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'Web' of manipulation exposed in new documentary series about sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

One year after US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's death, a new documentary is exposing the "web" of manipulation surrounding his victims.

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The directors of Surviving Jeffrey Epstein spoke to Breakfast on the day of the series' release. Source: Breakfast

Epstein, a convicted sex offender and wealthy financier, was arrested for sex trafficking last July, shining a spotlight on the covert underwage sex rings servicing the elite.

He died in federal custody a month later, ruled a suicide, leaving his accusers feeling robbed of justice.

Today marks one year since Epstein's death, with new documentary series Surviving Jeffrey Epstein telling the stories of eight of his accusers.

"I think through their stories, their personal stories, you really understand that this was a very masterful web with many people complicit in enabling Jeffrey Epstein to attract these young girls, to cater to their needs in such a way that they were manipulated to find themselves assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein," director Ricki Stern told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

"This was not just one person, this was a web."

Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested earlier this year and charged with enticing minors and sex trafficking. She's due to appear in court again this Thursday (US time).

Stern says they tried to get in touch for the documentary, but Maxwell was "in hiding".

"Now of course she's being held and no one's speaking to her."

Co-director Annie Sundberg describes the victims as "all vulnerable in a particular way".

"I think the hardest are the women who had been sexually abused in their past, because that made them, in some ways, the most susceptible."

The four-part series will be available in New Zealand on TVNZ On Demand.