The late Jeffrey Epstein, former US financier and convicted sexual offender charged with sex trafficking allegedly boasted to New York Times columnist James B. Stewart that he had damaging information on a number of influential people, Stewart claims.
"Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it. 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," Stewart says.
According to Stewart, Epstein was fully aware of his own notoriety and never denied his wrongdoings, arguing that “criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable.”
“His very notoriety, he said, was what made so many people willing to confide in him. 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.”
One year ago, Stewart visited Epstein to interview him on his connection to Tesla and Elon Musk – connections which the company vehemently denies. Epstein predicted that, as soon as his role with the company becomes public, he would have to cut his ties because he would now be “radioactive.”
The late financier did not mention names but, according to Stewart, his house is decorated with photographs of the likes of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump and director Woody Allen. After the interview, Epstein offered Stewart a dinner with Allen, and, later, with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
Epstein’s connections sparked conspiracy theories even before his death from apparent suicide in his prison cell earlier last week. Earlier in July, Spencer Kuvin, an attorney who represents Epstein’s victims, suggested that the financier had “powerful friends” who might want to keep Epstein’s mouth shut.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that no jail will protect you when there’s powerful people that want to reach you. If he’s going to implicate anyone in power that has the ability to reach in and somehow get to him - his life is definitely in jeopardy,” he said at the time.
Epstein was found dead on 10 August 2019. He was on a suicide watch after an earlier suicide attempt in July, but attorneys pushed for him to be taken off the watchlist shortly before his death, The Hill report says.