This week’s issue of New York decodes the high society that surrounded and enabled sex offender Jeffrey Epstein: the presidents, pundits, academics, CEOs, cosmologists, and cryptographers who make up a significant slice of the Establishment. With new reporting and analysis from Rebecca Traister, Irin Carmon, Matthew Schneier, Noreen Malone, Andrew Rice, and others. “Though some observers have likened Epstein’s rise as a glamorous social magnate to that of Jay Gatsby, a more appropriate archetype may be the fixer, sexual hedonist, and (ultimately disbarred) lawyer Roy Cohn,” writes Frank Rich in the introduction.
“There are some people in Jeffrey Epstein’s inner orbit who were explicitly, knowingly, perhaps even criminally enabling his actions,” says editor-in-chief David Haskell. “Our curiosity extended one degree further — to the elite social world in which he traveled, and the way in which the Establishment, especially in New York, abetted or overlooked Epstein’s behavior. We took as a guiding metaphor his ‘little black book,’ which had been entered into court records and uncovered by Gawker in 2015, and created our own version, complete with 174 names who appear in photographs, travel logs, the black book, or are otherwise connected to Epstein.” Those connections to Epstein “have drawn renewed attention and raised countless yet-to-be-answered questions,” Frank Rich writes.
The photographs of Epstein in his 71st Street townhouse were taken in 2015, as New York was exploring publishing a profile of him. That article never ran, but the photographs, published in the issue for the first time, reveal the inner sanctum in which Epstein operated for decades, hosting gatherings of the New York elite on and off until his arrest in July 2019.