- Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in an apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail on Saturday, August 10 as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors.
- The former money manager had many famous connections.
- Epstein, who ran a business out of the US Virgin Islands, was known for jet-setting with the likes of former President Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrew (the third child of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth).
- Some of Epstein’s former friends include L Brands CEO Les Wexner and President Bill Clinton. Both have said they cut ties with the disgraced financier years ago.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“I invest in people – be it politics or science,” Epstein was known to say, according to New York Magazine. “It’s what I do.”
Epstein had been in police custody since July 6; he was arrested shortly after exiting his private jet in New Jersey. He pleaded not guilty on July 8 and was being held without bail in New York City. On July 25, Epstein was placed on suicide watch after a reported suicide attempt that led to his hospitalization.
In 2007, Epstein pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida.
Here is what we know about the famous people who crossed paths with Epstein.
President Donald Trump once considered Epstein a friend.
The future president claimed in 2002 that he had a long friendship with Epstein. “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump said, according to New York Magazine. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
According to Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Trump now believes the crimes Epstein was charged with are “completely unconscionable and obviously criminal.” She also labeled them “disgusting,” according to a report from the Associated Press.
“The president told me this morning he hasn’t talked to Epstein, he doesn’t think he’s talked to him or seen him in 10 or 15 years,” Conway added.
Former President Bill Clinton traveled with Epstein in 2002 and 2003.
A statement released in July by Clinton spokesperson Angel Ureña said the former president traveled to Europe, Asia, and twice to Africa on Epstein’s private jet. Clinton’s staff and Secret Service agents also went on these trips, which were to further the work of the Clinton Foundation, according to the statement.
At the time, Clinton told New York Magazine through a spokesperson that Epstein was a “both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science.”
Ureña also said that Clinton and Epstein haven’t spoken in “well over a decade” and that Clinton “knows nothing about the terrible crimes” Epstein was charged with.
Actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Chris Tucker also took trips with Epstein.
Epstein, Clinton, Spacey, and Tucker spent a week in 2002 touring AIDS project sites in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, and Mozambique for the Clinton Foundation, according to a New York Magazine report.
Spacey has also been charged with sexual assault, although the case may be dismissed, according to The New York Times.
Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is Epstein’s ex-girlfriend — and alleged madam.
Maxwell, 57, is a British socialite and the daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell.
She started dating Epstein shortly after moving to New York in 1991, Business Insider previously reported. After they broke up, court documents allege that Maxwell started recruiting underage girls for him to have sex with.
Prince Andrew and Epstein were close friends, the Guardian reported in 2015.
Maxwell introduced Epstein and the Duke of York in the 1990s, the Guardian reported, and the two became close friends.
The Duke is the son of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth. He has also been criticized for frequently taking flights on the taxpayer’s dime while serving as the country’s special representative for international trade. This earned him the nickname “Airmiles Andy,” according to the Washington Post.
Court documents reviewed by the Guardian allege that Epstein instructed Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a 15-year-old employee at Trump’s Mar-a-Largo resort, to have sex with Prince Andrew on three separate occasions.
Buckingham Palace said in 2015 that the allegations against Prince Andrew were “false and without any foundation,” according to the Guardian.
According to a July 22 article from NY Magazine’s Intelligencer, a number of royals and royal connections were among Epstein’s contacts. That includes Prince Andrew’s then-wife, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York; and Charles Althorp, Princess Diana’s brother. According to Intelligencer, all three were named in Epstein’s black book; Ferguson and Prince Andrew were also named in his private jet log.
L Brands CEO Les Wexner is Epstein’s only confirmed client.
Epstein became a trusted confidant of Wexner’s while Epstein managed the CEO’s fortune, according to Vanity Fair. Wexner has a net worth of $6.7 billion, Bloomberg reported. The magazine reported that Wexner allowed Epstein to take an active role in L Brands, which owns Bath & Body Works, Express, and Victoria’s Secret.
In 1989, Wexner used a trust to buy an Upper East Side townhouse that is believed to be the largest private residence in Manhattan for $13.2 million, Vanity Fair reported. Epstein moved in after Wexner and his wife, Abigail Koppel, moved to Ohio in 1996. Wexner’s trust transferred ownership of the house to Epstein in 2011 for $0, Bloomberg reported.
Wexner later fired Epstein as his money manager. “Mr. Wexner severed ties with Mr. Epstein more than a decade ago,” an L Brands spokesperson told Forbes.
Former Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta worked with Epstein’s legal team to arrange a plea deal after Epstein was charged with solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution in Florida in 2007.
An investigation by the Miami Herald revealed that Acosta, then a US attorney, had enough evidence against Epstein to request a life sentence. Instead, he reportedly met with one of Epstein’s lawyers, who happened to be a former colleague of Acosta’s.
In the resulting plea deal, Epstein served 13 months in a private wing of a county prison, which he was allowed to leave six days a week to work in his office.
The crimes committed by Epstein are horrific, and I am pleased that NY prosecutors are moving forward with a case based on new evidence.
— Secretary Acosta (@SecretaryAcosta) July 9, 2019
Acosta resigned on July 12.
Film publicist Peggy Siegal planned a star-studded dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at Epstein’s New York mansion in 2010.
Siegal, known for hosting events to promote films including “The Big Short,” “Argo,” and “The Revenant” to Oscar voters, invited Epstein to screenings after he was released from prison in 2010, according to The New York Times.
“I was a kind of plugged-in girl around town who knew a lot of people,” Siegal told The New York Times. “And I think that’s what he wanted from me, a kind of social goings-on about New York.”
Siegal also planned a dinner party for Epstein and Prince Andrew at his Upper East Side home. The event was attended by Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, and Chelsea Handler. “The invitation was positioned as, ‘Do you want to have dinner with Prince Andrew?'” Ms. Siegal said. Many of the guests didn’t know who the host was or about his criminal history, The New York Times reported.
A spokesperson for Siegal told Business Insider that Siegal’s relationship with Epstein was social, not professional. Siegal told The New York Times that she ended her relationship with Epstein at the height of the #MeToo era in 2017.
Epstein also told the Times that he spoke often with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Epstein also said that MBS had visited Epstein’s Manhattan mansion many times and had a framed photo of the crown prince hanging on the wall, according to New York Times reporter James B. Stewart.
Representatives of MBS did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
According to the New York Times, Epstein claimed to have advised Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
In an interview published in the New York Times on August 12, Epstein claimed that Elon Musk had sought him out to help manage the trouble he had gotten into with the SEC a year earlier, in August of 2018.
Epstein told reporter James B. Stewart that he had promised to keep his work for Tesla private because of his prior conviction. Epstein also warned that both Musk and Tesla would deny their connection to Epstein if it ever became public, the Times reported.
Musk has confirmed crossing paths with Epstein at least once, Business Insider previously reported. Musk, Epstein, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were all guests at a dinner hosted by LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman sometime after he was released from jail in 2008.
In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Musk denied Epstein’s claims of having served as an adviser to the CEO