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Jes Staley attacks JPMorgan, demands separate trial over Jeffrey Epstein


Jes Staley, the former JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) private banking chief and Barclays Plc (BARC.L) chief executive, accused JPMorgan of “slanderous” attacks as he seeks to delay a trial in the bank’s lawsuit accusing him of concealing what he knew about Jeffrey Epstein.

In a letter filed on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, Staley asked a judge to sever the case from two lawsuits against the largest U.S. bank over its work for the late financier and sex offender, a client from 2000 to 2013.

Staley also asked to delay the Oct. 23 trial in his case to March 2024, saying the current “breakneck” schedule affords him “grossly insufficient” time to defend against and disprove JPMorgan’s “false and highly-publicized” accusations.

“The stakes could hardly be higher for Mr. Staley,” his lawyer Brendan Sullivan said in the letter to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “The allegations against him are slanderous, and the potential damages are astronomical.”

JPMorgan was sued late last year for unspecified damages by the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein had a home, and for potentially billions of dollars by Epstein accusers led by an unnamed Jane Doe 1 for allegedly aiding in Epstein’s sex abuse.

Last month, the New York-based bank sued Staley, who had been an Epstein friend, saying his “intentional and outrageous conduct” justified having him cover the bank’s potential losses in the other lawsuits and forfeit eight years of compensation.

“He’s inextricably linked to these cases – it makes no sense to separate him,” JPMorgan spokesperson Trish Wexler said in an email. “Jane Doe herself has directly accused him of horrific sexual misconduct and, if true, he must be held accountable.”

The litigation drew added attention when Staley was accused of swapping sexually suggestive messages about young women with Epstein, and committing sexual assault himself.

In a separate letter, lawyers for the Epstein accusers also supported severing the Staley case, but for a different reason.

They said JPMorgan’s motive for suing Staley was to “harass and intimidate” Epstein victims who seek accountability from the bank and force Jane Doe 1, a former ballet dancer, to divulge private medical records and “intimate” communications.

“It sends a message to potential class members (dozens and dozens of Epstein sex abuse victims) that the same thing will happen to them,” wrote Brad Edwards, a lawyer for Jane Doe 1.

Lawyers for the U.S. Virgin Islands did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Epstein was in a Manhattan jail awaiting trial for sex trafficking when he killed himself at age 66 in August 2019.

Some of his victims are also suing Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE), where Epstein was a client from 2013 to 2018.

Staley became Barclays’ chief executive in 2015, nearly three years after leaving JPMorgan. He resigned in November 2021 amid regulatory concerns about his relationship with Epstein.

The cases in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York are: Jane Doe 1 v Deutsche Bank AG et al, No. 22-10018; Jane Doe 1 v JPMorgan Chase & Co, No. 22-10019; Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands v JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, No. 22-10904; and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA v Staley, in Nos. 22-10019 and 22-10904.

Related Galleries:

Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain january 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

A man in a golf cart is seen at Little St. James Island, one of the properties of financier Jeffrey Epstein, near Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands August 17, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo/File Photo

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