'Suicidal' Epstein feared government wanted him dead as other inmates extorted him and guards gave him bug-infested food

JEFFREY Epstein was suicidal in prison overs fears the government wanted him dead as other inmates extorted cash from him, it is claimed.

Fellow prisoners have revealed the hellish conditions which the sex trafficker faced inside before he was found dead in his cell in August last year.

The multi-millionaire pedophile became suicidal after being shaken down by other criminals and being abused by staff at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, a report says.

It is claimed prison guards made Epstein sleep on the floor and served him burnt food which was infested with bugs.

One inmate told the New York Daily News: "He was saying he’s going to kill himself because the government is trying to kill him anyway."

Angelique Lopez, the niece of the last person to share a cell with Epstein, said the sex offender told her uncle Efrain Reyes that he wanted to kill himself.

She said: "Epstein was very depressed and he mentioned to my uncle that he didn’t want to live anymore and my uncle was telling him, ‘Don’t do any of this while I’m in the room.

“My uncle just wanted to do his time and get out.”

She said guards treated Epstein "like crap" and made him sleep on the floor.

According to the Daily News, it was common knowledge in the jail that Epstein was suicidal.

Yet, guards left the sex trafficker alone in his cell when Reyes was transferred to another facility, the report says.

Epstein – one of America's most high profile inmates who had attempted suicide the previous month – was found hanged in his cell the next day.

The new outlet spoke with two current prisoners and one former inmate – all of whom were outraged by the conditions in the prison.

Epstein was arrested on July 6, 2019 after flying into New York from Paris – where he owned a luxury apartment near near the Arc de Triomphe.

The wealthy banker, who faced 50 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking minors, was then introduced to his new home – a filthy prison crawling with rats and cockroaches.

Epstein, who was worth around $560m when he died, was shaken down for cash by other ruthless criminals, the report says.

He paid prisoners $4,000 for illicit items such as cell phones – some of which he never received.

One former prisoner said: "A normal inmate will come in there and they automatically assume you have money because you’ve just been arrested.

"They’re trying to sell you everything — phones, electronics, a better cell.

“When he got in there everyone was fighting over who would get him – he was getting ripped off left and right.”

Death threats were slid under Epstein's doors while others offered to provide security to him for a price, the ex-inmate claims.

The insider said the pedophile – who was friends with Prince Andrew, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton – wired thousands of dollars into prisoner's Western Union accounts in a desperate bid to stay safe in jail.

It is even claimed that Epstein got so desperate that he began telling other prisoners that he would include them in his will.

Nick Tartaglione, an ex-cop who shared a cell with Epstein, alerted guards during the financier's first suicide attempt, it is claimed.

An inmate told the Daily News that Epstein, thankful to Tartaglione for saving his life, said he was going to leave him $2m in his will.

However, there is no evidence that Epstein included any inmates in his estate.

And if the sex trafficker was having a hard time with other prisoners, his relationship with guards was not much better, the report says.

A note found in his cell reportedly said jail staff "sent me burnt food.”

It continued: “Giant bugs crawling over my hands. No fun!"

Ms Lopez said her uncle told her he was sceptical that Epstein was able to kill himself in the cramped cell.

She said: "My uncle kept saying the bunk beds weren’t tall enough to do something like that. It didn’t make sense.

"The beds weren’t that tall. It just didn’t seem right to my uncle.

“But he said he didn’t know. He couldn’t be sure. Sometimes people are fighting something we know nothing about.”

Her uncle helped the FBI agents tasked with investigating Epstein's suicide but died last month after being released from jail after catching Covid-19. His cause of death has not been determined.

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