Open main menu

Julie K. Brown (born 1961/62) is an American investigative journalist with the Miami Herald best known for pursuing the sex trafficking story surrounding Jeffrey Epstein, who in 2008 was allowed to plead guilty to two state-level prostitution offenses.[1][2]


Early life and careerEdit

Brown was raised near Philadelphia, Pensylvania by a single parent. She left home at 16 and worked in menial jobs before she could afford to attend college. She graduated magna cum laude from Temple University in 1987 with a degree in journalism.[1]

After college, Brown worked for the Philadelphia Daily News before joining the Miami Herald a daily newspaper owned by the McClatchy Company, around 2000.[1][3][4]

While at the Miami Herald, Brown spent four years investigating patterns of abuse in the Florida prison system.[5] Her reporting work prompted a 2018 federal investigation into civil rights abuses in Lowell Correctional Institution in Central Florida.[6]

Brown has been credited with the re-opening of the Jeffrey Epstein sexual abuse case. In 2008 Epstein had been allowed to plead guilty to only two state-level prostitution offenses even though sex with underage girls was legally rape. The deal that then-US Attorney Alex Acosta struck with Epstein made federal sex trafficking charges disappear, shut down a FBI probe that might have uncovered dozens victims and granted immunity to any possible co-conspirators, a clause that protected powerful men.[2] After Epstein was arrested and charged in July 2019, she tweeted in response: "The Real Heroes Here were the courageous victims that faced their fears and told their stories".[7] Brown’s articles, collected under the title "Perversion of Justice", resurfaced on social media. "This is what happens when a reporter refuses to give up on a story," The Columbia Journalism Review wrote on Twitter following Epstein's arrest. Geoffrey Berman, a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, also commented at a news conference that his team had been “assisted by some excellent investigative journalism.”[1]


Brown won a 2014 George Polk Award, from Long Island University, for “Cruel and Unusual”, her series of articles on "the brutal, sometimes fatal mistreatment of Florida prison inmates with mental illnesses."[8][9]

For her investigative reporting on Epstein, Brown was awarded a 2019 Sidney Award, the Hillman Prize for Journalism in the Common Good, from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.

She received a 2019 George Polk Award in the category of Justice Reporting for her 2018 series of articles “Perversion of Justice.” Her series covered the extensive number of accusers in the Epstein case and the role of federal prosecutor Alex Acosta who permitted a non-prosecution agreement that protected four named conspirators and "granted immunity to any possible co-conspirators, a proviso that seemed to protect the powerful men Epstein partied with."[1][10][11]

In April 2019, Alan Dershowitz (an associate of Epstein who was one of his attorneys during his criminal investigation in 2006-2008) tried to pressure the Pulitzer prize committee to shut out the Miami Herald for its investigative reporting that reopened the Epstein case. In an open letter[12] Dershowitz wrote Brown should not be rewarded for her work. She was not.[13][14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hsu, Tiffany (July 9, 2019). "The Jeffrey Epstein Case Was Cold, Until a Miami Herald Reporter Got Accusers to Talk". The New York Times. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Miami Herald wins December Sidney Award, The Sidney Hillman Foundation
  3. ^ "How the Miami Herald investigated Jeffrey Epstein — and his many enablers". Miami Herald. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Miami Herald's latest investigation 'pulls the sewer lid' off a 10-year-old story". Poynter. November 28, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  5. ^ Cristobal, Sara (July 26, 2019). "In Conversation with Julie K. Brown and Jane Mayer, Two Reporters Exposing Corruption All the Way to the Top". InStyle. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  6. ^ Brown, Julie K. (August 8, 2018). "Feds to probe sexual extortion, other abuse allegations at Florida women's prison". Bradenton Herald. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Stelter, Brian (July 8, 2019). "Jeffrey Epstein's arrest shows the power of one newspaper's investigation". CNN. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  8. ^ Miami Herald’s Julie Brown receives Polk Award for ‘Perversion of Justice’ stories
  9. ^ The 2014 Polk Awards Winners
  10. ^ Past George Polk Award Winners
  11. ^ "Miami Herald wins December Sidney for Exposing Alex Acosta's Sweetheart Deal with Multimillionaire Sex Offender". Hillman Foundation. December 12, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  12. ^ Open Letter to the Pulitzer Prize Committee: Don't Reward Fake News
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External linksEdit