The Day Jeffrey Epstein Told Me He Had Dirt on Powerful People

I went to Mr. Epstein’s Manhattan mansion to talk about Tesla. We ended up discussing much more — including his belief that sex with teenage girls should be acceptable.


Comments: 268

  1. "He sounded almost plaintive. I sensed that what he really wanted was companionship." Goes to show you that money can't buy you love or happiness!

  2. @May The pursuit of money is an end unto itself, once you start down the road, it consumes you at the expense of everything else.

  3. The emerging narrative seems to be that Epstein was the world's most successful blackmailer. There is no other plausible explanation for his wealth. And if one does the math, it makes perfect sense. Hundreds of rich friends, many of whom were targets for extortion. At even a few million apiece ...

  4. I do not think he was a blackmailer, because his list of clients does not include the rich and wealthy. But it does include the politically powerful and influent -a President, a Prime Minister, an Ambassador, etc.... More plausible, he was an agent of a powerful intelligence service, who used him as an agent to collect "dirt" on powerful persons they wanted to have in their pocket. He may have done some extortion on the side, but that does not even pay the mortgage of his mansion. Bottom line: I believe he had some dirt on many powerful people that he cannot disclose anymore, now that his patrons made "arrangements" to get him to commit suicide in jail.

  5. @Chedley It pains me to say this. I share your belief and think that there are persons from both parties who were interested in silencing him. At age 77 I feel like I can see the end my country.

  6. @Chedley even more plausible is that he killed himself because he was disgraced and we have a dysfunctional prison system.

  7. Steward missed the chance to be Epstein's biographer? Now that's a pity. It appeared like he was ready to unburden himself, already admitting his "philosophy" that history shows his pattern of behavior was acceptable - yes, at time when people hadn't passed through the Age of Enlightenment. In addition, his behavior is still acceptable among the elite who retain or develop atavistic primitive impulses and because of their wealth think they're shielded from public scrutiny and perhaps the courts.

  8. @Gordon I have the impression that in the Age of Enlightenment sleeping around was freed up from some of the religious disapproval of the immediately previous centuries and then gradually reined in eg. by Victorian ideas of propriety. Whether the encounters would generally have been considered acceptable to C21st minds is moot. Look at those eminent Enlightenment gentlemen, the Founding Fathers.

  9. Biographer, perhaps not. But that was not guaranteed. What he can and likely will be, is the reporter and author who among others blows this topic out of the water in wider and deeper fashion.

  10. @Suburban Cowboy Anybody who tries to blow this story out of the water will find themselves submerged in water, and not coming up for air — ever.

  11. Epstein was unable to draw Stewart into his web. Good for Stewart. Deciding against writing Epstein's biography was a fine decision in my opinion. Like the Tesla interview, it might have been a series of misspent hours while Epstein rambled on, seeking validation for his behavior. Stewart, seemingly, had more important things to do than listen to a pitiful, sexually deviant man bragging about his connections to famous people, of all stripes. Probably not too many people said no to Epstein. Glad James Stewart walked away.

  12. So maybe there’s hope that people will start saying no to Trump as he escalates his rampage on those less fortunate in this world. Karma can’t come soon enough.

  13. @JM That would be great! Let's hold the thought.

  14. ...(I consider that condition to have lapsed with his death.) So when when someone dies you can lose your integrity? Why? How convenient, as dead men don't talk (no one to say I didn't say that), even better than an anonymous source.

  15. @SD I don't understand this reasoning. How is this, even remotely, a lapse? A journalist is not a friend, though they may become one, nor a priest, nor any other category of confidente that we imagine grant eternal silence to our sins. Stewart was there for a story. He knew that; Epstein knew that. Confidentiality regarding 'background' is also practiced differently by different media outlets, but all constantly weigh the needs of the story vs the motivations of a source... it is a calculation, always, fluid not sacrosanct.

  16. Everyone coming out of the woodwork with their hands up claiming they know nothing further. this situation, it ain't over.

  17. This snippet seems to evidence so much of what our conjecture is concerning Epstein. Was he an oarsman of the galley of the elite ? He seems utterly a chameleon with a soft shell. Able to assimilate without substance. Mr Stewart, you provide us here a first chapter open to the creation of another wonderful book of research and soul searching. If you write it , I’ll read it.

  18. Hearing that Epstein tried to justify his forced sexual abuse of underage women as a result of misinformed laws clearly shows how truly disgusting he was. A clear case of ‘You can’t reason someone out of something that haven’t been reasoned into’. How he escaped his prior convictions is a testament to how much work the US justice system needs.

  19. @Andrew Stewart "underage women" no.

  20. The term “underage women” does not make sense. They were not women but CHILDREN

  21. His claims that he did not use drugs or alcohol but then turns around and is willing to tease the writer by telling him that he has dirt on tech bros who use drugs just feels so smarmy. He didn't need any more drugs, the power he had over the poor girls and over those he could easily blackmail was drug enough.

  22. @srstange I am certain that Epstein was a heavy user of drugs, both street drugs and prescription drugs. And, the victims of his rape society were probably forced to take drugs also, as a means of control, including alcohol.

  23. Not much to this story. It only hints how JE may have wheedled his way into using people. Money, sex and perversion is a lure. My concern is the constant usage by all media is incorrect language. Seems nobody wants to call victims children. Girls and young women is incorrect. Consider how lucky the writer was to not get trapped in the spiders web.

  24. Epstein saw nothing wrong with running a sex ring of young teenagers. He was completely unrepentant, and undoubtedly continued to commit statutory rape until he was arrested. He was the definition of a malignant narcissist.

  25. Hmmm I’ve heard another one of his past friends who now heads up the USA called the same thing...

  26. @SandraH. Maybe this saga is a distraction from the far more important malignant narcissist.

  27. Hopefully, Epstein kept a detailed journal and put it somewhere safe...

  28. "About a week after that interview, Mr. Epstein called and asked if I’d like to have dinner that Saturday with him and Woody Allen." Lede. Buried.

  29. @Wandertage The next step would have been to call Mr. Allen, had Mr. Stewart accepted. It sounds like Epstein had no friends at this point in his life, and that his main occupation was trying to make himself seem relevant.

  30. Well that's too bad, James. You could've had a best seller. Regrets we have to live with!

  31. I find it interesting that all the major papers are carefully referring to the conspiracy theories that are springing up as “unfounded”. I’ve never had much truck with conspiracy theories of any stripe, but it is worth mentioning that the notoriety of the prisoner and the irregularities in security surrounding his death provide exceptionally fertile ground for conspiracy theories. And that official explanations to date are inadequate. At best.

  32. I’d say that many of the conspiracy theories are better-described as “well-founded.” The series of supposed errors in guarding Epstein (removal from suicide watch; no cell mate; use of overworked personnel and, in one case, an untrained guard; failure to perform 30-minute checks over a period of at least 6 hours) beggars belief.

  33. @Deborah "...official explanations to date are inadequate." Inadequate? That would imply some details coming forth. But there is no official word yet; not even how, with what, he could possibly have killed himself. So, the official explanation, so far, is not inadequate. It is nonexistent!

  34. Yes. And pretty obvious Barr will make a Herculean effort to protect his rich powerful friends starting with Donald Trump.

  35. Why do we Americans gravitate to the most complicated conspiracies to explain what is in truth simple. A bad man housed in a broken prison took his own life to avoid a very miserable future. He made a rational decision and had the good fortune to be poorly guarded.

  36. @Eric Conspiracy as a secret plan is the basis of capitalistic manufacture and trade. This then naturally extends to politics. Red Baiting, McCarthyism, The Espionage Act, manipulation of competition of the intercontinental railroad, Indian reservations, corralling of Japanese Americans and slavery are all consequences of secret agreements that are obviously harmful to those without resources, but beneficial to say monarchs, oligarchs and tyrants. In recent U.S. history, see: big tobacco, pharma, '60s assassinations, Vietnam and Cambodia Christmas Bombings, Watergate, Iran Contra, WMD's in Iraq.

  37. It’s a little more complex than Epstein having had “the good fortune to be poorly guarded,” because a series of events had to occur to permit a suicide: 1)Suicide watch discontinued after only 6 days (requires explanation) 2)No cell mate assigned (contrary to policy) 3)Overworked guards assigned, one of whom was not formally trained (odd in the case of an exceptionally high profile prisoner charged with a heinous crime.) 4)Guards failed to perform required 30-minute monitoring checks over a period of hours. It’s the sequence of multiple adverse events that gives rise to concerns about foul play.

