Registered sex offender and embattled high society billionaire Jeffrey Epstein reportedly has a collection of disturbing oddities and artworks kept in his various mansions, private islands and ranches across the world.

Epstein, 66, is accused of running a sex trafficking ring resulting in the abuse of dozens of underage girls in Florida and New York in the early 2000s. He was arrested in New Jersey, as he arrived from Paris on Saturday night.

Epstein, a mysterious and eccentric financier and registered high-risk sex offender, owns properties in Palm Beach in Florida, an apartment in Paris, the "Zorro" ranch in Stanley, New Mexico, and a private island, "Little Saint James", near Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Federal prosecutors have alleged his high society and political connections allowed him access to dozens of young girls and women, who he abused. Epstein has entered a plea of not guilty.

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Epstein, once a friend of members of the British royal family and powerful US politicians, has kept a low profile following a charge in 2008, for soliciting a young teenager for prostitution.

His arrest came a decade after he received a lenient plea deal for alleged serial sex offences against minors, investigated by the FBI.

Since being arrested last week, lurid details about the billionaire's eccentric and bizarre life have resurfaced.

MANHATTAN HOUSE OF HORRORS

Epstein reportedly kept an assortment of peculiar and disturbing human-like toys in his Upper East Side Manhattan mansion, which is one of the largest private residences in the city, at 2000 square metres.

According to New York Magazine, Epstein kept a lifelike human doll hanging from a chandelier, and a chess board, which he'd populated with figurines to look like all his different staff. Some of the pieces were scantily clad, or in underwear.

A dining room in the home had been decorated to look like a beach scene; in the backyard, a mural had been painted on a back wall with a "photorealistic prison scene that included barbed wire, corrections officers and a guard station, with Mr. Epstein portrayed in the middle," according to NY Mag. He told a PR specialist viewing the mural he'd had it painted to remind him he could one day be returned to prison.

Bizarre markings are seen on a temple-like building topped with a gold dome on the private island. Photo / Supplied
Bizarre markings are seen on a temple-like building topped with a gold dome on the private island. Photo / Supplied

Detectives searching the mansion also allege they found "a vast trove of lewd photographs" of young women, including at least one photograph of an underage girl.

They also allegedly uncovered a locked safe, filled with CDs with handwritten labels, allegedly saying, "Young (Name) + (Name)," "Misc nudes 1," and "Girl pics nudes" according to reports.

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The $A110.3 million ($US77 million) property also featured photos of Woody Allen, former president Bill Clinton and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, as well as a staff member with an Eastern European accent, who greeted arriving guests, leading them to a marble staircase.

Epstein also reportedly had a massage parlour with photos of naked women, with a table on the floor. Since he was charged, one woman has claimed she was assaulted as a minor in the massage room, according to NBC News.

Epstein also reportedly kept fake breasts in his bathtub, so he could fondle and play with them while he bathed, according to an alleged victim's recent interview with NBC.

In June 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to a single charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14, and served 18 months in a private wing of a Palm Beach County Jail.

During this time he was given day release to continue working. Upon his release, he was registered as a high risk sex offender in the state of New York, and served 18 months.

PRIVATE ISLAND OF SIN

Epstein purchased a private island in the US Virgin Islands two decades ago, and named it Little Saint James.

He cleared the land of trees and reportedly undertook years of extensive construction work, but what went on there remains shrouded in intense secrecy.

Investigators consider the island Epstein's main residence, and locals reportedly referred to the island as "Orgy Island," "Paedophile Island," and "Island of Sin" according to The Cut.

"Everybody called it 'Paedophile Island'," Kevin Goodrich, who is from nearby St. Thomas and operates boat charters, told AP. "It's our dark corner," he said.

Epstein's employees signed long nondisclosure agreements and couldn't reveal what they knew about the island's goings on.

According to AP, at least one alleged victim said in a sworn court affidavit that while on one of Epstein's islands, she participated in an orgy and had sex with Epstein and other people. She said she saw former US President Bill Clinton on the island, but didn't see the former president participate in sex acts.

A Clinton spokesman issued a statement saying he never visited Little Saint James, and in 2002 and 2003 travelled on Epstein's plane, accompanied by secret service staff.
"Staff, supporters of the foundation, and his Secret Service detail travelled on every leg of every trip," the statement said.

"He had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein's New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail.

"He's not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and he has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein's ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida."

Epstein, a hugely wealthy financier, has concealed from the public how he obtained the majority of his wealth.

He previously ran a firm which managed money for the super rich. One of his most notable clients was Les Wexner, a billionaire businessman, according to Fox News.

Prior to this he worked for Bear Stearns, a New York based global investment bank that failed in the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

His current employment is unclear, according to Fox News.

EPSTEIN'S LAWYERS SEEK BAIL

Epstein bought the island more than two decades ago and began to transform it, ringing the property with towering palm trees and planting two massive US flags on either end. Photo / AP
Epstein bought the island more than two decades ago and began to transform it, ringing the property with towering palm trees and planting two massive US flags on either end. Photo / AP

Epstein's lawyers are seeking bail for their client, saying on Thursday that he had long lived with the fear that federal prosecutors might pursue sexual abuse charges against him again — and yet had never sought to flee the country.

His lawyers have argued that a non-prosecution agreement made more than a decade ago with federal prosecutors covers the same ground as the new charges.

His lawyers recommended house arrest in Epstein's Manhattan mansion and electronic monitoring as they countered what they described as a "drastic demand" by prosecutors that he be detained until trial.

They said their client was willing to offer the Manhattan property as collateral while he lives there, along with his private jet, which would be grounded, as he fights the charges.

In seeking detention, prosecutors said a trove of what seemed to be nude pictures of underage girls was found in his mansion after his arrest on charges that he sexually exploited and abused underage girls.

In their submission in Manhattan federal court, lawyers said Epstein always knew federal authorities might renege on a non-prosecution deal signed in 2007, under which Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida, served a 13-month jail sentence and registered as a sex offender.

"Indeed, Mr. Epstein feared the toxic political climate might tempt the government to try and end-run the NPA — yet continually returned home from travel abroad, fully prepared to vindicate his rights under the agreement and otherwise mount a full-throated defence," they wrote.

The lawyers also said Epstein was in "perfect compliance" with sex offender registration requirements.

The defence also gave some insight into arguments they might eventually use at future hearings and at trial, saying the accusations against Epstein are "outside the margins of federal criminal law" and don't constitute sex trafficking since there were no allegations he "trafficked anybody for commercial profit; that he forced, coerced, defrauded, or enslaved anybody".

Late on Thursday, Epstein's lawyers also asked for permission to file his financial disclosure under seal, citing the "exceptional amount of publicity that has been generated by this case, much of which relates specifically to his finances."

The judge did not immediately rule.

The indictment filed in New York accuses Epstein of paying underage girls hundreds of dollars in cash for massages and then molesting them at his homes in Palm Beach, Florida, and New York from 2002 through 2005.

The charges carry the potential for up to 45 years in prison.

Epstein's arrest has drawn attention to his past friendships with powerful people, including Donald Trump before he became President and former president Bill Clinton. Both have recently said they haven't seen Epstein in years and didn't know about any misconduct.

On Thursday, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak also sought to distance himself from Epstein after US tax records emerged that Mr Barak received some $2 million in grants last decade from the Wexner Foundation. At the time of the grants, Epstein was a trustee of the foundation.

In a radio interview, M Barak said he met Epstein several times but said he "didn't support me or pay me."