crimes. president trump also knew epstein. in a 2002 profile in "new york" magazine before any allegations surfaced trump called epstein a terrific guy adding "it is even
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said he likes beautiful women as much as i do, and many of them are on the younger side." but just last month the president denied being close to epstein. >> and he he was a fixture in palm beach. i had a falling out with him a long time ago. i don't think i've spoken to him in 15 years. i wasn't a fan. >> reporter: michelle lacota says she was 15 years old when she was recrueltied by another high school girl to give epstein a massage. >> and he kept saying god, you're just so beautiful and sexy and gorgeous. and it was making me feel really uncomfortable. >> reporter: lacota told investigators in a police interview at the time that epstein sexually assaulted her. >> then he wanted me to rub his back. he kept asking me to go lower and lower. he was kind of talking to me like letting me know fw his sex life. >> reporter: another accuser court nir wild says epstein becaused her as a teenage girl. >> i'm brought by someone sxels we're massaging him and after about 30 minutes of that he
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asked the girl i was with to get way downstairs. after she left he asked me to get comfortable, to take my clothes off, that i could leave my bra and panties on. so i did that. and he just wanted me to stand next to him as he like, you know, touched me and stuff like that. as he masturbated. and then that was that. >> reporter: wild says she became part of epstein's alleged recruiting scheme. >> for every girl i could bring he'd give me $200. >> reporter: it's a burden she's carried for more than a decade. >> i just held so much guilt for ever having somebody do that or introducing that to mb's life. >> reporter: in early july federal agents banged open the door of epstein's 7-story, $77 million home on manhattan's upper east side. they say they found hundreds if not thousands of female nude or partially nude photographs. some of the photos seemed to show underaged girls. and inside a locked safe, compact discs, one allegedly labeled "young miscellaneous
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news 1." >> the charges are very serious and they carry with them a sentence of a maximum 45 years in jail. >> reporter: epstein pled not guilty to one count of sex trafficking and sex trafficking with conspiracy. the july charges against epstein were not his first. in 2005 investigators identified more than 30 alleged victims. federal prosecutors prepared a 53-page indictment against epstein in 2007. but in a secret plea deal he avoided federal charges in exchange for pleading guilty in state court to two felony prostitution charges. he served just 13 months in a county jail and registered as a sex offender. despite epstein's death today the attorney general assured the public that the case against him is not over. >> any co-conspirators should not rest easy. the victims deserve justice and they will get it. >> reporter: now investigators are hoping that other women will come forward. michelle echoing their call. >> your voice is very important.
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and it needs to be heard. nobody should ever treat anybody the way he has and get away with it. >> and we should note that though there is video surveillance in the federal jail sources tell abc news it does not appear that cameras are pointed at individual cells and therefore didn't record epstein's death. coming up next, ten years after gender reveal parties took off, the mom who started it all now reconsidering the concept. (avo) do you push through migraine? imagine what you can do with more migraine-free days. (pirate) arr! (jessica) en garde! (avo) when you're not fighting through migraine, imagine the possibilities. once-monthly emgality is used for the prevention of migraine in adults. it can help give you more migraine-free days. with emgality, about 60% of people had their migraine days cut in half or more. don't use if allergic to emgality. allergic reactions, like itching, rash, hives, and trouble breathing can occur even days after use.
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gender reveal parties.
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it's a moment of celebration for many, but now a moment of reflection. for one mom now rethinking the tradition she helped create for parents-to-be. her daughter helping change her perspective about pink and blue labels. here's abc's marcy gonzalez. >> reporter: we've seen the videos parents-to-be excitedly cutting into a cake or opening a box of balloons. their loved ones gathered in anticipation. then the big moment. gender reveals have become a modern tradition almost as common as baby showers. with expecting parents pulling out all the stops. ♪ who run the world ♪ who run the world ♪ girls >> reporter: others ending in near disaster. >> video tonight a father revealing the gender of their
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baby ignited a massive wildfire. >> we did the whole thing. >> reporter: but now the woman who helped start this viral trend is questioning what that first glimpse of pink or blue represents. >> you know, it's been an evolution of thought, you know. and nobody was thinking about gender like we do now in 2008. i wasn't thinking about it. i thought there's pink or there's blue. >> reporter: in 2008 when jenna carvanitasing learned she was pregnant with her first child she couldn't wait to surprise her family with the sex of the aby. >> we had a little difficulty getting our family started. so when we got pregnant with bianca we were overjoyed. i wanted to draw nefrn in the family pi wanted everyone to match my excitement level. >> did you want a boy or a girl? did gender matter to you? >> you know, it really didn't. we were just celebrating a milestone in our pregnancy. >> reporter: she threw a party where she cut into a pink cake announcing a girl then post bd it on her blog, never expecting it to take off. >> you invented the gender reveal party.
