The lawyer told he been brought in ‘take over the whole case’ as Epstein’s legal team were in turmoil.

He said: ‘I thought he was getting killed in the media when he could respond, he should at least explain and respond. There was a miserable failure to do so and his lawyers were dysfunctional.’

He said their plan had included an appeal to the ‘public sense of fairness’ as Epstein had not been formally accused of anything since 2005. He also claimed there had been ‘extortion attempts’ by victims’ lawyers, who asked for money to make their accusations go away.

Mr Schoen last saw Epstein during a five hour meeting on August 1, and said he was ‘smiling’ after seeing a prison psychiatrist. He said: ‘He had plans to really fight this case. He’d made arrangements to hire me.’

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