Top model committed SUICIDE two years after visiting Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pedo island’ aged just 18: Appeared in flight logs and was named in new court documents

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Ruslana Korshunova leapt to her death from her Manhattan apartment in 2008
  • Two years earlier she’d visited Little St James on Epstein’s private plane
  • Their connection was revealed thanks to newly-released court documents  

A top Kazakh-Russian model jumped to her death from an apartment building two years after visiting Jeffrey Epstein’s so-called pedophile island as an 18 year-old. 

Ruslana Korshunova – a catwalk superstar and one-time face of Nina Ricci perfume – committed suicide at her Wall Street apartment in 2008, aged just 20.

And now DailyMail.com can reveal how she traveled to Epstein’s Little St James island on his private Boeing 727 aircraft – dubbed the Lolita Express – shortly before her tragic death. She was in a cult at the time of her suicide, with her appearance in Epstein’s flight logs raising fears she’d been badly-exploited. 

Virginia Roberts-Giuffre was asked by her lawyer whether she knew Korshuova by Brad Edwards, a Florida-based attorney, to Roberts-Giuffre in a May 2011 email unsealed on Thursday night.

Roberts-Giuffre was asked by Edwards, who served as her PR, about the model, who he said had enjoyed a trip to a private island with a wealthy male admirer. 

In June 2006, aged 18, she had flown from New York with Epstein and other friends on his Boeing 727, dubbed ‘Lolita Express’, to his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

‘I think it’s a long shot you would recognize her, but read the article I attached and then look at the pictures and see if you recognize her,’ Edwards wrote. ‘I will call you tomorrow.’

Ruslana Korshunova is seen in September 2007, modeling for Cynthia Rowe

Korshunova is seen in a DKNY campaign. The Kazakh-born Russian was scouted when she appeared in a magazine in 2003, and was spotted by agent Debbie Jones from Models 1

Korshunova is seen in a DKNY campaign. The Kazakh-born Russian was scouted when she appeared in a magazine in 2003, and was spotted by agent Debbie Jones from Models 1

Korshunova is seen on the catwalk in September 2005 during New York Fashion Week, walking for fashion label Naum

Korshunova is seen on the catwalk in September 2005 during New York Fashion Week, walking for fashion label Naum

Virginia Roberts-Giuffre is seen holding up a photo of her younger self. She said she 'never had any meetings with' Korshunova

Virginia Roberts-Giuffre is seen holding up a photo of her younger self. She said she ‘never had any meetings with’ Korshunova

Jeffrey Epstein's infamous 'Lolita Express' - a private Boeing 727 airliner that carried prominent passengers and allegedly underage girls - is pictured at a Georgia air strip in exclusive DailyMail.com photos. It is set to be scrapped for parts

Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous ‘Lolita Express’ – a private Boeing 727 airliner that carried prominent passengers and allegedly underage girls – is pictured at a Georgia air strip in exclusive DailyMail.com photos. It is set to be scrapped for parts 

The Boeing 727 – nicknamed the Lolita Express – hasn't flown since 2016 and was sold to Florida-based World Aviation Services in 2020. Epstein is pictured on the jet getting a foot massage from Ghislaine Maxwell with French modeling scout Jean-Luc Brunel, who killed himself in prison awaiting trial for sexually abusing children

The Boeing 727 – nicknamed the Lolita Express – hasn’t flown since 2016 and was sold to Florida-based World Aviation Services in 2020. Epstein is pictured on the jet getting a foot massage from Ghislaine Maxwell with French modeling scout Jean-Luc Brunel, who killed himself in prison awaiting trial for sexually abusing children

Edwards enclosed a link to a Newsweek report on the model’s death.

Roberts-Giuffre replied: ‘I am so sorry to hear the news of Ruslana, and my condolences are with her family and friends.

‘I can say that I have never had any meetings with her, sorry not to be of any help there.’

The exchange was revealed on Thursday, with the unsealing of a trove of documents from Roberts-Giuffre’s 2015 defamation case against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s right-hand woman. The documents were unsealed this week after the Manhattan judge ruled there was no longer any justification for keeping the files secret.

Epstein died in August 2019 in jail awaiting trial, and Maxwell is now in prison, serving a 20-year sentence for sex trafficking.

Korshunova, born in Kazakhstan to Russian parents, and scouted after the fall of the USSR. A model scout saw a photo of her in an airline magazine, in an article in which she described her teenage quest to learn German.

She was flung into a jet-setting, glamorous life, modeling alongside Lily Cole and Jessica Stam, and earning legions of fans.

Korshunova is seen in 2005, backstage at the Lela Rose show for spring 2006

Korshunova is seen in 2005, backstage at the Lela Rose show for spring 2006

Korshunova wearing Venexiana's spring 2006 collection on the catwalk

Korshunova wearing Venexiana’s spring 2006 collection on the catwalk

The Kazakh-born Russian model is seen showing off Rachel Roy's 2008 collection

The Kazakh-born Russian model is seen showing off Rachel Roy’s 2008 collection

Epstein's flight logs for April, May and June 2006, which were published by the courts

Epstein’s flight logs for April, May and June 2006, which were published by the courts

Korshunova's name is circled on the manifest. She was on board with JE (Epstein); IZ (his bodyguard Igor Zinoviev, a former UFC fighter); LC (Lance Calloway, who worked as Epstein's chef on the island); SK (Epstein's long-time assistant Sarah Kellen) and Stephanie Tidwell

Korshunova’s name is circled on the manifest. She was on board with JE (Epstein); IZ (his bodyguard Igor Zinoviev, a former UFC fighter); LC (Lance Calloway, who worked as Epstein’s chef on the island); SK (Epstein’s long-time assistant Sarah Kellen) and Stephanie Tidwell