  38. Coincidence takes a lot of planning.

  39. "I consider the condition to have lapsed with his death." How convenient! Is that standard journo practice? So that you could make a few bucks off his death, without even being illuminating in any way?

  40. @False Profit You will find great debate on the ambiguities of "off the record" agreements. It has been reported that Bob Woodward indicated that if Mark Felt ("Deep Throat") had not outed himself, Woodward would have done so upon Felt's death. The point is that the source no longer need be protected and the public's right to know is paramount. Why attribute an ulterior motive?

  41. @False Profit Yes, I'm no expert in journalistic ethics, but that seems ridiculous - I had a deal with him, but now that he's dead, I can ignore it.

  42. I assume the pictures mentioned still exist and someone may (soon) decide to use or release the photos into the public domain. This saga has only just begun.

  43. That mansion is the kind of home I would admire on a Central Park historic homes walking tour, never knowing what went on or what it took to afford to live there. The most striking aspect of this whole story is not just Epstein's crimes, but all the people, especially women, who helped him. It took a team to keep that going.

  44. My friend has a cousin in the same prison in downtown Manhattan where Epstein killed himself. Before he was moved to the isolated unit, Epstein mingled with my friend’s cousin, and my friend reported that her cousin told her exactly the same things as in this article - that sex with young girls should not be criminalized, and that he has plenty of dirt on others including our former and current presidents. The cousin says he seemed “obsessed” with sex.

  45. @DF With your friend's and her cousin's permission, you should submit their contact details to the NYT's confidential tip facility https://www.nytimes.com/tips

  46. "Everyone, he suggested, has secrets and, he added, compared with his own, they seemed innocuous." The only sentence you need to read. Truer words were never spoken.

  47. How do we know all these accusations and innuendos against this man are really True ?? How do we know it's not..All Locker Room Talk...and Alternative Facts ??

  48. @Dave. Maybe the hundreds of pages of documents released Friday would be a place to start. Pretty sure there is a lot more to come.

  49. @Dave, Believe the women.

  50. @4Katydid "documents released Friday". Released to whom? It's Tuesday. Doesn't the NYTimes or some senator have enough staff to pull some all nighters to read that stuff & let us know what's in them.

  51. It amazes me that after Epstein's first run in with the law that he lived as long as he did considering the type of information he had on people. There is ample reason to question if he took his own life.

  52. @BTO But isn’t there also plenty of reason for him to take his own life? Clearly he was going to jail for the rest of his life.

  53. @BTO considering the type of information he SAID HE had on people.

  54. @Charles alexander Indeed. He was in an overcrowded, understaffed prison and his first cellmate was a cop convicted of murdering someone. That must have been a REALLY bad cop. That's a precipitous drop in living standards from gorgeous Manhattan townhouse. The NYT had published a front page story reporting Leslie Wexner's claim that Epstein had stolen piles of money from Wexner and his family. Epstein's life had taken a decided turn for the worse, to put it mildly.

  55. Perhaps the few remaining honest people in our government might offer a reward for information on the beneficiaries of Epstein's predatory escapades. Or can Trump veto that?

  56. Should have accepted and recorded the dinner conversations. Or he may have been testing your loyalty by taking the bait.

  57. Epstein always reminded me of that movie "The Devil's Advocate", sitting in his ivory tower on 71st St.

  58. I know many don’t like the term White Privilege. It can lose meaning in individual cases, but it can also get clarification from some of these. Look at Jeffrey Epstein’s life. Imagine a minority kid in NYC dropping out of college and ending up teaching in a prestigious private school like Dalton. Then imagine that same minority kid finding a billionaire of his own ethnicity and convincing said billionaire that he can manage all his money. Impossible to conjure. As for his death, I am not one prone to conspiracies, but the government set itself up for that. You have a highly publicized criminal, charged with sexual crimes that have made him radioactive, and to top it off he has well publicized connections to powerful people. If you can’t make sure a criminal of that nature in your possession makes it to trial, what can you actually do? The only thing that mitigates against the conspiracies that have flourished since Epstein’s death is that the whole thing looks too much like a conspiracy.

  59. @C. Hiraldo It is the privilege of the rich and powerful and their are many examples around the world and in the United States where this includes people of color.

  60. Mr. Stewart is a great writer but it shows how narcissistic Epstein was to think anyone would be interested in his autobiography.

  61. If someone other than the subject writes it, it is a biography , not an autobiography. And, let me assure you further, investigative reporting leading to books on his life will be written, published and read.

  62. @Suburban Cowboy If Mr. Epstein was doing the telling then it is autobiography no matter who writes it down. Rather like all the laudatory political "biographies" we are subject to every four years or so. Or used to be. Nowadays we have Instragram for that.

  63. Perhaps in this interview, there is a short series of words that would explain where his wealth came from and with just a few million, one could make many millions, endless millions. Here are the words: "He said he was doing some foreign-currency trading". Blackmail? Wealthy people aren't that stupid, this guy wasn't living off of blackmail.

  64. My concern is for the girls (victims) of these sick old men. I hope the investigation will bring these men out and the girls will get justice. I wish them luck.

  65. @s.n The children who were abused, kidnapped and sexually assaulted and raped were deprived of their human rights. They deserve not only justice but restitution from the millionaires and billionaires who hurt them when they were children. There is plenty of money - I just hope some of it lands in the victims bank accounts so they never have to worry about getting the self care they need for their lifelong journey to recovery from this trauma.

  66. I don’t understand how this story is a “top story”.

  67. @Susan Lee Miller Simple, probably too simple for you to notice...this shows that Barr may pervert the course of justice further in this already havily redacted matter, already perverted once when Epstein did not have to serve a commensurate sentence (with his crimes) thanks to Florida's Justice, who nearly worked for Trump...I say nearly because he lasted only a few days. So now Barr will pervert this further. Yesterday I had hope he had turned over a new leaf, but like Trump this is impossible.

  68. I find it incredibly disheartening to hear Barr has assumed authority in this investigation. I find it equally disheartening that the FBI has raided Pedo Island. But mostly I find it disheartening that I no longer trust either DOJ or the FBI to tell the truth. We've fallen into a black hole, and I don't think we'll ever climb our way back out.

  69. You don’t trust the FBI? Are you saying Trump has been right all along?

  70. @Kate The one who is the most dishonest, and possibly has the most to lose, is in a position to control both Barr and the FBI.

  71. @Michael M Perhaps he is saying he doesn't trust the FBI since Barr starting overseeing them.

  72. The lady doth protest too much, methinks. The lady in this case is Barr. Be careful what you wish for Mr Barr.

  73. As with so much else in life: follow the money. There has never been any plausible explanation for Epstein’s exceptional wealth. Where the money came from would reveal all. The sheer incompetence of his jailers make it likely he did, with calling in a few favors, take his own life. Paradoxically, this is more, not less likely to lead to ever lasting notoriety and an even more intense scramble to expose his secret world. Surely following the money is not such a difficult investigative journalistic technique? Easier when the subject can’t raise spurious objections?

  74. Mr. Stewart’s Epstein story seems like something straight out of an Elmore Leonard novel. I see a sensational Netflix series on the horizon.

  75. This entire story is a tangled web that could still ensnare many well known people, who will now fight very hard to prove that there is no there - there.

  76. Craig Medred wrote a piece on Ghislaine Maxwell's connection to the Alaska dispatch, participation in the Iditarod, and friendship with Rogoff the publisher on his blog today. All in all, these folks sound not too fun to be around. Gauche, but with a ton of money. It all goes to show that rich people can be boorish just as easily as anyone else. I think we need that wealth tax and make it about 99%, too much money seems to not be good for these folks.

  77. I am still waiting to see how Jeffrey Epstein made his fortune. After hearing Les Wexner's characterization of their relationship I am wondering how ethical his business practices were?

  78. @Sean Epstein's business practices? You're wondering?

  79. You guess that he wanted conversation. With that wonderful life and all the young women he gives life to the lyrics of Steely Dans, Hey Nineteen, we can’t talk at all. The kid will live and learn.

  80. This account gave me the distinct impression that Epstein routinely exaggerated his knowledge and connections for self-aggrandizement.

  81. How did he get his money? From whom? In exchange for what? Remember the title of the old Hitchcock film, "The Man Who Knew Too Much"?

  82. Question: Where did Epstein get his wealth? Question: Who were his enablers? Now that Epstein has removed himself from dazzling the rich and famous, or catering to them, perhaps the answers will appear. But I am not really hopeful. Time and time again we have seen how the rich can evade just about anything....including paying off women to keep quiet.

  83. I don't understand why you, as a reporter, didn't want to have dinner with Jeffrey Epstein and Woody Allen, even if you did have a prior engagement?

  84. Consider this: Stewart didn't want to have dinner with Epstein and Woody Allen. I know I wouldn't.

  85. This will forever be a great conspiracy theory, but remember that it was preceded by an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Surely Epstein would have raised that at his hearing and with his attorney, if that been a bungled murder attempt. But of course, Bill Clinton breaking into the prison in the wee hours and then stringing Epstein up is a FAR better story. Keep it coming, folks!

  86. Their was a proven conspiracy to start the Iraq and Vietnam wars, which resulted in massive death and destruction. At the time, as Bob Dylan put it, “the newspapers, they went along for the ride”. I respect journalism. Facts, and careful construction of the truth after verification. I think it’s ignorant to dismiss the possibility that this incredibly well connected man, who had clearly eventually become a pariah after his ‘08 conviction (what a shady deal) was eliminated. Most of the elite that seem to be caught up in this distance themselves by saying “I haven’t seen him in years”.

  87. The Clintons are fading from political life, so other than reputation, there's little damage Epstein's stories can do. On the other hand, pictures of Trump with underage girls would damage his already iffy chances of being reelected, along with the careers of everyone who rode in on his coattails, giving plenty of people incentive. So, really, if there was a conspiracy to kill Epstein, whom do you think did it?

  88. @SAO There has been abundant evidence that 45 abused and molested underage girls and nothing has been done about it. Why would he care now? His "constituency" doesn't care.

  89. Rather amusingly, Epstein-Barr is also the virus which causes mononucleosis.

  90. @Phyllis Hamilton Wow... that is connecting the dots of irony. Well done!

  91. @Phyllis Hamilton This is the best comment I've seen on NYTimes in a long, long time.

  92. @Phyllis Hamilton Interesting. Lots of dots are being connected right now, and Epstein's co-conspirators are quaking in their alligator leather boots. "Time's up!"

  93. Mr. Barr has gained a deserved reputation for distorting and misrepresenting the truth in his second appearance as our nation's AG. So if Barr is grumbling and indignant about Jeffrey Epstein's suicide and the lack of oversight at the Special Housing Unit, known as 9 South, I believe that we can speculate that "there is something there" with tentacles to trumpy and trumpy's relationships with unsavory characters from mob figures to MBS and a range of other well-known, well connected personalities in business and/or governments around the world. For the moment, let's not rule out the possibility that someone "made a suicide happen" and thus prevented Epstein's testimony and potential revelations about "the rich and famous."

  94. "If he was reticent about Tesla, he was more at ease discussing his interest in young women. He said that criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable." Totally creepy. As well as Mr. Stuart's observation that Epstein talked a lot but said little. The photos on the wall, a genuine rogue's gallery of possibly complicit guests at Epstein's various abodes, are intimidating--because now that Epstein is dead, what might all the evidence gathered at his homes turn up to implicate the powerful and wealthy caught in this sociopath's web?

  95. @ChristineMcM To understand the Trump-Epstein relationship, watch the 1992 video of the Chearleader Party at Mar-a-Lago, where Trump is non-stop fawning over Epstein, rather than watching the dancers, while Epstein looks like he could not care less about Trump's attention. It's clear who has the money and charisma.

  96. @Samm yeah, I've seen that video numerous times on MSNBC. All this surrounds the conspiracy theories about William Barr and his role, if any, in this untimely death. See Ross Douthat's article today about conspiracy theories, it's brilliant. Where's there's smoke there's fire, and conspiracy theories just get in the way of the truth sometimes.

  97. Epstein was not the only one to know what secrets lurk in the hearts of mostly males. So many of them, even the ones we had hoped were good guys.... Spitzer, Schneiderman, JFK, today Domingo. What next? How about impeachment hearings! We need Warren in the White House.

  98. @Auntie Mame Let’s not forget that Epstein’s primary enabler/procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell, is a woman.

  99. Oh so Epstein told you he had dirt on powerful people, showed you no evidence and didn't qualify the subjective term 'powerful people' and you make it news? In an America of selective truth with a propensity for conspiracy theories, this is irresponsible.

  100. @Jonathan I think the point of this article is that Mr. Stewart got an inside view of how Epstein operated -- how he may have gotten power over people and maintained power, while increasing his circle of power and influence. The multiple dinner party invitations is telling. It's possible Epstein had dirt on people, but it's equally interesting if he used the perception that he had dirt on people as a power ploy. I suspect it was both. I don't doubt for a second that any wealthy person in New York with creepy procliviites might have sought out Epstein and unburdened themselves, so they could complain about how "whatever" shouldn't even be illegal together.

  101. This article doesn’t tell us much. I’m sure the Dishonorable William Barr will try to keep it that way.

  102. It will likely take a top notch investigative reporter, like Mr Stewart, not our flawed legal system, to get to the bottom of this. Too many powerful men with high priced lawyers to get to the truth.

  103. The question is not whether what secrets he would have told you. That is unknowable. The question is why so many protocols, rules and elements of common sense were violated allowing his suicide to occur. For this an unflinching, thorough investigation is required with many placed under oath. This is not a partisan issue and it should not be made one by bringing Clinton or Trump into the mix. It is a question of whether officials deliberately violated rules and looked the other way to protect people in power or gross negligence and incompetence at high and/or low levels. In either case there must be accountability. Do I expect this to occur? No. I do expect the media circus to thrive on this for a week or two.

  104. The central character is at best unspeakably unsavory and needy for attention. Barr's proactive wilingness to see some version of protective justice done speaks volumes. In a way it reminds me of certain nail salons and the recent justice delivered to the customers and providers of services rendered. Money speaks. Keep following it. Find the others involved.

  105. @Sherlock Really? To me, what I’ve heard from Barr sounds like lip service to deflect from any blame. Kind of like woodenly sounding out the correct words from A TelePrompTer after a gunman travels hundreds of miles to mow down back-to-school shoppers in El Paso. For instance.

  106. The general public is always intrigued with the rich and famous. It’s like “How did they get all that wealth.” It’s unfortunate that most very wealthy people aren’t really that interesting. Many, like Donald Trump, were just born into it. People like Jeffery Epstein are like the ancient “Medicine Men” who use deception to gain fame and fortune. What all of us should be talking about today are those wonderful human beings who unselfishly contribute to society everyday without ever asking for anything in return, but in todays environment, that would be just too boring. But alas, I still believe in the end, Truth, Beauty & Goodness will be victorious.

  107. Is it possible that one of the ways Epstein obtained the confidence of the rich and powerful was with a promise to take himself out rather than talk if ever he should find his back up against the wall. If so, he seems to have made good on that promise. Thus ends one of the more creepy lives of modern day society.

  108. I can't understand why Mr. Stewart did not pursue further inquiry into Epstien. He had to know about the Miami investigations and all the other sordid facts of whose who in the Masters of the universe universe that Epstien traveled with. What story is bigger with all the elements of sex, power and politics than this. Especially with ex-president and current president, Saudi and British Royalty etc. etc. This story is a thousand day time cable tv channels all in one. It is the Everest of Media. Maybe Epstien was puffing about Musk but I think Mr. Stewart you missed the forest through the trees.

  109. @Harry I thought the same thing, but not all are attracted by this sordid story, I guess. On the other hand, given the power of presidents, moguls and royalty, avoidance of being on a hit list might be an attractive lifestyle alternative, no?

  110. @Harry >> The story has all of the elements of the Epstein tease. Did you really learn anything from it, other than that Mr. Stewart was important enough to have warranted a meaningless show-and-tell from the "charismatic" Mr. Epstein? (Well... other than the fact that Stewart was being courted and invited back, but couldn't be bothered).

  111. @Harry Sometimes if you want to stay clean, you avoid the muck. Sometimes there is a price to pay for even knowing such horrid things.

  112. Due to the documented and proven relationship he shared with Woody Allen, I don't think there is anything left to doubt there.

  113. Imagine writing this guy's biography. I'm a ghostwriter and I think a lot about the many regrets of Tony Schwartz who wrote Trump's "Art of the Deal." I'd have to give myself 30 lashes a day.

  114. I would love to learn about his family and childhood. Maybe he was aberrant biochemically, but maybe there was mental illness or personality disorders in his immediate family, or maybe he was abused. I am not looking for a reason to feel empathy for him, but very intellectually curious about what made him a sociopath.

  115. I believe that Epstein operated as the front man for an international human trafficking ring. Only for the elite (I’m looking at you, Prince Andrew) and super wealthy. The real power behind all of this is hidden and obfuscated and we may never know their names. It wouldn’t be too much of a reach to imagine those who had much to lose if Epstein talked to arrange for a hit. Ghislaine Maxwell, his confidant, has a lot to answer for and she should be placed in protective custody so that she too doesn’t commit “suicide”.

  116. @Selena Coul: They have to find Maxwell first before they can put her in a protective 'bubble'. I want to see that woman in prison.

  117. @Concerned Citizen Hopefully, it will be loud enough that Barr will be forced to act on any and all co-conspirators.

  118. @sophia Agreed - she was the "handler" for his degeneracy. She needs to answer for her crimes and the victims need their day in court.

  119. A plausible scenario, though presently unprovable: Epstein was recruited decades ago as a spy for a foreign power. Israel's Mossad comes to mind, though it's not the only possibility. That foreign spy agency washed large sums of money through a sympathetic wealthy American - say, Leslie Wexner who is the only known "client" of Epstein. Epstein used the money to live the high style needed to attract prominent Americans, entice them (or passively allow them) to engage in deeply embarrassing behavior which he recorded on film, audio tapes, and other means. (It has been reliably reported he store many such items at his Manhattan mansion, in which case the evidence should be in the hands of the FBI.) This would explain the enormous pressure brought by prominent lawyers to force the sweet-heart "confidential" deal struck (quite unusually in a variety of ways) with U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta in 2008. It also explains why Epstein would die in jail - either by his own hand or that of another. The spy agency funding him via Wexner could not allow all this to become known and be publicly tied to that spy agency. If Epstein couldn't be rescued, he'd have to die - either by his own hand or another's. I'm not saying this is true. I'm saying it fits all the known facts -- and explains his behavior from start-to-finish at least as convincingly as well as what we are currently being told.

  120. That is why a Congressional investigation is required. Get on it Pelosi!

  121. The Barr is already set low for this investigation. There is no secret organization that allows wealthy people to traffic in sexual assault, rape, child molestation and other acts of contempt for others. We elect them to presidencies, give them seats on the Supreme Court, watch their movies and forgive them because of celebrity status. Let's stop doing that.

  122. @RB "Let's stop doing that." It is a valid point. I knew a man who refused to do business with any shop in a large mall because the mall itself was built on land scandalously rezoned by the local government. (It was such a scandal that some people ultimately went to jail.) When I asked this man if his position might be extreme, I meant, what fault was it of the individual businesses, his response was, "How else do I protest injustice?" I am not sure I ever fully agreed but think a lot these days that we need to protest more, and better.

  123. If he was looking for a ghost writer, that might have set off some red flags for very powerful people. I hope that Epstein isn’t the first and final word in this very long and broad story of the abuse of girls by adults. He’s one of millions. When do we start caring?

  124. The shootings are out of the news cycle now. Still no new legislation. I live in Colorado, home to 2 of the worst mass shootings in US history. Every day, I wonder if my trip to the grocery store to get food will be my last. Every trip to the Home Depot feels like a roll of the dice. Of course it doesn’t stop me from living my life or prevent me from going to school. But... there’s that small part of me every day in which I wonder if this is going to be the day that my face winds up on the news next to other victims. We need national buyback programs. We need assault weapons bans. We need universal background checks. We need red flag laws. We need ammunition registrations. We need every single tool we can employ to stop this stream of violence. And I get it, the Epstein story is a big story. It needs to be told. But the clock is ticking until the next preventable tragedy. We need new laws regulating firearms and we need them yesterday. I just wish the press had the will to keep the El Paso story on the front page every day until new laws are enacted. It would save countless lives.

  125. @Austin Ouellette But the two problems are one and the same. Why doesn't anyone else see this? Epstein is a misogynist and pedophile. Mass shootings are usually committed by men with a history of domestic violence. Human culture, not just American culture, condones the mistreatment of women, children and anyone unable to defend them selves. The other writer tries to say women "choose" the company of older powerful men. No, they are CULTURED, by violent, power hungry and often "religious" men to NEED protection from their very "protectors". These two issues feed off of each in in an endless vicious cycle and always have since the dawn of time. Unfortunately Americans have access to guns as easily as we have access to water. This has been the catalyst for mass shootings that are only a way to expedite slaughtering the lives of many women, children and those unable to defend themselves, at one time.

  126. @austin omelette So many more young women have been hamed by sexual predators than people being assaulted by weapons Yes, weapons are more deadly. But the scars and pain and altering of ones life path are on a whole, more damaging to the fabric of our society.

  127. @Austin Ouellette-- Kinda straying from the topic, aren't you? But since you're here... I thought that it was GUN OWNERS who were supposed to ve "living in fear," foolishly hiding behind their guns, according to gun-control advocates. Instead, it's YOU who seems to be cowering in the dark. Mass-shootings are a TINY component of "gun violence" in thus country. Unless you live in Chicago, calm down.

  128. You wonder what he might have told you, but perhaps a more salient question is would whatever he said make any difference, these days.

  129. True, old men sleeping with teenage girls was once acceptable behavior. But it was acceptable only to the men, certainly not to the girls. Seems like Mr. Epstein was longing for a time when anyone who wasn’t a (straight, white) man didn’t get to have agency and be afforded the luxury of being treated like a person instead of a possession.

  130. Where have I heard the ‘used to be OK’ argument? Oh, I know! The similarly creepy, one-sided point is made by degenerate older men seeking ‘man-boy’ affections from youth. In truth, this behavior is theft of the most reprehensible sort. Stealing the futures of young people who are in fact so stunningly in need of proper adult guidance and mentoring is unspeakable. It is inhuman.

  131. @Julia What, pray tell, is "agency"?

  132. @Upton Agency in this case means the ability to act on one‘s own, with independent volition.

  133. The more plausible conspiracy theory is not that Epstein was murdered in jail but that strings were pulled to remove him from suicide watch in the hopes that he would do the rest which he clearly did. A conspiracy of non-protection. Done deal.

  134. @RKNJ I’m personally perplexed that their are no cameras monitoring the tiers of the facility in which Mr. Epstein was being held. Not the actual holding cells, just the area showing the comings and going of folks allowed there. But even if there was something nafarious at work, we will never know.

  135. Epstein's wealth had to come from somewhere. Likely from dealing with influential people. His penchant for illicit partying is a matter of public record. So it's likely people still in positions of power had a lot to gain from Epstein's permanent silence. Especially since, as the article indicates, he seemed ready to disclose some of the dirt. And he had pictures. Epstein's only shot at redemption was to prove there were others with higher profiles who were just as dirty. The problem now is, some of those with much to lose may be in a position to control the investigation.

  136. @JimmySerious "... he seemed ready to disclose some of the dirt. And he had pictures." I assume the pictures still exist and someone may (soon) decide to use or release the photos into the public domain.

  137. No one has ever answered this question: So why did Bill Barr’s father, Headmaster of a very upscale private school, hire a totally unqualified 20 year old Epstein who had never even finish college, to teach at his private school?

  138. @JimmySerious I want David Farenthold on the Epstein beat. Yesterday.

  139. Great article. Should have started the biography.

  140. A few thoughts. 1. Having photos of Woody Allen and Bill Clinton should not have raised the writer's suspicion a year ago; I'd have been pleased to have both. 2. I would have changed plans to accept those dinner invitations. 3. And think of the book contract the columnist could have scored.

  141. I suppose you'd also welcome the chance to hang out at Mar-a-Lago or have spent weekends with Jeffrey!

  142. @dave the wave Not to mention doing his job. I did not appreciate a conversation yesterday relating to this topic where I found myself defending the professionalism of the best of "MSM".

  143. She did the right thing. As grown women, we know when a creepy situation presents itself and needs to be avoided.

  144. I am at a near loss on how to stamp out pedophilia. Every generation 'creates' them...and the damage they bring is as catastrophic for the individual as it is private. I do know that if we accept that this problem is far more common than we might think, we have a chance of shutting it down. More money spent on social services and oversight of at risk children would be a HUGE start. Some mechanism to allow people at risk of committing these crimes to come forward before they do so, for either treatment or separation would be another. I read that child activists are STRONGLY against the death penalty for child molesters, making the case that it will increase the risk to the victim to avoid detection. It is very hard to understand how you can take someone who trusts you, and then so completely abuse that trust, damage that soul, and walk away to the next tragedy you will create. To say these people are selfish really doesn't get to the heart of it. Where is that voice we all have in THESE PEOPLE? The one that asks "what am I doing?" when we think about any action that is immoral or abusive of another. It feels like a cop-out, but is it as simple as "some people are just plain evil?" I think we could do a lot to combat this with progressive policies + very structured punishments + very high profile marketing (think Mothers Against Drunk Driving). I expect we will do none of that, and these nameless young girls will continue to pay the price.

  145. @Jack Sometimes it seems as if our society thinks that all of this weirdness in our world was only started during our time. But anything that has happened now, has happened before. Maybe not with the names given it in our times or society, but surely at some point in time. As said in the Book of Ecclesiastes, there’s nothing new under the sun.

  146. @Jack Many sex offenders were sex abuse victims during childhood. For them to come out of the shadows requires that they relive the abuse in therapy. The guilt, shame, and fear is horrific. Many victims' souls have been murdered, and the journey back to reclaiming the soul is almost insurmountable. The victim must really want to be whole again , and to welcome their soul back into their body because, it is safe to return.

  147. @WhirlWindRider: Here's a question: Why are the sexual offenders nearly always men? (Maybe not in this case as Epstein had women recruiters). But in the 'normal' cases they are men. But girls are (mostly) abused by these men. So why don't girls grow up to be offenders? Why are 99% of offenders men? My answer to that is that girls and women who have been hurt as children hurt themselves but boys and men hurt others. Why is that?

  148. I'm not generally given to conspiracy ideas, but if ever there was a case where it has credibility, this is it. Another thought is that it may have been a vengeful suicide. Epstein knew well how much trouble his suicide would cause, and he wanted to get back at the former friends who had abandoned him and surely wouldn't help him in his hour of need. His death does not put an end to the inquiries, and I hope will also not end in the hands of the untrustworthy William Barr (in which case, Epstein could have miscalculated the effect of his death).

  149. @Sarah D. I wish I could agree with you, but revenge, at whatever temperature it is served, is the best end. Spilling the beans about so called friends and associates would be much more satisfying than depending on a fickle public to expose the high and mighty. I am not wild about conspiracy theories either, but somehow, no one has said aloud the word ''murder.'' Now that is a plausible conspiracy.

  150. @Sarah D. Interesting idea. But it’s not resonating with me. Would Donald Trump kill himself? El Chapo? I think these narcissists are unconcerned with their legacies, including posthumous revenge. And they expect always to eventually come out on top. More likely Epstein was on or off some kind of medication, depressed (or poisoned) and tacitly encouraged via lack of supervision to do himself in. I was struck by how immediately his death was ruled suicide, even before any investigation of how or why took place.

  151. Mr Epstein’s sexual crimes surely were grave. But, I submit, not any graver than those of the pedophiles in the Catholic Church. Yet, look what happened to them. Nothing compared to what happened to this man. There must be a reason for the difference.

  152. More than a few in the rich and powerful class have long been drawn like moths to flame by the "charisma" of unsavory figures like Epstein. There was a time when society girls were flattered by the attentions of Al Capone. Hollywood moguls and not a few stars (Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner) consorted openly with mobsters. When news broke that Claus von Bulow had been acquitted for the attempted murder of his wife, many boldface names in the Four Seasons Grill Room applauded (I was there). It's not hard to imagine the illicit thrill JFK got by taking Sam Giancana's girlfriend to bed. And even easier to imagine the thrill the clever but deeply insecure Jeffrey Epstein got from that wall of framed pictures of himself, all smiles with the great and the good.

  153. @Charles Michener. I am always impressed by the context and insight your bring and your understanding of the motives beneath the surface. Your observations always enlighten.

  154. I think the photo of MBS is what should raise eyebrows. I don't think he is too forgiving of having his secrets revealed.

  155. @Linda Jean Exactly. That's the detail that jumped out at me. The same MBS that's very cozy with Jared and Trump and lots of influential people & politicians. The connections run deep. And, as a bleeding heart liberal, I welcome any and all Dems involved with Epstein to go down as hard as Trump, Kushner, and others.

  156. I would observe that more names dropped in the course of this ghastly, vomitous tale are prominent Democrats. This is NOT a partisan story or issue. If Justice does its job and carries on the investigation and warranted prosecutions, I believe we will find that predators and perverts are not confined to a single party. I just hope to God the powerful men who are our guardians of truth and justice don’t fail to do their jobs, which also happen to be moral obligations. The women and girls of the world are watching and waiting...

  157. While reading Mr. Stewart's interview with Jeffrey Epstein, I became disturbed at how accurately the columnist portrayed and, if I can use the phrase correctly, fleshed out this master manipulator. As a retired NYC correction officer assigned to Rikers Island over the course of 28 years I encountered many lost personalities but still remember the handful of real sociopaths and psychopaths who could peer into your soul and attempt to manipulate you for their own selfish needs. Unfortunately this is a group of people all to itself and for itself, which is the take away I gather from this well written article. Jeffrey Epstein did what was good for Jeffrey Epstein. I was relieved that circumstances prevented the author from having any further contact with this criminal.

  158. @Murfunit You must not know what beats in the heart of a news reporter. I would have taken every opportunity to know more about Epstein, have dinner with his friend the auteur and probably taken him up on the biography offer.

  159. @dave the wave I've known my share of reporters and writers and you are correct. For them it's about the story and the readers of their story. Honestly, you have to have the stomach for that line of work along with an open mindedness to journal the despicable.

  160. @dave the wave The real danger in lying down with dogs "to get the story" is the dog's ability to arrange the story-telling in situations where flea infestations are inevitable.

  161. Jeffery Epstein knew one very powerful person, with whom he threw private parties and who has noted that Epstein liked younger women. This individual, known for his love of women, poor impulse control, and habit of walking through the dressing rooms of teenaged pageant contestants, would have found it difficult to resist the charms being placed in his reach. His orange hue and shock of ‘never seen that before’ hair would have informed the women who he was. I suspect he’s relieved that certain stories died in the prison cell last Saturday.

  162. @ChrisM No, the young women are still alive.

  163. Today, Epstein is missing from "Top News." and there is little of substance about his death here. Everyone, from politicians to the person on the street, is said to be dabbling in "unfounded conspiracy theories." Then, please NYTimes, find out what happened because what we are being told does not make sense. The talk of understaffing and incompetence at the jail, is a distraction worthy of our great Distractor-in-Charge. Basic questions that should not be put aside until there are clear answers: Why no video survelllance? Why were, apparently, only two people present at the autopsy, the medical examiner and Epstein's attorney??? Are there photographs of the body? Yes, your average citizen is forced to consider a conspiracy when others are not doing their jobs.

  164. @Jan: Epstein is probably currently on a new private island, his money buying his way out once again. It would be great to know the truth but I don't think we ever will. Barr will make sure of that.

  165. At least he didn't win any presidential elections. A lot of people are saying he seemed cut from the same block as our excellent president. Bigly.

  166. Barr has no credibility and very little confidence by the public that he can oversee an impartial investigation into anything. We know about his “investigations” and this taxpayer says “no thanks.”

  167. @Montessahall The only amusing aspect to this sordid saga is that AG William Barr's father, as headmaster of a Manhattan private school, once hired the young Jeffrey Epstein to teach math!

  168. "When I later reflected on our interview, I was struck by how little information Mr. Epstein had actually provided." The same might be said of this opinion piece by Mr. Stewart. Revelations of what went unrevealed aren't revelations. Missed opportunities are missed opportunities, not news.

  169. @John Street: The news was that Epstein dealt in things very difficult to prove - dirty secrets he held of the rich and powerful. Mr. Stewart described Jeffrey Epstein's showiness, need for attention, his lack of any true friends -- that he was a lonely pawn wanting to be seen as a king, but he had no kingly friends to help him. He led a murky life, and told tall tales.

  170. A reporter invited to dinner with Steve Bannon, Michael Wolff and Woody Allen, at the home of Jeffrey Epstein -- and doesn't go? Boy, this could have been a good story.

  171. @Superf88: No, James Stewart did the correct thing by refusing to go with Epstein. Going would have encouraged/enabled Epstein's need for showing off and telling tall tales. Sometimes it's better not to be entertained by a dirty character.

  172. @IN The number one thing a reporter needs to pursue a story is access. Other requirements a good reporter should have are judgement and the commitment ot verify, verify, verify. You seem to think that reporters are babes in the woods who do no more than just listen and parrot back what they are told. And indeed, that is what most of the sorry reporters on view today do, especially those on TV. Mr. Stewart, in my opinion, missed an opportunity to begin to find out what was going on with Mr. Epstein. This is the public's loss. And the worst part is, The New York Times, as far as we know now, has also been flat footed and let this rat die without trying to find out what he knew.

  173. @Superf88 You don't know if any of these people even showed up. Fantasy dinner party.

  174. Very well written. Why the focus on Elon Musk and not the girls? Why isn’t anyone writing about the root causes of what turns a young girl into a recruiter for pedophile predators? Where is the loving intervention of the parents? Where are the stories about role models? Or the investigative reporting on girls who refused the proposition of selling their souls or recognized the vulnerability of potential rape and how did they escape?

  175. @Schedule 1 Remedy Few powerful men are married to equally powerful women. They attract women who are beautiful and somewhat lazy and who want a shortcut to status and cash. Women like that often believe that men are superior beings or they count themselves clever because most men are so easily manipulated into giving up their wealth for sex and female attention. Do you seriously think that a woman like that has the inclination to protect her own daughter? She’s more likely to train her to use her body strategically. I’ve heard plenty of professional women tell their daughters that learning to control men is a key part of growing up female. As long as that remains true, people will continue to say it.

  176. @SDK While what you say is true, it creates the reason for providing better examples, better role models, and the reporting we need on it at a time like this. Ultimately what we value in life and love is a bold, individual choice set by example of others making healthy choices, not simply following bad examples from bad friends, commercialized spectacle, or the material trade of the soul. We need the stories of better example to free us from the spectacle of bad behavior.

  177. More reporting is needed on those that live in the stratosphere of our society--they are closed off, in their own bubble world, with their own rules, and have tremendous power if they want to use it. Understanding how they think and behave is necessary to understand how they control the rest of us and society. A criminal, convicted of sex crimes, walks easily among them as if his crimes mean nothing. He's got enough money and lawyers and is protected. In fact, he gains something from slumming to the uber wealthy. Bone fides. The wealthy are all involved in some criminal activities, tax fraud, evasion, business fraud, you name it along with other perhaps more unsavory indulgences that would be criminal. Epstein was a man with a torch to these people. He could provide access to women and they could indulge themselves. The wealthy don't care. When you have no accountability why should you? The rules don't apply. Like a little kid, they test the boundaries. What can I get away with? Destroy media companies, talk about crazy ideas about islands and tax havens. Epstein shows the way. If he can get away with that...they wonder, I can get away with... You can fill in the blanks. As for the celebrities and politicians and sex scandals and criminal activity, look to the Romans and their debauchery. Power and wealth attract the corruptible because it takes a corrupted heart to gain power and wealth at someone else's expense.

  178. Time to re-read the great Gatsby.

  179. Where were the parents? These were not runaways or drug addled teens. They all seemed solidly middle class plus. And many seemed to make return trips as in calling in to ask where they would be needed and were paid hundreds of dollars. I am not blaming the young women, but where were the parents?

  180. @Rick: He preyed on vulnerable children in not good home situations. I've read that from the beginning. Predators know who to target, believe me. They are very good at that.

  181. You can be assured ("where were the parents") that many of the parents would have had no problem with their kids associating with an alleged million/billionaire. The lust for wealth & power is very strong in this sad nation.

  182. @Rick Think again about what you are saying. If no one is there to stop me, should I be allowed to do anything I want? Of course not. Wrong is wrong even if no one is watching.

  183. The sad truth is there are many more like him still getting away with it.

  184. Yes and one of them actually got elected president.

  185. While James Stewart may not have written the ultimate deceptive Jeffery Epstein biography, he nonetheless succinctly captures a personality that is representative of what passes for the ruling class in NYC/ DC. It’s predicate is structured around smoke and mirrors: the purported brilliance is based on a mirage of lies and deception. They are great financiers they tell us, but it’s driven by insider trading, dismembering companies and Ponzi schemes They are highly moral they tell us, but like Epstein it’s based on abuse and exploitation So, in a way, with a single newspaper, Stewart captures a window into a culture that’s destroying the US. The photographs Epstein had hanging on his walls, eg “Woody Allen”, presidents and other notorious individuals is pretty telling

  186. I'm reminded of Britain's "Profumo Affair" and the role played by the "Osteopath" Stephen Ward, who seemed to be the central panderer bringing politicians and shady characters together for "parties". An now Epstein has gone the way of Ward, and everybody is in a flutter, just as they were then.

  187. That part about Epstein wanting to become a minister so his acquaintances can gain his confidence in their conversations really had me shaking my head. I'm reminded of all the confessions people told to Catholic priests some of whom were sexual predators themselves, especially of children.

  188. My great grandmother (whom I knew personally, she lived across the street from me when I was growing up) was married at 14 and had her first of 7 children when she was 15 and a half. This was in Pennsylvania around the year 1900. Her daughter, my grandmother, was married at the age of 16 and had her first child at 17. This was also in PA around the year 1927. Both my grandfather and great grandfather were exactly 10 years older than the girls they married, and they both advised me to marry a girl 10 years younger than myself. Why? "so she can take care of you in your old age." My mother was 17 and pregnant with me when she 'had to' marry my father, who was 21 at the time. The marriage ended in divorce 4 years later. This was in 1951. Childhood marriage is very much alive in this country and many others. Google it. Girls as young as 13 can be married in the USA in certain places and they still are. Who can speak of 'agency' at those ages? And as for May-December relationships, google Senator Strom Thurman. A white nationalist who raised several sets of children with various women many decades younger than him, and fathered a secret black child from his parents' housekeeper. As Bertold Brecht once said in a slightly different context, "Such is the private life of the Master Race".

  189. @Bobby Exactly. The fact that something has been true for much of history does not make it good. Slavery has existed for most of history. Early marriage has exited for most of history. Kings have existed for most of history. People like Epstein don’t want to be slaves or serfs - they don’t want to be mere bodies to be used by other men at will. Yet they have no problem using women and girls as bodies. There is nothing magic about the age of 18 and nothing abnormal about sexual attraction to any human who has experienced puberty. But we as a society have chosen to legally protect adolescents from sexual control by adults because they have not yet reached legal, emotional and economic maturity. Most adult men are sexually attracted to teenagers but an intelligent man realizes that a world in which he preys on teenagers is not a good place for his wife or daughter. Women are part of the tribe, we have all chosen to create these rules, and a man who fails to recognize that deserves to lose the tribe’s protection and to suffer its wrath.

  190. @Bobby - Interesting but I don't get the point you are trying to make. Are you speaking out in favor of such things?

  191. @DR No of course not. Please see SDKs comment, he gets it. My private life of the master race remark at the end of my comment was supposed to indicate my distaste.

  192. I'm curious about Mr. Stewart's decision that his "off-the-record" agreement with Mr. Epstein didn't survive the latter's death. Is that something he discussed with Mr. Epstein at the time of the conversation? Did he make the decision unilaterally?

  193. @Jon Austin Why should a pedophile and criminal have a right to secrecy? Are you aware that that’s exactly the reason why rape of children and young women happens? Why are you more concerned about Epstein’s “rights”, than the hundreds or thousands of kids and young girls he raped and trafficked? They all deserve that the whole ugly truth comes out.

  194. As horrific as Epstein’s crimes are, the most egregious act was the plea agreement implemented by Alexander Acosta when he was United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Not only did Acosta allow Epstein to avoid any meaningful punishment and to continue his predation of young girls, he granted immunity to Epstein’s “unnamed co-conspirators”. Acosta should be a primary target of this investigation.

  195. @David Eike: I agree wholeheartedly, David. I think Acosta should lose his license to practice law. And some of his former colleagues who handled that case as well.

  196. @David Eike I agree to a certain extent. But while Acosta's deal allowed him to plea down to much lesser state law offense, remember that the local jail and work-release were strictly Florida decisions. They were not part of the plea deal. Did Acosta know the extent to which Epstein had influence over law enforcement in Palm County?

  197. @David Eike Agreed -- I want to see more about Acosta's involvement with all this. Glad he's out as Labor Secretary, but that isn't good enough. ALL the enablers must be held accountable.

  198. Maybe Epstein didn’t take it with him. We shall see.

  199. One thing is for sure, someone is going to write quite a book about him. It will take a while for the exhaustive research. Hopefully the book will tell the true story of what was going on with him. How rich was he? Ownership of an assert like his NYC home (Former home of a private school) could give him massive borrowing power. Did he actually make money or was this a shell game? Were underage girls his focused objective or was he interested in all young girls? Perhaps now that he is gone more of his female acquaintances will go on record. Age of consent in Wikipedia tells an interesting story of how age of consent varies by state and country.

  200. @David C. Clarke how does one consent to being trafficked?

  201. His justifications remind me of similar ones from pals of his across the spectrum of exploitation of celebrity power and money to get sex without caring about mutual interest or consent. Such as Woody Allen saying ‘the heart wants what the heart wants’ and Trump’s quote ‘when you’re famous they let you do anything’. Not thinking about whether if there was resistance or complaint who would believe or support their vulnerable targets? Apparently for this set, still no one.

  202. @Luccia. I always find it interesting how freely Allen and Trump rationalize their of sexual boundaries and social rules. It's as if they are completely oblivious to social rules that most of us are taught from childhood and follow without even thinking. It's as if they believe that everyone thinks the same way as they do. A complete lack of empathy. In Trump's case, I suspect empathy and respect for human decency were never nourished in his upbringing, but what of Woody Allen?

  203. There have been multiple formal complaints and lawsuits against Trump for sexual harrassment.

  204. The only title to the biography Stewart might have written about Epstein : The Art of the Steal.

  205. @Susan B. A. Companion volumes.

  206. Aside from "conspiracy theories", could one imagine that at least a handful of his former luminary/powerful "contacts" and "friends" might have wanted him dead?

  207. A promise not to attribute information to a source lapses when the source dies? Seems like a breach of the Canons of Journalism. I have spoken to many reporters "on background" and "not for attribution" in my career. Now I'm worried.

  208. @TM--I was struck by that, too. My understanding is that confidentiality continues even after death. It does for lawyers. Attorney-client privilege is held by the client, and if the client dies then it passes to his estate. A lawyer needs to get permission from the estate to disclose information. It must not be the same for journalists, as Mr. Stewart states he just decided on his own that confidentiality no longer applied.

  209. @Ms. Pea Excellent point regarding attorney-client privilege. A bit chilling that a reporter makes such an arbitrary decision.

  210. All of Epstein's claims are discredited because he's the one who made them. Trump has also claimed to "know things" about people and to have inside information, but it's all lies. This is just more evidence of the way in which we allow ourselves to be seduced by wealth. We think rich people must be smart people. It's one of the myths that got Trump elected. In fact, rich people are more likely to be liars than the non-rich. And, some people just shouldn't be believed, ever. Epstein was certainly one. Trump is most assuredly another.

  211. Sure, it used to be acceptable to sleep with thirteen year old girls (and younger). Miraculously, advanced society has equipped us with longer life expectancies, technology, and psychology, to eradicate the necessity to rape children. As a nineteen year old woman, I’ve been sexualized since I was thirteen. Men my uncle’s, father’s and grandfather’s age have made untoward comments. I’m sure they would readily leap at the opportunity to rape (children cannot consent) me, had they been given the chance. We all know of the magnetism that is youth and beauty. We know that Epstein and countless others, desire little girls from the instant their bodies start hinting at approaching sexual maturity. It’s a tale as old as time. I’m done with hearing about that story. I want to talk about how disgusted I, and many other girls like me, were when grown men made passes at us. At the ripe age of 14, I was nauseated when I realized in any given situation, a disarming number of adult men were attracted to me. I am so fortunate to have a caring family. Despite the naïveté that is supposed to accompany youth, my family was there to educate me on how to stay safe. Epstein clearly targeted girls from broken homes as an additional angle of vulnerability he could use to exploit them. My heart aches for the victims.

  212. @Blair I'm much, much older than you but share your horror and dismay at the willingness of older (and even old) men to push as far as they can with young girls. This happened to me too, when I was your age and I wonder not at how many other women experienced this, but how few women DIDN'T experience it. After the long fight women have had to put an end to this type of behavior, it saddens me to realize it's still going on and with such impunity.

  213. You nailed it. We can talk about the men in this story ad nauseum but it will change nothing - least of all these and other men of this type (it is, in my experience, a vast but still too numerous minority of all men). But note there were women perpetrators as well. The truth is it is power that corrupts. But Hopefully this provides a cautionary tale for parents and their daughters.

  214. @john Pardon me for not fully forming my thought. The source of my disgust actually stemmed from having to mentally deprogram my previous view of the world. I thought of older men as good, protective, authority figures. I was disheartened when I learned their innate desire was not to help guide me.

  215. Mr Epstein knew he was toast and would never again live free to do the sordid things he was accused of doing. And perhaps as frightening to him, he was about to be humiliated in every aspect of his life. So it is not surprising that he would take his life. If Trump hadn’t been an acquaintance of his in the past, Mr Epstein and his acts would not be receiving anything like the press he has. And while Epstein is now dead, because the Epstein/Trump connection, no matter how tenuous, still lives, this story is not going to die soon.

  216. @ehillesum (for you) Does everything revolve around Trump? What this man has done transcends Trumpian politics.

  217. Just maybe, He had one moment of true self reflection and staring into the abyss. Suicide was a very logical and predictable outcome.

  218. Phyliss Dalmatian His desire to commit suicide was logical. The fact that he was allowed to do so –if in fact that’s what happened– is not logical, despite staff shortages, given his value as a witness. Or perhaps it is exactly his value as a witness that made his death –self inflicted or not – inevitable. It really does strain and injure the imagination to suppose his quick and sudden death was any coincidence.

  219. I'm sorry the author of this piece didn't take Epstein up on his invitations. Think what he might have learned.

  220. @joan Probably not much. If Jeffrey Epstein told me the sky was blue, I'd go check for myself. After a day with Epstein, James Stewart had a bunch of vague assertions, along with convenient explanations for why all involved would deny those assertions. The only way to separate fact from fiction would be to corroborate with photos, flight records, bank records, and other documentary evidence - pretty much the current situation. Mr. Stewart seems to have concluded he'd rather drown himself in the toilet than endure hours and hours of more of the same, and who could disagree with that?

  221. Mr. Stewart’s description of the interview suggests that Mr. Epstein made his money by trapping powerful men who had the same proclivities as himself, which means that lovely mansion on 71st was a high-powered brothel, clip joint and blackmail operation. Every interaction between Stewart and Epstein shows that blackmail was his modus operandi and compulsion. The invitation to Bannon and Wolff, and even the proposed biography, further hint that he was threatening to go public with information on Trump u.a., having got wind of the investigation. Various news reports have stated that he had threatened to expose Trump for money laundering previously and that this was the source of the rift between them.

  222. @Kate Hill "Various news reports" yada, yada. Please inform where you 'heard' this, or hold yo' gossip, as I hold mine concerning former democrat US senators and presidents.

  223. "Mr. Epstein took a seat at the head, and I sat to his left. He had a computer, a small blackboard and a phone to his right. He said he was doing some foreign-currency trading." Follow the money.

  224. @D. He SAID he was doing some foreign-currency trading. You take him at his word? His whole life was arranging props: computer blackboard, phone, photos, people.

  225. Epstein could probably have told Mr. Stewart some stories about the criminal behavior of some powerful men. The truth is that nothing sticks to Trump because his supporters don't care about his crimes. In addition, he is above the law since Mr. Barr, and others like him, make sure nothing sticks. The death of Epstein is suspicious. Perhaps Epstein would have implicated Trump again in criminal behavior. Hopefully, he left some writing that would disclose some of this information. But then again it won't matter because it will probably never come to light.

  226. @Hoping For Better We'll just wait for the 'details /photos' of your favorite pols and celebs, which are forthcoming. In the meantime, you only have conjecture to spread.

  227. It's lonely at the bottom.

  228. The Money Changers was written by Upton Sinclair. It describes the life of a naive young girl that decides to break into high society and the geezer banker that decides to have his way. Nothing has changed. Back in those days, most ordinary children left school at 14 to make their way in the world, for girls that meant getting married. Families were large and room was needed to raise the younger members. One of the common criticisms of the laboring poor, by the wealthy, was the lack of self control with respect to family size.

  229. @beaconps From the abstract Leftist hatred of the wealthy to the concrete Rightist hatred of Jews is a tiny step. See 1920s and 1930s Germany for more.

  230. A promise to someone doesn't expire when that person dies. Good luck trying to get information from anonymous sources in the future.

  231. @Mark A promise to a pedophile should never have to be kept. Mr Epstein was also not an anonymous source about a crime or a story. He was the criminal and the story, and Mr Epstein invited him over. You think that information about other pedophiles, money launderer and sex trafficker should be taken to the grave? If so, what do you have to hide?

  232. Those photos on the "I love me" wall behind Epstein may have served dual purposes: to make Epstein feel more powerful vis a vis his attachment to these high-powered individuals...but more importantly, to serve as a very strong, visual reminder to these very same people that Epstein had knowledge of their secrets. Visuals like that are powerful for more than one reason.

  233. @Observer You have left out one more possible reason - to remind others how connected and powerful he is, even if the few seconds of life the photo represents is the extent of his "friendship" with many of these people.

  234. The real question isn’t what he might have told you Mr. Stewart, it’s why did he seek you out?

  235. @Ken Wilson and what do you mean to imply by this? Is Mr. Stewart now to be painted as guilty as an accomplice simply because he met with the man to write a story? This is how conspiracy theories start.

  236. My question as well. Hind site being 20-20, but casting no aspersions on the author, why would he not want to follow up the invitations to meet, talk, dine with one of the biggest stories going? Strikes me as odd that a journalist would decline.

  237. @Ken Wilson It's a good question.

  238. Sigh of relief? Only if they know who has the photos now.

  239. The biggest fear of rich, powerful men is that women will actually be equal to or stronger than them some day. The fact that "J.E." is close friends with the Saudi crown prince and boasts about that fact is enough to tell me this man did not die at his own hand in that jail cell. History shows this is common practice in Saudi Arabia all the time. My point is, there are many just as powerful people in this country and own the VIP list of "friends" who could have "arranged" for Epstein's suicide. With Barr at the helm, cover-ups are definitely coming.

  240. @DJA >The biggest fear of rich, powerful men Did you learn this from intuition, a ouija board or a corrupt Leftist professor?

  241. "...knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos..." Thus, the answer to the repeated questions about how epstein got his money.

  242. I was raped at 13 (by 26-y.o. man). I am nearly 60 now. My heart still pounds when I read comments like "sex with teenage girls shouldn’t be an aberration." I've spent a lifetime trying to undo the impact of the rape.

  243. @Leslie Cox What Epstein was doing does not constitute rape, it’s generic prostitution

  244. @Leslie Cox He's a flat out predator. So sorry for your experience and for all of these girls.

  245. @Leslie Cox Or....when writers say things like "prostitution with an underage girl." There's no such thing as an underage prostitute...they're sex slaves that are being raped.

  246. Everyone seems to believe that all of the secrets and "information" Epstein had on the rich and famous has dies with him. If half of the stories he claimed to have were true then there are plenty of people who could be whistle blowers. I hope a handful of them step up and do the right thing by exposing those who took part in Epstein's crimes.

  247. @Magan Not to mention the photos and other materials that investigators supposedly took from his safe.

  248. Epstein may very well have been a con man who had fewer connections and less wealth than he made it seem. (It remains unclear whether he even owned that apartment). Claiming to have secretly advised Musk, to have "friends" who will deny them and inviting a reporter to dinners which the reporter can not attend and then claiming famous people would have been there all create an unverifiable aura that he was pals with the rich, famous, and morally challenged. Yes, he donated or arranged a plane for the Clinton foundation. Whether this meant an actual friendship with Bill Clinton, or illicit activity is speculation. One of the things that happened shortly before Epstein's death was the release of a deposition by one of his victims who said that Epstein asked her to engage in sexual behavior with Epstein's friends, but neither President Trump or Clinton were among them. Maybe Epstein committed suicide because it was revealed he had less blackmail material than the image he created. As for conspiracy theories, the first few questions should be some balancing; how many suicides in that facility? how often does under-staffing occur; how many other prisoners are denied protection and monitoring? Suicide and a poorly run prison are still the most logical conclusion. If he was killed, it could have been simply because other prisoners do not like child abusers.

  249. @D Oh puleeze,the Clintons involvement and on the plane multiple times and accusations by at least one witness is well documented.

  250. And Trump rode the same plane, but no evidence Trump or Clinton engaged in wrongdoing on the plane. Or if I am incorrect please point me to you factual sources.

  251. As I was reading this, I could not help but think of your great book, "Den of Thieves." Epstein did much more than steal money via the junk bond and other financial markets. He stole the virtue of innocent young girls who will be scarred for life. Do not put it past him to have left some sort of record of misdeeds of other powerful individuals. After all, even if you turned down the opportunity to write his biography, maybe he started working with some other author or began jotting down notes years ago that are hidden inside a safety deposit box somewhere. Those individuals should not feel relieved with his death.

  252. No, it’s not “virtue” that was “stolen.” The girls do not possess some inherent goodness or modesty that is sullied. (Nor do they lack goodness; it simply doesn’t matter.) And there is no commodity he “stole.” He committed crimes that likely damaged the bodily integrity, health, and well-being of his victims. He used his power and force to override their human rights and damage their self-determination, and to impede their economic success too. “Virtue” has nothing to do with it.

  253. @Michael “Junk” bonds funded CNN, high tech and the needed reorganization of bloated US companies.

  254. @Michael Hands up if you think that Prince Andrew will ever be investigated?

  255. Just curious if Mr. Stewart took the story up with any of his editors at The Times to see if further investigations were worthwhile. He may have agreed not to name Epstein in providing him information, and considering Epstein doesn't really seem to have provided him much, seems irrelevant. But that wouldn't stop The Times from looking at him in more depth especially with regard to his sources of money. It seems Epstein was always claiming connections with wealthy people at least some of which were nonexistent. So if the paper believed he was falsifying a connection with Musk, it might have been worthwhile looking at his other lies. As far as I can recall, until the issues surrounding Secretary of Labor Acosta's involvement in his case in Florida were raised, The Times had little coverage on Epstein although I believe the Miami Herald had started printing stories on him.

  256. @Steve The Miami Herald has been reporting on Epstein since 2007... Why the stories didn’t get more play outside of Miami or Florida is an interesting question.

  257. 559 million doesn’t come from doing anything legal. They should be looking into international sex trade.

  258. @Ann Salvadori - Yes: Follow the money. How he earned that much seems to be a great mystery.

  259. It all comes down to money and power playing out on the chessboard of the entire planet. Bribery seems to be as old as civilization. It is an entree to power at every level. Epstein's power seems to have been collecting bribes to keep secrets. And scaling that to gain influence in the corridors of power. The secrets are safe for now, but investigative journalists will have a field day.

  260. @betty durso - In light of the way Donald's BFF, the Saudi Prince, handled Khashoggi and the both of their sticky strings tied to Epstein; someone could accidentally extrapolate something scandalous about these supremely powerful men and Epstein sudden demise...

  261. @betty durso I suspect Epstein was more into theft and blackmail than bribes. Just how did he accumulate such ridiculous wealth? Apparently he left a minuscule footprint on Wall Street or other investment avenues. He was involved in Deutsche Bank however......

  262. 1. Of course there is dirt on fellow " industrial and political " leaders 2. The FBI will most likely find most of it 3. It most likely will not ever be released- to many internal government service leaders and industrial leaders are complicit to the financial influence that will be in place.

  263. "What might he have told me?" I think the better question is whether anything he said was true, and whether anything he would later say would be true. People think Epstein had dirt on powerful people, but could we have believed him anyway? We would've demanded proof (thanks to the CSI effect...), which didn't die with him. I don't know that Epstein had much we needed to hear.

  264. If there is any life lesson in Epstein's life, and one that this interview definitely reflects, it is that for all his wealth, owning two island estates, a house in Manhattan, planes, etc, etc., he was a very lonely man. Money and wealth does not guarantee a fulfilling life, does it? For all the millions and millions of dollars, he dies in a jail cell in New York City. I can only shake my head.

  265. @Len Money and wealth, much of it likely obtained illicitly, which is different from wealth earned honestly.

  266. @Ellen Freilich I've heard similar stories from those who have earned their fortunes honestly. The assistant to Howard Hughes once told a story about how on Christmas day, he received a call from Howard to just talk because he didn't have anyone to speak with and felt lonely. You can have millions/billions and still be incredibly lonely doing it.

  267. @Jesse I'm sure that's sometimes the case, but there are plenty of people who are poor and lonely and that must be worse. I guess I'm just wary of drawing a direct link either between money and happiness or money and unhappiness.

  268. I get the strong sense that some of the people writing comments on this story assume that because Epstein was a convicted sexual abuser of children that he must have made his fortune illegally. It should be obvious by now that lots of financial transactions that should be illegal are thanks to the wisdom of Congress and state legislatures perfectly legal. Part of the power of great wealth is the ability to get the law to look the other way thanks to high-priced lobbying and generous campaign contributions.