James B. Stewart interviewed Jeffrey Epstein about a year ago in his Manhattan mansion, according to a new piece he wrote for The New York Times.
According to Stewart, Epstein made it no secret that he "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."
It's no surprise that a large swatch of these rich and powerful people likely didn't want Epstein to reveal his secrets.
Epstein didn't make his scandals a secret or his registration in the sex offender database. "His very notoriety, he said, was what made so many people willing to confide in him," Stewart said.
"Before we left the room he took me to a wall covered with framed photographs," Stewart described. "He pointed to a full-length shot of a man in traditional Arab dress."
“That’s M.B.S.,” Epstein said, referring to Mohammed bin Salman, who is the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. According to Epstein, the crown prince had been a frequent visitor and the two men spoke often.
In another room, Epstein had a group of photos of him with men who had prominent sex scandals, which the writer found odd.
The story was supposed to be info on background about Tesla and the possibility of the company going private. Epstein was more cagey about the Tesla advising and preferred to talk about young women.
"He said that criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable. He pointed out that homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world," Stewart wrote.
The poor reporter tried to steer the conversation back to Tesla but Epstein went off on a tangent about the hedonistic lifestyle in Silicon Valley where famous tech giants regularly drink extensively, do drugs and asked Epstein to arrange sexual encounters.
Most of the information on Tesla couldn't be confirmed or disproved.
"It seemed clear Mr. Epstein had embellished his role in the Tesla situation to enhance his own importance and gain attention — something that now seems to have been a pattern," Stewart wrote.
Epstein then reached out to invite him to dinner with Woody Allen, and another event with writer Michael Woolf and Steve Bannon. Both invitations Stewart declined. A few months later, Epstein asked if Stewart would write his biography.
"I sensed that what he really wanted was companionship," Stewart wrote. "As his biographer, I’d have no choice but to spend hours listening to his saga. Already leery of any further ties to him, I was relieved I could say that I was already busy with another book."
He closed by wondering what Epstein might have told him.