A picture released at Ghislaine Maxwell's trial show the idyllic island of Little St James with the sprawling Epstein mansion

A picture released at Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial show the idyllic island of Little St James with the sprawling Epstein mansion

Two private islands previously owned by pedophile Jeffrey Epstein have finally been bought after more than a year on the market

Two private islands previously owned by pedophile Jeffrey Epstein have finally been bought after more than a year on the market 

Epstein threw parties for the rich and famous on Little St James, with celebrities from Prince Andrew to Stephen Hawking among his guests. Pictured: Jeffrey Epstein is massaged by his assistant Sarah Kellen at his private island

Epstein threw parties for the rich and famous on Little St James, with celebrities from Prince Andrew to Stephen Hawking among his guests. Pictured: Jeffrey Epstein is massaged by his assistant Sarah Kellen at his private island

The main property on Little St James is surrounded by several other structures including the maids' quarters and a massive, square-shaped white building on one end of the island that some say is a music room fitted with acoustic walls

The main property on Little St James is surrounded by several other structures including the maids’ quarters and a massive, square-shaped white building on one end of the island that some say is a music room fitted with acoustic walls

The sprawling property Epstein had built on Little St James, with surrounding lawns and swimming pool. In the background, a jetty reaches out into the clear, blue water

The sprawling property Epstein had built on Little St James, with surrounding lawns and swimming pool. In the background, a jetty reaches out into the clear, blue water

But she was bruised by being jilted repeatedly by rich men, who dazzled her with their wealth then left her.

It is not clear how she met Epstein, but Maxwell was known to recruit glamorous young women to his entourage.

Epstein also promised some young women for help with their visas if they came to work with him. The Kazakh-born beauty’s visa status is not known.

Epstein and his friend and Palm Beach neighbor, Donald Trump, would attend parties where models were gathered. 

In November 1992, Trump threw a raucous party with NFL cheerleaders at his Mar-a-Lago estate, and invited Epstein. In 1997, the pair were photographed at a Victoria’s Secret party in New York City.

Another of Epstein’s friends was model scout Jean-Luc Brunel. He died by suicide in February 2022, awaiting trial for sexually abusing children. 

Korshunova was living in Manhattan’s Financial District by the mid 2000s.

On June 7, 2006 she boarded the flight at JFK airport with Epstein; his bodyguard Igor Zinoviev, a former UFC fighter; and Lance Calloway, who worked as Epstein’s chef on the island.

Also on board were two other women – Stephanie Tidwell, and Epstein’s long-time assistant Sarah Kellen.

Kellen was called a ‘knowing participant in the criminal conspiracy’ by Judge Alison Nathan during Maxwell’s sentencing in 2022. The judge added that Kellen had been ‘supervised’ by Maxwell.

Korshunova had exploded onto the scene during the 2005 New York Fashion Week, modeling for Marc Jacobs.

She posed for famed photographers Mario Sorrenti, Paolo Roversi and Willy Van Der Perre and appeared in campaigns for Kenzo, Clarins and Paul Smith.

Her portfolio included modeling assignments for Kenzo, Vera Wang, Nina Ricci, Donna Karan and Christian Dior, and she had featured on the covers of magazines including Russian Vogue and French Elle.

British Vogue identified hers as a ‘face to be excited about,’ while some fashion writers dubbed her the ‘Russian Rapunzel’.

The year Korshunova was on Epstein’s plane was her fashion peak: that winter, she’d be the cover star for The New York Times style magazine.

But two years after that Lolita Express flight, she would be dead. No further details on her time with Epstein ever emerged and it is unclear if he triggered the spiral which resulted in her death. 

Korshunova is seen on the cover of The New York Times style magazine in winter 2006

Korshunova is seen on the cover of The New York Times style magazine in winter 2006

Korshunova cut through the mesh erected by construction workers on the top of her building in New York's financial district to jump to her death in June 2008

Korshunova cut through the mesh erected by construction workers on the top of her building in New York’s financial district to jump to her death in June 2008

Crowds stand by the shrouded body of Korshunova on June 28, 2008

Crowds stand by the shrouded body of Korshunova on June 28, 2008

A 2014 book by author and academic Peter Pomerantsev – Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia – detailed Korshunova’s decision to join an extreme ‘self-help group’ in Russia, which critics called a cult.

She was driven to the group after her modeling career took a knock, and sought help from ‘coaches’ who humiliated and blamed members for the wrongs in their lives.

Korshunova had fallen for an oligarch named by Pomerantsev as ‘Alexander’, who dumped her and left her broken hearted. Returning to New York City from Moscow, she fell in love with a Russian luxury car dealer in the last months of her life – but he too left her.

She took solace, Pomerantsev wrote, in the extreme ‘self help’ group. 

The cult, Rose of the World, had a reputation for ‘dehumanizing’ treatment of its followers, with meetings characterized by Pomerantsev – who joined to research his book – as shouting, confusion and emotional domination.

Not long after signing up for one of their courses – which reportedly cost more than $300 a day – Korshunova was found dead on the street.

THORNY ISSUES: WHAT IS THE ROSE OF THE WORLD CULT?

The Rose Of The World cult, known as Roza Mira, is an organization based in Moscow that has grown out of the works by Russsian mystic Daniil Andreev.

The mystical writer aimed to unify concepts of the world’s major religions but also believed in reincarnation and karma.

The cult grew out of a group known as Lifespring in the U.S. in the 1980s. The organization went bankrupt after former members sued for mental health damage. 

Journalist Peter Pomerantsev, who studied the cult, told the Daily News that the group aims to humiliate members, blaming them for their problems. One rape victim was told it was her fault. 

The cult even advocates that it is better for members to die if they can’t change their ways.

Jeffrey EpsteinVirginia

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