dossier

Who Was Jeffrey Epstein Calling?

A close study of his circle — social, professional, transactional — reveals a damning portrait of elite New York.

Epstein in his townhouse in 2015. Photo: Christopher Anderson for New York Magazine
Epstein in his townhouse in 2015. Photo: Christopher Anderson for New York Magazine
Epstein in his townhouse in 2015. Photo: Christopher Anderson for New York Magazine

Perhaps, at long last, a serial rapist and pedophile may be brought to justice, more than a dozen years after he was first charged with crimes that have brutalized countless girls and women. But what won’t change is this: the cesspool of elites, many of them in New York, who allowed Jeffrey Epstein to flourish with impunity. For decades, important, influential, “serious” people attended Epstein’s dinner parties, rode his private jet, and furthered the fiction that he was some kind of genius hedge-fund billionaire. How do we explain why they looked the other way, or flattered Epstein, even as they must have noticed he was often in the company of a young harem? Easy: They got something in exchange from him, whether it was a free ride on that airborne Lolita Express, some other form of monetary largesse, entrée into the extravagant celebrity soirées he hosted at his townhouse, or, possibly and harrowingly, a pound or two of female flesh.

If you watch Fox News, you will believe Bill Clinton was Epstein’s No. 1 pal and enabler. If you watch MSNBC, this scandal is usually all about Donald Trump. In fact, both presidents are guilty (at the very least) of giving Epstein cover and credibility. There are so many unanswered questions about Epstein, but one that looms over all of them is whether the bipartisan crowd who cleared a path for him will cover its tracks before we can get answers — not just Clinton and Trump and all those who drank at Epstein’s trough but also (among others) institutions like Harvard, Dalton, and the Council on Foreign Relations, or lawyers like the New York prosecutor Cy Vance Jr., whose office tried to downgrade Epstein’s sex-offender status; Kenneth Starr, who tried to pressure Republican Justice Department officials to keep the Epstein case from ever being prosecuted; and Alan Dershowitz, who tried to pressure the Pulitzer Prizes to shut out the Miami Herald for its epic investigative reporting that cracked open the case anew.

In 2015, Gawker published Epstein’s “little black book,” which had surfaced in court proceedings after a former employee took it from Epstein’s home around 2005 and later tried to sell it. He said that the book had been created by people who worked for Epstein and that it contained the names and phone numbers of more than 100 victims, plus hundreds of social contacts. Along with the logs of Epstein’s private plane, released in 2015, the book paints a picture of a man deeply enmeshed in the highest social circles.

Collectively, these documents constitute just a glance at the way society opened itself to Epstein in New York, Hollywood, and Palm Beach. In the weeks since his arrest, we have learned even more about the cliques he traveled in and the way they protected him. Though some observers have likened Epstein’s enigmatic rise as a glamorous social magnet to that of Jay Gatsby, a more appropriate archetype may be the fixer, sexual hedonist, and (ultimately disbarred) lawyer Roy Cohn. In the 1970s and early ’80s, Cohn was a favor broker for boldface chums as various as the top Democratic-machine politicians, the mobster Carmine “Lilo” Galante, Nancy Reagan, the proprietors of Studio 54, the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Andy Warhol, the publishers Rupert Murdoch and Si Newhouse, Dershowitz, and the ambitious young real-estate developer Donald Trump.

This project is meant to catalogue how Epstein’s secure footing in elite spheres helped hide his crimes. It includes influential names listed in his black book, people he flew, funded, and schmoozed, along with others whose connections to him have drawn renewed attention. Certainly, not everyone cited here knew of everything he was up to; Malcolm Gladwell told New York, “I don’t remember much except being baffled as to who this Epstein guy was and why we were all on his plane.” Some said they never met Epstein at all, or knew of him only through his ex-girlfriend and alleged accomplice, the socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Others backed away from him after the scandal. But all of the influential people listed here were attached in some way to Epstein’s world. The sum of their names constitutes a more concrete accounting of Epstein’s power than could any accounting of his disputed wealth. Consider this a pointillist portrait of enablement that all too chillingly overlaps with a significant slice of the Establishment.

Frank Rich

His Contacts, A to Z

A guided tour of a perverse power list.

Allen, Woody: Director.

With Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn in 2013. Photo: Elder Ordonez/Elder Ordonez/Splash News

Epstein kept a photo of his friend Allen, the sexual pariah, on his wall and was photographed walking with him on the Upper East Side. They had more than a neighborhood in common. For years before his relationship with Mia Farrow, Allen had carried on with a 16-year-old girl he’d met at Elaine’s named Babi Christina Engelhardt. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she wondered if she was the inspiration for Manhattan, Allen’s 1979 movie about a man in his 40s who dates a high-school student, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. Engelhardt had sex with Allen more than 100 times, she says, sometimes with Farrow. “The whole thing was a game that was being operated solely by Woody so we never quite knew where we stood,” she said. Engelhardt went on to become Epstein’s assistant.

Read More: How a Predator Operated in Plain Sight

Althorp, Charles: Princess Diana’s brother.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Andersson-Dubin, Dr. Eva: Doctor and former Miss Sweden.

Name found on Epstein’s private jet log.
Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and her husband, billionaire hedge-funder Glenn Dubin, had Epstein over for Thanksgiving dinner in 2009, telling his probation officer they were “100 percent comfortable” with his being around their teenage daughter, Insider reported. She also created a foundation so Epstein could donate to her breast-cancer charity without attaching his name. “The Dubins are horrified by the new allegations against Jeffrey Epstein,” they said in a statement. “Had they been aware of the vile and unspeakable conduct described in these new allegations, they would have cut off all ties and certainly never have allowed their children to be in his presence.”

