A small, black leather bound notebook laying down on a field of white.
Hollis Johnson/Insider
  • On July 6, Insider published the contents of a never-before-seen address book that belonged to Jeffrey Epstein and dates to 1997.
  • The 1997 book predates Epstein's original "little black book" by at least seven years. The original book dates to 2004 and was published in 2015.
  • A woman found the 1997 book on the sidewalk of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue in the 1990s and kept it as a souvenir. She rediscovered it in a storage unit last year and sold it on eBay to a graduate student living on a farm in Vermont.
  • Insider took extensive steps to verify the authenticity of the book, including hiring a forensic document examiner to determine whether it had been recently forged or altered.
  • More than a dozen prominent people listed in the book told Insider on the record that they knew Epstein in the 1990s. None had previously been tied to Epstein.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

In mid-December, Insider received an unusual tip: A man living on a farm in Vermont claimed to possess an address book belonging to Jeffrey Epstein in the 1990s-one that predated his already infamous "little black book" by nearly a decade. He bought it on eBay, he said, from a woman in San Francisco who had found it on a Manhattan sidewalk in the mid-90s. A handwritten annotation on the book was dated October 1, 1997.

The tip came from Nick Bryant, a freelance journalist who published Jeffrey Epstein's "little black book" for Gawker in 2015. That book, which dates to 2004, featured the names of prominent politicians, leading academics, celebrities, and royalty. It gained new significance and scrutiny after Epstein's arrest and subsequent death in 2019. On the anniversary of Epstein's arrest, Insider published a searchable database of its 1,749 entries.

If legitimate, the 1997 book purchased on eBay would provide a window into Epstein's social circle at least seven years before the era captured by the 2004 book. Its format was remarkably similar to the 2004 book, with detailed entries for long-known Epstein associates, as well as many names never publicly connected to Epstein before.

The address book's unconventional provenance prompted skepticism – but Insider found initial interviews with both the Vermont man and the eBay seller to be credible. The seller, a self-described "enigmatic rock chick" living in Manhattan's East Village, had found it on Fifth Avenue in the 1990s and kept it as a souvenir, intrigued by the famous names listed inside. She rediscovered the book while cleaning out her storage unit last year, and after realizing it belonged to Jeffrey Epstein, sold it on eBay after a friend suggested it could be worth some money.

Little Black Book eBay listing
The eBay listing created to sell the address book.
eBay

Both had attempted to contact journalists. The San Francisco woman assumed the book was a copy of the book published on Gawker after outreach to John Oliver, Rachel Maddow, and The New York Times went unanswered. The Vermonter, upon realizing it was a unique artifact from the '90s, reached out to reporters who had previously covered Epstein, including Bryant.

Insider took extensive steps to verify the authenticity of the book, beginning with outreach to those listed inside. We extracted the text from a scanned copy of the book and organized its entries into a searchable database; a comparison with Epstein's previously known little black book found that the 1990s address book contained 221 unique names and 128 that appeared in both books.

In total, Insider reached out to four dozen prominent individuals who had never previously been tied to Epstein. More than a dozen told Insider on the record that they had crossed paths with Epstein in the 1990s.

A small, black leather bound notebook standing up, slightly open.
Hollis Johnson/Insider

To rule out the possibility that the address book was a forgery, Insider hired a forensic document examiner to investigate the book, driving to retrieve the book in Vermont, where we filmed an interview with its most recent owner for a forthcoming mini-documentary. The document examiner concluded that the book dated to the mid-to-late 1990s and had not been altered.

"I'm confident that the book is circa 1995 to 2000," the document examiner told Insider. His investigation involved studying both the book's physical characteristics, which included a distinctive binding strip manufactured in the 1990s, as well as its contents, including entries that contained a Palm Beach area code that was retired in 1996.

The document examiner's research into the book's binding was echoed in interviews with experts who worked for the company that manufactured the type of binding strips used on the address book. One expert said it was technically be possible to bind a modern book with an original, 1990s-era strip – but the odds of finding one would be slim to none. "My recommendation would be to play the lottery, because you'd have a better chance of winning," the expert said.

The binding of Jeffrey Epstein's other little black book showing a "Gestetner" brand imprint
Hollis Johnson/Insider

In addition to seeking the opinion of a forensic examiner, Insider spoke to sources who could corroborate accounts of the book's discovery. A longtime friend of the eBay seller told Insider that she recalls looking through the book in her Manhattan apartment in the 1990s.

While the book bears no inscription definitively identifying it as belonging to Epstein, it does contain an extraordinarily detailed directory of more than 80 phone numbers associated with the sprawling estates in Manhattan, West Palm Beach, New Mexico, and Ohio that Epstein owned in the early 1990s. It includes numbers for more than a dozen vehicles, a horse stable, a bunkhouse, dedicated lines for internet modems, and phone and beeper numbers for many known Epstein staff members.

Notably missing are his Paris apartment, purchased in 2002, and his private island, Little Saint James, acquired in 1998 – both of which appear in Epstein's later address book. The Rolodex, however, does contain an entry for Diane Cummin – misspelled as "Diane Cummings" – then-wife of financier Arch Cummin, who owned Little Saint James prior to its sale to Epstein. The book also lists detailed entries for Epstein's relatives, whose addresses matched residences listed in public records searches.

Read the full story, and access our searchable database, here:

Jeffrey Epstein's other little black book

Read the original article on Business Insider