Journalist Edward Jay Epstein defends relationship with Jeffrey Epstein
Edward Jay Epstein, an investigative journalist was taken in by the charms of accused pedophile, Jeffery Epstein more than three decades ago. Even after the Miami Herald, multiple lawsuits and law enforcement authorities detailed how he sexually abused dozens of teenage girls, the other Epstein maintains his position on his now disgraced friend.
“Look, take this about Jeffrey. He is the poster boy for rehabilitation,” said 83-year-old Epstein in an interview with The Daily Beast. “He went to prison [after pleading guilty to reduced charges in 2008]. He served his term [13 months, nine of them on work-release that allowed him daytime visits to his Palm Beach, Florida, office]. He got out. The U.S. attorney’s office said he stuck completely to the terms of his parole. He registered as a sex offender—which is no fun, but which was something he was supposed to do. And he made $500 million.”
Jay Epstein added: “I did hang around with Jeffrey because I was fascinated with him. For one thing, the women around him were some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life. These were not underage women. They were women like [former model and Miss Sweden] Eva Andersson and [actress] Morgan Fairchild. None of them were really girlfriends of his, but they hung around him…
“I don’t understand Jeffrey,” Jay Epstein continued. “I can’t conceive of why he would go out with an underage woman, unless your theory’s right that he’s a pedophile…”
He also cast doubt on the notion advanced by the November 2018 Miami Herald investigation of Epstein’s extraordinarily lenient 2008 sentence for soliciting prostitution and sex trafficking with a minor, an article that ultimately prompted the resignation of Donald Trump’s labor secretary, former U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta.
One of Epstein’s victims, Jennifer Araoz, is now suing his estate and says the financier raped her at age 14. She told a courtroom after Epstein’s suicide, “The fact that he felt entitled to take away my innocence…hurts me so much.”
Jay Epstein added: “Everything about Jeffrey was a con. I never thought, ‘here’s an honest guy.’”
Jay Epstein conceded that young women working for Epstein “recruited underage girls…mainly from massage parlors, by the way—that’s what his lawyers say, but that doesn’t make it any more legal,” Jay Epstein said. “I can’t imagine what happened, ok? I think he asked for younger and younger women. That’s just my guess.”
Yet Jay Epstein suggested that Epstein’s July 2019 arrest were an act of bad faith on the federal government’s part.
Despite reports about a U.S. Marshals investigation of Epstein’s 2018 plane trips with underage girls as young as 11 or 12, Edward said he’s unaware that his one-time friend was acting suspiciously and possibly violating the terms of his sentencing agreement.
Known for his book-length investigations of the JFK assassination, the financial shenanigans of Hollywood, and the secret wars between the American and Russian spy agencies, Jay Epstein said he befriended the self-avowed financial whiz in the late 1980s, accepted personal favors from him including first-class plane tickets and free lodging.
The breach with Jay Epstein occurred after Epstein cut him off over Edward’s thinly-veiled 1989 Manhattan, inc. “Wall Street Babylon” column (in which Epstein wasn’t named but was described in detail) that exposed some of his dubious business practices and brought unwelcome attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Describing their falling-out in the Airmail article, meanwhile, Jay Epstein wrote that he didn’t identify Epstein in his Manhattan, inc. column “because he refused to speak to the fact-checker.”
“You caused me a lot of trouble,” Jay Epstein—in his Daily Beast interview—recalled Epstein fuming in a furious phone call over the column.
“I never disliked Jeffrey, by the way,” Jay Epstein said. “He disliked me, but I never disliked him.”
Jay Epstein acknowledges, he did end up writing about Epstein in the column that interrupted their relationship.
“If you asked me this a few years ago, I would have said I regret writing that piece that got him angry at me. But now I’m sort of happy I wrote that piece and he stopped speaking to me because at least I have no connections to his perverse acts…Whatever he did, it was pretty bad.