Epstein’s arrest must have caused anxiety for many powerful people. He surely wanted out of that horrible prison, and he had lots of ammunition against high-profile politicians and others—all those photos and videotapes that he labeled and preserved so carefully for a rainy day. The rainy day had come.
As Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald said, “There are probably quite a few important people, powerful people, who are sweating it out right now. We’ll have to wait and see whether Epstein is going to name names.”
On July 24, 2019, it was reported that Epstein was found semiconscious in a fetal position in his cell with injuries on his neck. The night before, Epstein’s cellmate had summoned prison guards, who found Epstein “semiconscious with marks on his neck.” The cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, was an ex-cop who was facing four murder charges and a narcotics charge. Epstein was revived and put on the suicide watch list. According to news reports, Epstein indicated that an inmate had assaulted him—the only person who was within reach was Tartaglione.
ABC News reported a different story on July 25, 2019. ABC reported that Epstein couldn’t remember what happened when he was revived, so he could not say whether he was assaulted. But Epstein accused his cellmate of attacking him. Tartaglione said that he did not know what had happened because he was wearing headphones at the time that something happened to Epstein.
Tartaglione’s story is ridiculous. These are small cells, and it seems impossible that a cellmate would not know whether Epstein tried to hang himself or was attacked within a few feet of where he sat wearing headphones. ABC speculated that Epstein could have been assaulted by an inmate—or even paid someone to beat him up—perhaps to try to get a transfer.
Tartaglione’s lawyer contradicted his own client and said that Tartaglione knew exactly what happened but was not going to talk about it. At least that makes some sense because Tartaglione was right there with Epstein in the same cell at the time of the incident that left Epstein semiconscious.
Other news stations reported that Epstein tried to hang himself—or staged an attack—and that the injuries were “not serious.” One news station reported that Epstein claimed that he had been attacked after being called a “predator.” Epstein had also reportedly told guards that someone had tried to kill him. But Epstein and his cocaine-conspiracy-murderous cellmate supposedly “got along well,” according to Tartaglione’s lawyer.
Later, news sources consistently referred to Epstein’s injuries in late July as an “attempted suicide,” and Epstein’s claims of an attack largely were overshadowed by the reports that it was an attempted suicide. Thereafter, broadcast news pretty consistently reported the July 23, 2019, incident as an attempted suicide and didn’t bother mentioning Epstein’s statements about the incident or the various accounts of foul play. Numerous news outlets failed to give the public all of the facts and reported only one explanation for Epstein’s injuries as if the story was undisputed. In truth, what happened on July 23 is hotly disputed, and basic journalistic ethics required that all explanations be presented fairly to the public. They weren't.