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>> people have been celebrating herr baby's biological sex since ultrasounds were invented. i was just that person who elevate td on social media. >> reporter: ten years later she's rethinking the concept. >> problem is the expectations we're putting on our kids. some of those kids may 100% gravitate toward whatever you've put in their gender reveal cake. but some of them won't. >> reporter: her daughter bianca celebrated at that party now hoping to inspire this new perspective. >> plot twist. the gender reveal baby actually wears blue suits when she wants to get dressed up. >> reporter: jenna posting this photo and writing on facebook "assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what's between their legs." >> she's just never been into dolls. she's never gone that direction really. and she picks out her own clothes and she wears what she wears. >> have you talked to bianca about gender and how she identifies? >> yeah. she has those conversations with me. she's really leading the way.
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she's like mom, there's more than two genders. there's a couple. there's many. she's not telling me she's a certain gender. >> but she identifies as a girl. but the point is being a girl doesn't mean you have to be in this one box. >> absolutely. if they're telling youing? about themselves or the way they see the world, it's just important to listen and not be judgmental about it. >> reporter: since jenna cut the cake in 2008 the popularity of gender reveals has xloeexploded. >> in addition to sharing this news with you are why friends and family there's an element of exhibition. you want to show off. you're proud. you're excited. >> reporter: there are now thousands of gender reveal videos on youtube, some racking up millions of views. they capture moments of pure joy like this mother of six boys seeing that pink icing for baby number 7. and sometimes disappointment from older brothers and sisters occasionally even from mom and
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dad. boston celtics player gordon hayward with this genuine reaction learning his family was welcoming a third girl. >> is daddy happy? >> daddy's always happy. >> reporter: all of this starting off a childhood hued by blue and pink marketed to parents. >> it does play into this idea that compels parents to buy the certain color if they know they're having a boy or girl. >> but girls aren't giving this message if it isn't pink it's not for me. so it's kind of like i started to realize i need to do more of my part to get it out there that we're not just pink. >> reporter: as jenna has learned, not all kids can be put in one gender box. jean malpass is an expert on gender identity. >> a boy, a girl, both, neither. and everyone has a gender identity. and everyone come to understand their own gender identity at their own time. >> reporter: he believes society shouldn't reinforce gender stereotypes with reveal parties. >> what we know is that gender
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stereotypes are actually often pretty toxic. they reduce, they simplify the complexity that we all have as humans. >> reporter: others look at it differently. >> i don't think parents should worry at this stage when they're celebrating their baby's gender. whether or not that child's going to grow up to become transgender. >> reporter: nicole russell is a mom of four who wrote an article in 2017 titled "relax, parents, it's okay to have gender reveal parties." >> there are milestones to every child. and the first one that you -- that you reach was often the baby's gender. i think picking on people who celebrate the gender of their babies even if it is very extravagant seems petty. >> reporter: she believes parents should celebrate within reason. >> i'm just not in favor of a gender party that would burn down a house or endanger the poor child in utero.
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it's just cut cake. >> after that first baby girl jenna went on to have two more daughters, three girls, three very different personalities. >> you think these parties are going to continue? >> i think they're going to continue. my hope is they're having some conversations around them to be a little open-minded about what gender really means and what that really means for everyone in our community and also our children, however they may decide to live their lives. >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm marcy gonzalez in los angeles. up next, simone biles showing off how it's done. landing straight into the history books. o's dog is this? it's my special friend, antonio. his luxurious fur calms my nerves when i'm worried about moving into our new apartment. why don't we just ask geico for help with renters insurance? i didn't know geico helps with renters insurance. yeah, and we could save a bunch too. antonio! fetch computer! antonio? i'll get it.
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hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today. and finally, an athlete for the ages. olympian simone biles makes everything look easy. wowing the crowd at the u.s. gymnastics championships this weekend with not one but two historic moves. first that clean double twist and double somersault dismount from the beam. and then that gravity-defying triple twist and double flip on the floor. becoming the first female gymnast ever to complete two new
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moves in competition. and earning her sixth u.s. all-around title. a true legend. that's "nightline." you can always catch our full episodes on hulu. good night, america.
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