In the year before his arrest on new sex trafficking charges and death by apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail cell, Jeffrey Epstein acknowledged he had become a pariah in polite society.
Jeffrey Epstein in his latest mugshot. (NY Division of Criminal Justice)
But the financier also told writer James B. Stewart that he continued to privately entertain friends, including Woody Allen, at dinner parties in his palatial townhouse. He would give some friends money and financial advice or listen to others’ unburden their secrets.
“His very notoriety, he said, was what made so many people willing to confide in him,” Stewart wrote in a column published Monday in the New York Times.
Stewart wrote how he visited Epstein in that townhouse on Aug. 16, 2018, initially to interview him about whether he was giving business advice to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (In a statement given to this news organization, a spokesperson for Musk and Tesla Epstein said “it is incorrect to say that Epstein ever advised Elon on anything.”)
But during the interview, Epstein also showed photos of himself with Allen and former President Bill Clinton.
“Displaying photos of celebrities who had been caught up in sex scandals of their own struck me as odd,” Stewart wrote.
Epstein also showed Stewart a full-length photo of Mohammed bin Salman, the controversial crown prince of Saudi Arabia accused by U.S. intelligence agencies of ordering the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Epstein boasted that “M.B.S,” as he called him, had visited him home “many times” and that they “spoke often.”
According to Stewart, Epstein understood that his name had become “radioactive” since serving 13 months in a Palm Beach, Florida county jail after being investigated on sex trafficking charges and pleading guilty to solicitation of a minor. He returned to New York City in 2010 as a registered sex offender.
But his criminal history was useful in getting certain kinds of people wanting to seek his company, Epstein explained, according to Stewart.
Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, addresses the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Oct. 24, 2018. (Saudi Press Agency via AP) Saudi Press Agency via Associated Press
“Everyone, he suggested, has secrets and, he added, compared with his own, they seemed innocuous,” Stewart wrote. “People could confide in Epstein without feeling awkward or embarrassed, he claimed.”
Stewart said it’s hard to know how much Epstein exaggerated his social or business connections to certain famous people. With his death Saturday, it also is likely no one will ever known what he discussed with these people, including with Allen.
It is conceivable, though, that the 83-year-old Allen would have found in Epstein a sympathetic listener to any concerns about career troubles and public shaming in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Resurfaced allegations that Allen molested his daughter Dylan Farrow in the early 1990s and controversial comments the writer-director made about Harvey Weinstein led to a number of Hollywood stars saying they would never work with him again, the Hollywood Reporter said. Allen …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment