Jeffrey Epstein once bragged to a New York Times columnist about having potentially damaging information on rich, famous and powerful people, including details about their drug use and sexual tendencies.
The billionaire and convicted sex offender claimed in an interview last year that a number of influential people had told him their secrets.
Epstein revealed the details to columnist James B. Stewart in an interview at the 66-year-old’s Manhattan mansion on August 16 last year.
In a piece for the New York Times on Monday – just days after Epstein was found hanging in his federal jail cell – Stewart recalled arriving at the billionaire pedophile’s home and being greeted by a blonde woman in her twenties.
Jeffrey Epstein once bragged to a New York Times columnist James B. Stewart about having potentially damaging information on rich, famous and powerful people, including details about their drug use and sexual tendencies
‘The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it,’ Stewart said.
‘He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.’
Epstein apparently didn’t divulge names during his conversation with Stewart but told him that people often confided in him because of his own scandalous past, including being a registered sex offender and pleading guilty to soliciting underage girls for prostitution.
Stewart said that Epstein made no secret of his past and acknowledged that he was a ‘pariah in polite society’.
‘At the same time, he seemed unapologetic. His very notoriety, he said, was what made so many people willing to confide in him,’ Stewart wrote.
‘Everyone, he suggested, has secrets and, he added, compared with his own, they seemed innocuous. People confided in him without feeling awkward or embarrassed, he claimed.’
The columnist had reached out to Epstein regarding rumors he was advising Tesla’s Elon Musk and their conversation was for background and not meant to be attributed to the financier.
Epstein revealed the details to the columnist in an interview at the 66-year-old’s Manhattan mansion (pictured above) on August 16 last year
Prior to his 2008 conviction, he had counted the rich and powerful, including U.S. President Donald Trump, among his associates. They are pictured with Trump’s now-wife Melania and Epstein’s one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago in 2000
They rarely spoke about Tesla, however, because Epstein said he would have to stop advising the company if it became public.
Epstein described himself as being ‘radioactive’ and said everyone at Tesla would deny ever speaking to him.
‘He said this was something he’d become used to, even though it didn’t stop people from visiting him, coming to his dinner parties or asking him for money,’ Stewart said.
Epstein also told him that is why he was considering becoming a minister so people would know their conversations were being kept confidential.
During his time inside Epstein’s home, Stewart recalled seeing framed photographs of Bill Clinton and director Woody Allen and said it seemed ‘odd’ to display connections with celebrities who had been caught up in their own sex scandals.
He also spoke openly about his interest in younger women.
Epstein apparently didn’t divulge names during his conversation with Stewart but told him that people often confided in him because of his own scandalous past. Epstein is pictured with his one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell
‘(Epstein) said that criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable. He pointed out that homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world.’
Epstein was found dead on Saturday having apparently hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.
The 66-year-old was arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.
Epstein was already a registered sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.
Prior to that conviction, he had counted the rich and powerful, including U.S. President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton, among his associates.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Monday vowed to continue the sex-trafficking investigation involving the disgraced financier and anyone who was complicit with Epstein.
‘Any co-conspirators should not rest easy,’ he said.