Prince Andrew, The Duke of York: Looking for a friend.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.

With Prince Andrew in Central Park in 2010. Photo: Jae Donnelly/News Licensing

Epstein and the second son of Queen Elizabeth II have been friends for years and were introduced, it is generally thought, by Brit Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime aide-de-camp. Epstein has entertained the prince at his townhouse, where he would toss aside regal formalities and refer to him simply, and to English ears heretically, as “Andy.” Prince Andrew has had Epstein and Maxwell to shooting parties at Sandringham House, the queen’s country retreat in Norfolk. Theirs is an unusual alliance, given their stations — the born royal and the Brooklyn boy who made it big — but its disparities may be part of the point. “Jeffrey had Andrew put on a pair of sweatpants for the first time in his life,” a source told Vanity Fair about the two. “It was Jeffrey who taught Andrew how to relax.”

But their relationship, and their relaxing, took on darker shades as time went on. Andrew stood by Epstein after his release from a 13-month prison sentence and was the star attraction at the party he threw to reenter society. (Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos also came.) The British press wrung its hands with equal parts pain and glee when it was discovered that Sarah, the perennially indebted Duchess of York — Fergie to her Weight Watchers fans — had accepted £15,000 from Epstein to pay off one of her creditors, a deal brokered by her ex-husband, and that a former employee at Epstein’s Palm Beach manse had alleged in a sworn deposition that the duke was a longtime guest, enjoying massages and naked pool parties. (Prince Andrew denied ever attending, or any awareness of, naked pool parties.) The ongoing affiliation with Epstein likely contributed to the end of Andrew’s duties as a U.K. trade envoy. In 2015, Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleged in a court filing that Andrew was one of the powerful friends to whom Epstein lent her out for sex. Buckingham Palace issued a statement emphatically denying the allegation. She hasn’t pressed her case further in court. But a photograph of the duke with his arm around a 17-year-old Roberts Giuffre, with Maxwell grinning beside them, didn’t help. —Matthew Schneier

Assaf, Vittorio: Restaurateur.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Started the Upper East Side institution Serafina.

Band, Doug: Influence peddler.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
A onetime White House intern who climbed his way to being Bill Clinton’s bag carrier, body man, fixer, and all-purpose gatekeeper, Band arranged for the former president to travel to Africa on Epstein’s 727 in 2002. Band would go on to help his boss found the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005, a choice platform from which he launched his own lucrative favor-trading corporate-advisory firm, Teneo. Throughout that time, he took a number of trips on Epstein’s plane and attended parties at his townhouse. Band resigned from his position at CGI in 2012; leaked emails later showed Band and Chelsea Clinton trading accusations of conflicts of interest in a war of influence over her parents. More recently, Band’s been teaching a “Public Service” class at NYU.

Read More: Everything We Know About Jeffrey Epstein’s Upper East Side Mansion

Balazs, André: Celebrity hotelier.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Baldwin, Alec: Actor.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Denies knowing Epstein, though he appears in the black book. Recently, Baldwin invited Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald reporter who resurfaced the Epstein story, to do a podcast.

Bannon, Steve: Former White House chief strategist.

In August 2018, the New York Post reported that Bannon had been seen entering Epstein’s townhouse. Neither Bannon nor Epstein has commented on the substance of their meeting, but when Ivanka Trump condemned Roy Moore’s campaign in Alabama, saying, “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” Bannon, who backed Moore, responded, “What about the allegations about her dad and that 13-year-old?” It was a clear reference to the woman who had accused Donald Trump and Epstein of raping her when she was 13.

Barr, Donald: The headmaster who offered entrée.

In the 1975 Dalton School yearbook. Photo: The Dalton School

Barr was ousted shortly before Epstein, 21 and without a college degree, showed up for his first day of work teaching math and physics at the Manhattan’s elite Dalton School in the early 1970s. Barr announced his resignation soon after, in February 1974: “He was disliked by the faculty, he was highly controversial, he hadn’t raised much money, he was very conservative,” said the board’s chairman. Barr’s leadership style was described as “authoritarian” and “undemocratic” at the time. Memorably, several former students told the New York Times that Epstein was overly familiar with teenage girls at the school. Donald’s son William would intersect with Epstein’s orbit while serving as a counsel at Kirkland and Ellis in 2009. The law firm secured Epstein his obscenely lenient 2007 non-prosecution deal, which the Justice Department is now reviewing. In July, Barr the son refused to recuse himself from the ongoing Epstein investigation.

Barrack, Tom: Trump adviser and private-equity manager.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
In Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff wrote that Trump, Epstein, and Barrack were a “set of nightlife musketeers” in the ’80s and ’90s.

Berger, Sandy: National-security adviser for Bill Clinton.

Name found on Epstein’s private jet log.

Berggruen, Nicolas: Billionaire investor.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Berkman, Bill: New York businessman.

Names found in Epstein’s black book.
A wealthy executive whose family established the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, Berkman was sued in 2014 by his administrative assistant, who said she was forced to read emails Berkman had sent to a colleague containing “pictures of random and unsuspecting women on the street” — that is, creepshots. (The suit was settled.)

Birley, Robin: Nightclub impresario.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Owned the club where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had their first date.

Bismarck, Debonnaire von: Countess.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Listed as Debbie in the black book.

Bismarck, Leopold von: Count.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Yes, those von Bismarcks. His nickname, Bola, was listed in the black book.

Bismarck, Vanessa von: Heiress and publishing entrepreneur.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Black, Conrad: Media mogul.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
He’s perhaps best known for being sentenced to 42 months in prison for fraud, then writing a book about Trump and receiving a pardon. Vicky Ward, who profiled Epstein for Vanity Fair in 2003, said Epstein heavily leaned on Black, who is her ex-husband’s uncle (and was her ex-husband’s then-boss), to try to exert his influence on Ward.

Black, Leon: Private-equity tycoon.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The billionaire co-founder of Apollo Global Management and chairman of MoMA, Black made Epstein the director of his family foundation in 2001. The foundation continued to list Epstein as director on its tax forms until 2012, four years after he had pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida. The foundation now says that Epstein resigned in 2007 and that his name continued to appear on its rolls owing to a “recording error.” In 2011, he was listed as an investor in Environmental Solutions Worldwide, a Pennsylvania company, alongside several people close to Black, including his four children. Black himself was seen with Epstein at a movie screening just a few months after Epstein finished probation in 2010, and Epstein was spotted at a party at Black’s home in the Hamptons as recently as 2015.

Black, Roy: An Epstein lawyer.

The trial attorney and legal analyst’s client roster has included Justin Bieber, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis, and Rush Limbaugh. Black is perhaps best known for representing William Kennedy Smith against rape charges in Palm Beach in 1991. (The Kennedy nephew was acquitted.) In 2005, Black played the “managing partner” on NBC’s The Law Firm, a knockoff of The Apprentice for up-and-coming lawyers.

Blaine, David: Magician.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Blaine put on a private show for Epstein’s dinner guests in 2003, doing card tricks for the likes of Sergey Brin, Mort Zuckerman, and Bill Clinton aide Doug Band. The dinner was organized by Ghislaine Maxwell and included a group of young women who were introduced as Victoria’s Secret models.

Blair, Tony: Former British prime minister.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Bloomberg, Michael: Billionaire, private-jet enthusiast, former mayor.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Bolkiah, Hassanal: Sultan of Brunei.

Epstein had at least one meeting with the sultan when he traveled to Brunei in 2002 with Bill Clinton. Bolkiah and his brother are famous for their lavish spending, including a collection of 2,500 cars and a $1.5 billion palace. Bolkiah was once sued by Miss USA 1997, who claimed she had been held as a sex slave. The suit was dismissed on the grounds that Bolkiah had sovereign immunity.

Bond, Annabelle: British socialite.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Bonomi, Andrea: Italian businessman.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The chairman and founder of Investindustrial was a key character in the Paradise Papers international tax-shelter scandal.

Borrico, Michael: Long Island contractor.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Described by Social Life magazine as the “ambassador of the all-important Hamptons polo culture,” Borrico is known for hosting polo matches at his estate in Water Mill.

Bourke, Frederic: A founder of Dooney & Bourke.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Bourke went to prison for a scheme to bribe government officials in Azerbaijan.

Bowles, Hamish: European editor-at-large for Vogue.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Brandolini, Muriel: Interior designer.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Her clients have included Matt Lauer and the Crown Prince and Princess of Greece.

Branson, Richard: Founder of Virgin Group.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Like Epstein, Branson enjoys entertaining on a private island.

Briatore, Flavio: Italian millionaire businessman.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
A friend of Trump, a convicted card cheat, and an accused Formula 1 race fixer, Briatore was a longtime fugitive in the Virgin Islands.

Brockman, John: Agent for scientific “freethinkers.”

Name found on Epstein’s private jet log.

From left, John Brockman, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Katinka Matson, and Richard Dawkins flying to a TED conference in 2002 aboard Epstein's plane, pictured below Photo: Dailymail.com.
From left, John Brockman, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Katinka Matson, and Richard Dawkins flying to a TED conference in 2002 aboard Epstein's plane... From left, John Brockman, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Katinka Matson, and Richard Dawkins flying to a TED conference in 2002 aboard Epstein's plane, pictured below Photo: Dailymail.com.

What seems new, in flipping through the reams of society photos of perhaps the world’s most prolific sexual predator that have been circulating over the past few weeks, is not the powerful and the beautiful who surrounded Epstein, but the intellectuals — the Richard Dawkinses, the Daniel Dennetts, the Steven Pinkers. All men, of course. But the group selfies probably shouldn’t have been a surprise — documents of an age in which every millionaire doesn’t just fancy himself a philosopher-king but expects to be treated as such, and every public intellectual wants to be seen as a kind of celebrity.

Cultural shifts like these require visionaries, networkers, salespeople. Brockman is one. A Warhol Factory kid turned freelance philosopher of science turned literary agent to Dawkins and Dennett and Pinker (and many others), in the 1980s he formed a casual salon of like-minded scientists and futurists that came to be known as the Reality Club, a knock against the poststructuralism then dominant in the academy. In the 1990s, he rebranded it as the Edge Foundation, an organization whose central event was an annual online symposium devoted to a single, broad question. In 2000, it was “What is today’s most important underreported story?” In 2006, “What is your dangerous idea?”

Epstein was a regular contributor, and his plane — to judge from the photographs, at least — was an especially appealing way for other contributors to get to ted. They could also catch Epstein at Harvard, where so many of them taught and where he became so prolific a donor that one whole academic program seemed to be run like his private Renaissance ateliers. Epstein had long described himself as a “scientific philanthropist,” and in a press release put out by the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation announcing its “substantial backing” of Edge, he called it “the world’s smartest think tank.”

Many in Brockman’s Edge community are, or were, inarguably significant figures in the American intellectual Establishment: Freeman Dyson, Jared Diamond, Craig Venter, John Horgan, Paul Bloom (to name a random but representative sample). They are also among the gods and heroes of the Trump-era internet community of “freethinkers,” whom Eric Weinstein, the venture capitalist and regular Edge contributor, memorably called “the intellectual dark web.” The name suggests a self-glamorizing style of dangerous discourse, and as soon as the community was identified, it was criticized as revanchist, an effort to reopen areas of intellectual inquiry — about innate differences between the races, say, or the genders — now considered problematic, at a minimum. But to listen to the IDW warriors themselves — talking about the “war on free speech” as though their universities had sent assassins their way rather than tenured chairs — their crusade seems motivated just as much by a thin-skinned sense of their own world-historical significance. They were special people, deserving of special acclaim and, of course, special privileges.

Many contributions to Edge were plausibly the products of genuinely special minds. Epstein’s were not. In 2008, the year he went to jail for prostitution, the prompt was “What have you changed your mind about?” Epstein replied, “The question presupposes a well defined ‘you’ and an implied ability that is under ‘your’ control to change your ‘mind.’ The ‘you’ I now believe is distributed amongst others (family friends, in hierarchal structures), i.e. suicide bombers, believe their sacrifice is for the other parts of their ‘you.’ The question carries with it an intention that I believe is out of one’s control. My mind changed as a result of its interaction with its environment. Why? Because it is a part of it.”

“Jeffrey has the mind of a physicist,” the Harvard professor Martin Nowak has said, incredibly. But what he really did have was the life of a very rich person — unable to see any world he felt unqualified to enter and surrounded by too many people enamored with his money to ever hear the word no.David Wallace-Wells

Bronfman Jr., Edgar: Executive.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The former Warner Music Group CEO, son of the late Seagram’s CEO Edgar Bronfman Sr., is related to the NXIVM-sex-cult Bronfmans. His son has a child with pop star M.I.A.

Brunel, Jean-Luc: Model scout.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
Brunel was accused in court testimony of having used his agency to supply Epstein with girls. (He was not charged.) He also has a long history of allegations that he had abused his fashion-world position. In 1988, he was the subject of a 60 Minutes investigation alleging that he and a fellow agent sexually assaulted nearly two dozen models. He denied the claims but later told Model author Michael Gross, “You get laid tonight with a model, is that a crime?” In 2005, Brunel co-founded the Mc2 modeling agency; Epstein invested $1 million, according to a 2010 deposition.

Buck, Joan Juliet: Fashion editor.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
In 2003, Buck met Maxwell at a fashion party at a New York City boutique. Buck had recently moved on from her seven-year tenure as the editor of Paris Vogue and was writing for its American counterpart and living in New Mexico. She was a lifelong resident of a rarefied social world. Maxwell, a regular on that particular circuit, quickly made a connection. “Oh, Jeffrey’s got a ranch in Santa Fe, blah blah blah,” Buck recently remembered their conversation going. She gave Maxwell her Santa Fe number and later asked a friend about Epstein and New Mexico. “His ranch?” the friend replied. “As we say in Texas, all hat, no cattle.”

Burkle, Ron: Supermarket magnate.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
Burkle took what were described as humanitarian trips to Africa with Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private Boeing 727. According to a 2008 Vanity Fair feature about the former president, “Burkle’s usual means of transport is the custom-converted Boeing 757 that Clinton calls ‘Ron Air’ and that Burkle’s own circle of young aides privately refer to as ‘Air Fuck One.’ ”

Bushnell, Candace: Columnist who inspired Sex and the City.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Busson, Arpad: French financier.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
During a custody battle with ex Uma Thurman, her lawyer asked Busson, a prominent hedge-funder, if he had ever said he was “addicted to prostitutes.” (He said no.)

Calacanis, Jason: Businessman.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
An investor in Uber, Calacanis was a fixture in the early-aughts New York tech scene as the founder and editor of Silicon Alley Reporter. (“I can’t tell you how many propositions I get, it’s absolutely insane,” he told the Observer in 2000.) In 2014, Vice awarded him Most Offensive Tweet of the Year for describing as racist the idea of white privilege.

Caledon, Nicky: Earl.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Campbell, Naomi: Supermodel.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.

Candy, Nicholas and Christian: British property-developer brothers.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Carter, Graydon: Former editor of Vanity Fair.

According to journalist Vicky Ward, he killed portions of a 2003 story that accused Epstein of pedophilia after an office visit from Epstein. (Carter says there wasn’t enough on-the-record sourcing.) “I didn’t invent the system. I just lived by the system,” he said when The New York Times Magazine questioned him about the story last week.

Cecil, Aurelia: PR chairman.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Allegedly the former girlfriend of Prince Andrew.

Cecil, Mark: Hedge-funder.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Has hosted Prince William and Kate Middleton at his villa in Mustique.

Chatwal, Vikram: Hotelier.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
When the 1990s playboy settled down, Bill Clinton attended his wedding. In 2017, Chatwal pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation after being accused of trying to set a pair of dogs on fire on a Soho street.

Cipriani, Giuseppe: Restaurant magnate.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The scene-y Cipriani Italian spots are known for inventing the Bellini cocktail — and more infamously for being Harvey Weinstein’s “hunting ground.”

Cisneros, Gustavo: Venezuelan billionaire.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The patriarch of a family so wealthy it operates practically as its own nation-state in Latin America.

Jeffrey Epstein in his townhouse in 2015. Photo: Christopher Anderson for New York Magazine

Clinton, Bill: President and problem.

Name found on Epstein’s private jet log.
As soon as the Epstein news broke two weeks ago, the taunting and tallying began, suffocating in its familiarity. First were the jeering reminders, as if we didn’t know it in our every molecule: It wasn’t just Donald Trump who’d be ensnared in this stygian nightmare of underage sexual assault and trafficking of girls, it was Bill Clinton, who’d been a friend and repeat flier on Epstein’s plane. Then came the numbers, the attempts to quantify the nature of the Clinton-Epstein relationship. Clinton issued a statement toting up four plane trips, one Epstein meeting in Clinton’s Harlem office, one visit to Epstein’s home, and zero trips to his island. Meanwhile, reporters recalled that Gawker’s published flight logs had tallied 12 separate plane legs and that Epstein had more than 20 numbers and email addresses for Clinton and one signed photo of him in his home, along with one of Woody Allen and one of Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

All of this was presented as if these numbers could clarify some exact science of guilt or complicity. The reality is: Yes, Clinton was grimy and had grimy friends, and, more broadly, this is how powerful men have behaved toward women and one another. Yes, we know it’s dirty and mean and exhausting and true.

We know, of course, because the shadow of Clinton’s sexual history and his associations with other men who have terrible legacies of sexually inappropriate-to-criminal behavior have for decades hung like a greasy and unscrubbable film over the Democratic Party he once led. Clinton palled around not just with Epstein but with Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein and Trump himself.

They hung out together and flew together and went to each other’s offices and visited each other’s homes and appeared on each other’s TV shows and had each other’s phone numbers and attended each other’s weddings and created a circle of money and protection. The prosecutorial and defensive math — the haggling over flights and phone numbers — is just used to complicate this basic reality.

Those on the left have been going over how we’re supposed to feel about him for decades, but in the arguing about it, we have been asked to focus again and again on Clinton and his dick and what he did or didn’t do with it. The questions we’ve asked ourselves and one another have become defining.
Are we morally compromised in our defense of him or sexually uptight in our condemnation? Are we shills for having not believed he should have resigned, or doing the bidding of a vindictive right wing if we say that, in retrospect, he probably should have?

Meanwhile, how much energy and time have been spent circling round this man and how we’ve felt about him, when in fact his behaviors were symptomatic of far broader and more damaging assumptions about men, power, and access to — as Trump has so memorably voiced it — pussies?

After all, Clinton was elected president during a period that may turn out to be an aberration, just as the kinds of dominating, sexually aggressive behaviors that had been norms for his West Wing predecessors had become officially unacceptable, and 24 years before those behaviors would again become a presidential norm. So yes, Clinton got in trouble, yet still managed to sail out of office beloved by many, his reputation as the Big Dog mostly only enhanced by revelations of his exploits.

But the election of Trump over Clinton’s wife, and the broad conversation around sexual assault and harassment that has erupted in its wake, has recast his behavior more profoundly. The buffoonery, the smallness and tantrums of Trump, has helped make clear what always should have been: that the out-of-control behavior toward women by powerful men, the lack of self-control or amount of self-regard that undergirded their reckless treatment of women, spoke not of virility or authority but of their immaturity. And the people who have paid the biggest price for these men’s fixation on sex as a measure of manhood have, of course, not been the men themselves.

In Clinton’s case, it has been Monica Lewinsky, whose life and name became defined by her relationship to him. It has been his wife, Hillary, who, in addition to having been celebrated and pilloried for her defense of her husband, also had to conduct one of her three historic presidential debates with women who’d accused him of sexual misconduct sitting in the audience, invited there by her opponent as props to unsettle and disempower her. It has been decades of left feminist women who have had Clinton’s misdeeds thrown in our faces as proof of our own hypocrisy.

I try sometimes to imagine a contemporary Democratic Party without Bill Clinton in its recent past — yes, of course, from a policy perspective, but also simply from a personal one. What if so much energy had not been eaten up by his colleagues, by his wife, by feminists, by his supporters and friends and critics, all of whom had to dance around him, explain their associations with him, or carefully lay out their objections to him without coming off as frigid reactionaries?

What else might we have done with our politics had we not been worrying about Clinton and his grubby buddies? What further power have they taken from us? —Rebecca Traister

Clinton, Chelsea: First Daughter.

Ghislaine Maxwell attended her wedding after Epstein had first been charged. This was shortly after she skipped a deposition for the Epstein case, claiming she needed to return to the U.K. to be with her deathly ill mother.

Coleridge, Nicholas: Chairman of Condé Nast Britain.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Collins, Phil: Musician.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Copperfield, David: Magician.

According to a message-pad entry dated January 27, 2005, at 3:55 p.m., Copperfield rang Epstein’s line while he was out. The handwritten entry reads, “Magic David called.”

Couric, Katie: Journalist.

Among those who attended a dinner at Epstein’s townhouse for Prince Andrew in 2010.

Cosby, Bill: Comedian, convicted rapist.

Lived across the street from Epstein in Manhattan.

d’Arenberg, Prince Pierre: Royal.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Americans often imagine aristocrats floating on a cloud of above-it-all wealth, but even real-life princes, this one descended from a German royal family that long ago united with the most influential and wealthiest family of the Hapsburg Netherlands, could get something out of a relationship with a font of new American money like Epstein.

de Broglie, Louis Albert: Political scion, founder of luxury garden brand.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

de Carvalho-heineken, Charlene: Heiress.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

de Crussol, Jacques: 17th Duke of Uzès.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Cuomo, Andrew: Governor of New York.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Dahl, Sophie: Former model, granddaughter of Roald Dahl.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

de Rothschild, Lynn Forester: De Rothschild!

Name found on Epstein’s private jet log.

Dershowitz, Alan: Lawyer who stands accused.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.

With Alan Dershowitz at Harvard in 2004. Photo: Rick Friedman/Polaris

For around a decade, Dershowitz kept casual company with Epstein, who introduced him to his friends, like Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew.
(Dershowitz says he and the prince ended up not getting along because they disagreed about Israel.) Dershowitz visited Epstein’s mansions in New York and Palm Beach and occasionally accompanied him on his private plane. He says these trips were family oriented. Once, Epstein lent him the Palm Beach home so he could attend a granddaughter’s soccer tournament. Another time, he and his nephew flew down to watch a space launch with another Epstein connection, a top NASA official. He and his wife, Carolyn Cohen, once stayed with Epstein on his island in the Caribbean, where they were joined by another Harvard professor and his family.

When Epstein first started to attract media attention in the early aughts, mainly because of his friendship with former president Bill Clinton, Dershowitz served as a character witness for the reclusive financier.
He told Vanity Fair that he shared manuscripts of his books with Epstein before they were published and swore that his money was irrelevant. “I would be as interested in him as a friend if we had hamburgers on the boardwalk in Coney Island and talked about his ideas,” he told the magazine.

But Dershowitz says their interactions changed in 2005, when Epstein faced a local police investigation into his relations with underage girls in Palm Beach and he hired Dershowitz as a lawyer. With his assistance, Epstein was able to whittle down the state’s indictment against him to a single count of soliciting prostitution. But in the years to come, as Epstein’s legal problems compounded, they would eventually ensnare Dershowitz himself. He is also accused of having sex with two of Epstein’s alleged victims. “The stories are so phantasmological,” Dershowitz says. He recognizes that the #MeToo movement has surfaced countless accounts of preposterous-sounding sexual misbehavior by powerful men and almost all of them have turned out to be true. But Dershowitz swears he is different. “Mine is the only case, singular, the only one, where I never met the people,” he says. “There’s no evidence we’ve ever met, no evidence we were ever in the same place at the same time, ever.”

Today, Dershowitz claims he and Epstein were never really even friends, despite their proximity. “He was an acquaintance,” he says. “In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t taken the case, but I didn’t see a problem with taking the case. We didn’t have a close personal relationship.” —Andrew Rice

Read More: Alan Dershowitz Cannot Stop Talking

Dickinson, Janice: Model, actress, TV personality.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Diniz, Pedro: Agroforester, businessman, former Formula 1 racing driver.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Driver, Minnie: Actress.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Dunbar-Johnson, Stephen: President, international, of the New York Times Company.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Dunne, Griffin: Director.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Joan Didion’s nephew and a Martin Scorsese leading man.

Edelman, Gerald: Nobel Prize winner.

Edelman received funding from the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation. “Jeff is extraordinary in his ability to pick up on quantitative relations,” he told New York in 2002. “He came to see us recently. He is concerned with this basic question: Is it true that the brain is not a computer? He is very quick.”

Ellenbogen, Eric: Former CEO of Marvel Enterprises.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Estrada, Christina: Model.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
Ex-wife of the late Walid Juffali, billionaire chairman of the largest privately owned enterprise in Saudi Arabia.

Fekkai, Frédéric: Celebrity hairstylist.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
Fekkai’s expensive salons are up and down the Upper East Side and in Palm Beach, and he’s known for butter blondes, layered bobs, and participating in the polishing up of Hillary Clinton. Epstein’s assistants were given house accounts for blowouts, waxing, nails, highlights, the works.

Ferguson, Sarah: Duchess of York.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
Epstein loaned Prince Andrew’s then-wife $18,000 to pay off some debts. “I personally, on behalf of myself, deeply regret that Jeffrey Epstein became involved in any way with me,” Ferguson told the Telegraph in 2011. “I abhor paedophilia.”

Fiennes, Ralph: Actor, producer, director.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Fisher, Paula Heil: Opera producer.

Epstein’s former girlfriend met him through Bear Stearns, where she was once an associate.

Forbes, Steve: Chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Ford, Tom: Designer.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Gell-Mann, Murray: Physicist.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
In 1969, Gell-Mann won the Nobel Prize. In 2003, he told Vanity Fair, “ ‘There are always pretty ladies around’ when he goes to dinner chez Epstein.”

Getty, Mark: Co-founder and chairman of Getty Images.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Ginsberg, Gary: Communications pooh-bah.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Once a lawyer in the Clinton White House, Ginsberg joined George, then News Corp., then Time Warner. He has also done pro bono speechwriting for Benjamin Netanyahu and now works for SoftBank, a Japanese investment company with close ties to the Saudi government.

Gladwell, Malcolm: Writer.

“I was invited to the TED conference in maybe 2000 (I can’t remember), and they promised to buy me a plane ticket to California,” Gladwell says now. “Then at the last minute they said, ‘We found you a ride on a private plane instead.’ As I recall, there were maybe two dozen TED conferencegoers onboard. I don’t remember much else, except being slightly baffled as to who this Epstein guy was and why we were all on his plane.”

Goldsmith, Gerald: Rothschild North America.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Greenberg, Ace: Bear Stearns chairman, Epstein’s first patron.

Jeffrey Epstein didn’t have any formal training when he started working at Bear Stearns in 1976, but that wouldn’t have mattered to then-CEO Alan “Ace” Greenberg, who famously hired “PSD degrees,” short for “poor, smart, with a deep desire to be rich.” As it happened, Epstein was all three. He came from a modest Coney Island background, had no college degree, and worked a job — as a math teacher at Dalton and a tutor to Greenberg’s son — that was unlikely to support his tastes, which were apparently of the private islands–and–gilded desk–purportedly–belonging–to–J. P. Morgan variety. At Bear Stearns, Epstein made a name for himself in the “special-products division,” essentially figuring out how to help the rich pay less taxes. “He would recommend certain tax-advantageous transactions,” Greenberg’s protégé, James “Jimmy” Cayne, told New York in 2002. Cayne, who succeeded Greenberg in 1993, seems to have become the closer party to Epstein, whose mysterious departure from the firm he publicly defended decades after Epstein’s departure. “Jeffrey said specifically, ‘I don’t want to work for anybody else. I want to work for myself,’ ” Cayne insisted, despite transcripts from an SEC deposition that suggest other concerns around them both. It’s easier to imagine Cayne, a cigar-chomping, archetypal fat cat who was infamously off playing bridge when Bear Stearns collapsed in 2008, as a member of Epstein’s inner circle than his mentor, a folksy, bow-tie-wearing soul who referred to his successor as “crude,” “full of himself,” and “warped” in a memoir published shortly before his death. At the very least, it seems Cayne and Epstein were both capable of, ah, massaging the truth. —Jessica Pressler

Guest, Cornelia: Socialite.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
She was dubbed “debutante of the decade” in 1986.

Gutfreund, John: CEO of Salomon Brothers.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Hamilton, George: Actor.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The overtanned C-lister that Hollywood turns to when casting any vaguely and/or mysteriously aristocratic cameo role.

Handler, Chelsea: Comedian.

Attended a dinner at Epstein’s townhouse for Prince Andrew in 2010. “It was just one of those strange nights,” she later said.

Haskell, Nikki: Socialite.

Epstein dated Haskell, one of Donald Trump’s closest friends. “Jeffrey didn’t talk about his past, although he claimed to have been a concert pianist,” Haskell told the Daily Mail in 1992. “He told me he was a spy hired by corporations to find major amounts of money which had been embezzled.”

Hawking, Stephen: Physicist.

In 2006, the world’s most famous brain visited Little St. James, Epstein’s private island, which came to be known as “Pedophile Island.” Hawking, who was in the Caribbean for a conference, was photographed at a barbecue on the island and aboard a submarine for a tour. According to the Telegraph, “Epstein is said to have paid for the submarine to be modified for Professor Hawking, who had never been underwater before.”

Read More: Everything We Know About Jeffrey Epstein’s Private ‘Pedophile Island’

Hoffenberg, Steven: A mentor and a con man.

Before Bernie Madoff, there was Hoffenberg, who in 1985 pleaded guilty to cheating investors out of $460 million — at the time, the largest Ponzi scheme ever. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and, after his release in 2013, began sounding the alarm on Epstein, who had worked at Hoffenberg’s Towers Financial Corporation after leaving Bear Stearns. He claimed that Epstein had been his co-conspirator in the scheme and that Epstein’s fortune was built on Towers Financial’s fraud. “He was great at moving money illegally,” Hoffenberg says. “He was the deeper architect to getting things accomplished.”

Hoffenberg claims he was introduced to Epstein by Douglas Leese, a mysterious British arms dealer, and that he paid Epstein $25,000 a month as Towers Financial began making risky plays to take over companies like Pan American World Airways and Emery Air Freight. Advisers on the Pan Am deal included Richard Nixon’s attorney general John Mitchell, Nixon’s brother Edward, and John Lehman, a former secretary of the Navy. The move fell apart after the Lockerbie bombing, and when Towers Financial later went belly-up, Hoffenberg says, the two of them engineered a Ponzi scheme to fill the hole.

“He has a magnificent personality,” Hoffenberg says. “He’s very easy to interact with, very social, very easy to bond with, an unusually nice person. And he’s pretty dynamic on financial savvy. He could move money in different areas to get the stock prices to go up and down.”

Hoffenberg still owes his victims some $1 billion in restitution, and in 2016 he sued Epstein to recover some of the money. (He eventually dropped the suit.) Last year, two victims brought a suit against Epstein making the same claims as Hoffenberg but voluntarily dismissed the suit two months later.

“You’re about to see an entire story about this supposed billionaire and the story about his financial empire, which is as big as the tragedy with the girls,” Hoffenberg says. “It’s billions of dollars, and it’s a fiasco.” —James D. Walsh

Hoffman, Dustin: Actor.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Hurley, Elizabeth: Actress.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Hutton, Lauren: Model and actress.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Isaacson, Walter: Former editor of Time.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The onetime journalist is now an emeritus figure in the TED universe thanks to his role at the Aspen Institute and his widely worshipped biography of Steve Jobs.

