As first reported by Palm Beach Daily News, real estate developer Todd Michael Glaser is thrilled to “finally” see the mansion where police found an expired passport, cash and diamonds, and phone message books with underage girls’ names in a 2005 raid being razed to the ground. Glazer bought the property at 358 El Brillo Way for around $18.5 million in March.
Glaser had announced plans to use it for its land value while the proceeds of the sale would go to a victims’ compensation fund negotiated after Epstein had committed suicide while waiting for trial on charges of running an extensive worldwide sex trafficking scheme involving underage girls.
“I only got involved in the sale of Jeffrey Epstein’s residence to ensure it would be wiped off the map of Palm Beach,” Lawrence A. Moens, the agent representing Glaser, told the Palm Beach Daily News in a rare comment on a sale involving Epstein’s former properties.
A permit for demolishing the house was secured last week and crews from BG Group of Delray Beach were already at work as of Monday. Images from the site show a backhoe working through piles of rubble where the ostentatious 14,000-square-foot estate once stood. A swimming pool is in the process of being razed and filled in while some parts of the former house, including a balcony and a staircase, could still be seen amid the debris.
— julie k. brown (@jkbjournalist) April 19, 2021
Epstein had bought the Palm Beach property in 1990 for $2.5 million and personalized it to be as flashy possible — the initials “J.E.” once hung in raised brass letters above the front door. It is, along with a New York townhome that entered contract to sell for $50 million last month, the site of many of the alleged assaults of minors described by victims to police and in a Netflix documentary Jefffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich.
“Palm Beach is going to be very happy that it’s gone,” Glaser told the Wall Street Journal at the time he committed to buying the property in November 2020.
While accusations that Epstein was using it to abuse dozens of underage girls first started emerging in the 2000s and police raided the Palm Beach property in 2005, a plea deal initially helped Epstein avoid federal charges and only serve 13 months in prison on two state felony counts including solicitation of a minor. As shown in the Netflix documentary, the Brillo Way estate was reportedly where dozens of underage girls were brought in as so-called masseuses and later sexually abused.
“I think that the symbolic power of destroying the house of horrors cannot be overstated,” Brad Edwards, a Palm Beach attorney representing dozens of women who claim to have been abused by Epstein, told the Daily News. “I can imagine there is going to be some amount of relief that the nightmare of what went on at the house has been buried to some degree.”