Elderly North Carolina parents fear the daughter they’ve rarely seen in decades will be the next to be arrested as prosecutors go after others involved in the predatory empire of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Thomas and Mary Kellen say their daughter, Sarah, should be considered a victim of the psychological and physical abuse inflicted by the high-profile pair tangled up in child sex trafficking allegations.
Epstein’s death in a jail cell while awaiting trial last year was ruled a suicide, and Maxwell was arrested earlier this month at a New Hampshire mansion where she’d been hiding, as CrimeOnline has reported.
“After Maxwell I think Sarah’s next,” Mary Kellen, 74, said. “What happened to all those girls is horrendous but I do feel that Sarah was also a victim. I’m not a psychologist or a psychiatrist but I can see she was maneuvered or brainwashed. I just hope someone doesn’t go and kill her. There are a lot of prominent, powerful people out there that don’t want anything said.”
The Kellens, devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, say they don’t know where their daughter, who married former NASCAR driver Brian Vickers, lives, nor how long she worked for Epstein after she left a youthful marriage when she was 18 or 19. At around that time, Sarah Kellen was expelled from the church for her “immoral” lifestyle, which reportedly included nude modeling.
Kellen was photographed with Epstein as recently as 2012.
Sarah Kellen, now 41, is reportedly named as one of four “potential co-conspirators,” aides who helped manage Epstein’s appointments with underaged girls.
“We are sticking up for her, if that’s what you want to call it, because we still feel we know her better than anyone,” Thomas Kellen said. “I think she was manipulated by Epstein due to her age and the circumstances. In my opinion she’s a victim just as much as some of the others. She was told what to do and what to say. I feel she is still probably afraid to say anything — even now that he’s gone.”
Apparently, that’s the same line Kellen herself is taking. She didn’t personally respond to the Daily Mail, but a spokeswoman did.
“When Sarah was targeted by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, she, like many of their victims, was struggling financially and emotionally.
“Sarah was an isolated young woman, having lost the only family she’d ever known and been divorced by an older man and then cast out of her Jehovah’s Witness community.
“Soon after Sarah was brought into Epstein’s world, he began to sexually and psychologically abuse her — abuse that endured for years.
“Sarah was one of dozens of assistants who worked for Epstein and Maxwell over the years. One of her many duties included scheduling various appointments for them — including massages — but at no time did Sarah go out and recruit young girls for Epstein or Maxwell.
“‘Epstein was known for manipulating his victims to further his abuse of others, and Sarah was no different. She continues to struggle with the trauma he inflicted upon her and so many other young women.”
But Kellen has been named in several of the lawsuits filed against Epstein, his estate, and Maxwell. In some she’s referred to as “an assistant to Ghislaine” or her “lieutenant.”
“Sarah was really running that organization, bringing girls and getting them in and out of the Palm Beach home,” said Spencer T. Kuvin, a lawyer representing several accusers, according to the New York Times.
And, the Daily Mail said, she was paid well. Epstein told the Chicago Tribune in 2005 that he paid his closest assistants, of which Sarah surely was one, $200,000 per year.
“They are an extension of my brain,” he said. “Their intuition is something that I don’t have.”
Sarah’s parents told the Daily Mail they love her and would welcome her back as long as she rejoins the church and shows them she’s committed to the faith.
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[Featured image: Ghislaine Maxwell/Corredor99/MediaPunch /IPX via AP]