Jagger, Mick: Musician.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Jarecki, Andrew: Filmmaker.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The director of the documentaries Capturing the Friedmans, about an accused pedophile, and The Jinx, which profiled Robert Durst, the madman at the center of another New York fortune.

Jarecki, Henry: Billionaire.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
Once a psychiatrist, Henry, Andrew’s father, made his fortune in gold and silver speculation.

Johnson, Elizabeth: Heiress.

Name found on Epstein’s private jet log.
Epstein was a co-trustee on 14 parcels of land the Johnson & Johnson heiress owned in Dutchess County, New York. He resigned as a trustee for Johnson’s revocable trust at the end of 1998.

Johnson, Richard: Gossip journalist for “Page Six.”

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Kellen, Sarah: An alleged enabler on a staff of them.

Name found in Epstein’s black book and on Epstein’s private jet log.
In a world where most women still work for men, and where their jobs are overwhelmingly in the “service” or “caring” professions, it should surprise no one that Epstein’s procurers, schedulers, fixers, and enablers were female.
Four women — Sarah Kellen, Nadia Marcinkova, Adriana Ross, and Lesley Groff — were identified in the 2007 Florida case against Epstein as possible co-conspirators, though none was charged.

Among public figures named in the black book are over 100 listings for “massages”: female names divided by location and descriptors like “big-boned,” “red head,” or “speaks NO English.”

History is full of the self-serving enabling of men by women, ending with the Trump court but not starting there. Was it money? Probably. The word is that Epstein paid his “executive assistants” $200,000 a year and let them order takeout from Le Cirque. When Groff had a baby, Epstein gave her a Mercedes and paid for a full-time nanny. “There is no way I could lose Lesley to motherhood,” he told the New York Times in 2005 (for a front-page story on the indispensability of good help for Wall Street tycoons).

Marcinkova, referred to in court documents as Epstein’s “sex slave,” hails from the former Yugoslavia; Ross, a model, is from Poland. Kellen (who has since married a NASCAR driver) was a scheduler, making sure that Epstein always had a slate full of girls, and it was she who sometimes walked the girls up the stairs in the Florida mansion and laid the oils out on the massage table. Marcinkova would have sex with the girls for Epstein’s viewing pleasure and sometimes all together. Groff booked travel, and Ross also helped with the calendar. After the Miami Herald published its investigation in 2018, Epstein wired the “possible co-conspirators” $250,000 and $100,000, respectively, prosecutors say, to buy their silence. Since then, none of them have been reached for comment. —Lisa Miller

Kennedy, Ethel: Human-rights advocate.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Widow of Robert Kennedy.

Kennedy, Ted: Senator.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
Epstein had his home number.

Kent, Geoffrey: High-end safari entrepreneur.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Kerry, John: Secretary of State.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
The seven numbers listed for Kerry in Epstein’s address book include the direct line to his presidential campaign.

Khashoggi, Adnan: Saudi Arabian man of mystery.

To bolster their argument that private-jet owner Epstein is a massive flight risk, SDNY prosecutors produced an expired Austrian passport under an alias that listed Saudi Arabia as Epstein’s primary country of residence. His lawyers claim the fake ID was for the “personal protection” of “an affluent member of the Jewish faith” traveling in the Middle East, but it could also point to one of his more secretive income sources.

According to his former friend the journalist Jesse Kornbluth, in the mid-1980s Epstein said he “worked for governments to recover money looted by African dictators” and occasionally subcontracted to those same autocrats to “help them hide their stolen money.” A source who spoke with journalist Vicky Ward said one of Epstein’s clients was the late Saudi arms dealer Khashoggi, a middleman in the Iran-Contra scandal who helped smuggle cash for the Marcos family out of the Philippines. In 1988, Khashoggi was arrested in Switzerland for concealing assets and later faced fraud and racketeering charges in the U.S. (He was later acquitted.) That year, he sold his 282-foot yacht to the Sultan of Brunei, who soon flipped it to Donald Trump. —Matt Stieb

Kissinger, Henry: Secretary of State and national-security adviser.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
One of the century’s most notorious practitioners of cutthroat realpolitik, Kissinger served on the Council on Foreign Relations with Epstein.

Kissinger, Nancy: Philanthropist.

Epstein and Kissinger served on the Rockefeller University board alongside Nobel laureate Joseph Goldstein, socialite Brooke Astor, and Texas billionaire Robert Bass.

Kleman, Leah: Art dealer.

She told Vanity Fair in 2003 that Epstein lived like a “modern maharaja” and described his haggling over art prices as “something like a scene out of the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.”

Koch, David: Plutocrat.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.

Kosslyn, Stephen: Harvard psychologist.

Name found in Epstein’s black book.
“He is amazing,” Kosslyn said of Epstein in a 2002 New York profile. “Like a honeybee — he talks to all these different people and cross-pollinates. Just two months ago, I was talking to him about a new alternative to evolutionary psychology. He got excited and sent me a check.”

Krauss, Lawrence: Cosmologist.

Epstein was a major donor to his program at Arizona State University, and Krauss teamed with the financier to host a conference of Nobel laureates in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2012. “Jeffrey has surrounded himself with beautiful women and young women, but they’re not as young as the ones that were claimed,” he to