During a stunning interview last year with a contributor for The New York Times, deceased and disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein outright defended pedophilia.
“He said that criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable,” Times contributor James B. Stewart reported on Monday, almost a full year after he sat with Epstein for the interview in question.
“He pointed out that homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world.”
Stewart further noted in his report that when he first arrived at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion for the interview on Aug 16, 2018, he was welcomed inside by a young woman who may very well have been a teenager herself.
“After I rang, the door was opened by a young woman, her blond hair pulled back in a chignon, who greeted me with what sounded like an Eastern European accent,” the report reads. “I can’t say how old she was, but my guess would be late teens or perhaps 20.”
“Given Mr. Epstein’s past, this struck me as far too close to the line. Why would Mr. Epstein want a reporter’s first impression to be that of a young woman opening his door?”
The details of this interview were published two days after Epstein allegedly committed suicide while incarcerated at a Manhattan jail on charges of trafficking underage women. The nature of his death hasn’t been confirmed yet and is now under investigation by the Department of Justice.
— @HerbertReed on Parler (@Herbert_L_Reed) August 10, 2019
In explaining why the details of this interview were only just now published, Stewart wrote that he’d agreed beforehand to essentially conduct the interview off the record.
“When I contacted Mr. Epstein, he readily agreed to an interview,” he explained. “The caveat was that the conversation would be ‘on background,’ which meant I could use the information as long as I didn’t attribute it directly to him. (I consider that condition to have lapsed with his death.)”
It’s unclear whether the deceased billionaire’s defense of pedophilia would have been useful in the criminal case against him.
1. Last year, @JamesStewartNYT sat down with Jeffrey Epstein. The terms of the interview were that Epstein’s remarks were to be on background, which meant that James couldn’t attach his name. Now that Epstein is dead, that agreement is no longer binding https://t.co/cLIvDt5nNi
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 12, 2019
What remains unclear is who else was involved in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation. Just a day before his alleged suicide, an estimated 2,000 documents linked to a defamation suit filed against him and his “madam,” Ghislaine Maxwell,” were released publicly.
These documents have implicated a number of prominent figures — including former President Bill Clinton, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Sen. George Mitchell — in some of the deceased pedophile’s activities.
Because of the timing, conspiracy theories suggesting that Epstein was murdered have been trending on social media for days now — with even notable individuals touting them:
Powerful Democratic and Republican figures breathing a huge sigh of relief—as well as a Harvard professor or two.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) August 10, 2019
If we were living in a paranoid fantasy universe, I would be very suspicious about the Epstein suicide, even about whether it was really suicide. And you know what? The Epstein case itself shows that we *are* kind of living in a paranoid fantasy universe
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 10, 2019
Something stinks to high heaven. How does someone on suicide watch hang himself with no intervention? Impossible. Unless…..
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) August 10, 2019
I am going full conspiracy theory on this, sorry folks. https://t.co/RhmwWKDNiS
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 10, 2019
Dovetailing back to Stewart’s stunning report, it hasn’t been well received. Critics have questioned why the Times contributor never sought to learn more given the implications of Epstein’s defense of pedophilia. They’ve also questioned why he waited so long to release the interview.
“The lack of investigative curiosity by Stewart is astonishing. Now that the sicko is dead he wonders what Epstein might have told him. Journalism is dead. Gift wrapped story of a lifetime and he passes,” one critic wrote.
“Had I been a Journalist, No way in hell would I be quiet on someone already convicted of Molesting Teens, Not even hell freezing over would I conceal for or agree to an interview in essence shielding his Perversions, preying on Teens, & his desires wanting that to be legal,” another added.
The lack of investigative curiosity by Stewart is astonishing. Now that the sicko is dead he wonders what Epstein might have told him. Journalism is dead. Gift wrapped story of a lifetime and he passes.
— Deep Dish (@brettmartzke) August 13, 2019
Had I been a Journalist, No way in hell would I be quiet on someone already convicted of Molesting Teens, Not even hell freezing over would I conceal for or agree to an interview in essence shielding his Perversions, preying on Teens, & his desires wanting that to be legal🙅♀️🤮🙅♀️
— Mary Frank (@Fran_Neena20409) August 12, 2019
So, a child rapist admits to a @nytimes reporter that he enjoys raping children, and you think “the right thing to do” was to keep it quiet, and not go to the authorities – because access? And you all still don’t understand why so many readers are disgusted with your paper.
— JMillspiii (@jmillspaghetti) August 13, 2019
What did he have on you that kept you quiet so long?
— 4TheGloryOfGod ❌🇺🇸🙏 (@Bmann4JC) August 13, 2019
so NYT is basically useless you are saying
imagine how many victims you could have helped or creeps locked up if you investigated this further at the time
Now it’s too late
Try some real journalism like the Boston Globe did revealing the pedophile priests cover-up#OutToLunch
— Ms. Rowsdower (@AndreaJ152230) August 13, 2019
… why was this reported so late?
— Ali R. Naqvi (@AliNeedsHelp) August 13, 2019