Child abuse is the most horrific of crimes, and editors, I would think, had some cognitive dissonance over what I was pitching them. To assuage their cognitive dissonance, they would much rather decide that I was crazy, or a conspiracy theorist, than to actually address the allegations. But I had the black book, and a lot of the police reports, and some of the FBI reports.
But no victims on the record.
No, but I certainly could have had victims on the record.
You finally did a story on the black book in 2015.
Epstein was in the news again, and I’d shown the black book to John Cook. Gawker, which had a less-than-stellar reputation, was willing to actually publish my articles on Jeffrey Epstein. They were able to show some moral fortitude.
Did it get any traction at that point?
Gawker got a lot of hits. They published his flight manifest too. But ultimately I was stunned that no one in the mainstream media was willing to touch the subject matter.
Now, this is arguably the biggest story in the mainstream media, and the narrative is starting to turn to, who else in Epstein’s network might this touch? How important is the black book as a piece of evidence, and what does it actually tell us? It’s not a crime to be in someone’s Rolodex even if that someone is an accused serial pedophile.
Well, the black book shows that Epstein had connections to Mount Olympus. He was hanging out with the gods. Why would he have 20-something contact numbers for Bill Clinton? Why did the house manager circle Donald Trump’s name? Why did he circle Ehud Barak’s name? Alan Dershowitz’s name?
The house manager’s credibility is questionable, no? He got busted for trying to turn a profit on the book.
In these types of investigations, you’re gonna deal with some very sordid people. Even the victims, their credibility can be problematic, because they can come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, repeatedly molested at a very young age, some turn to drugs to assuage their pain. That’s what makes this type of thing perfect for the perpetrators. The victims’ credibility is easy to compromise.
To your mind, which are the most interesting names that appear in the book, or that might prove to be relevant to the current legal proceedings?
There are people in that book whose names aren’t circled who I’ve been told are perpetrators. One of them is a former U.S. senator.
Who told you that?
One of the lawyers. The black book provides the scaffolding so people can start digging into Epstein’s life. His life is contained in that black book, and a lot of those people have nothing to do with molesting children, but it just shows the diversity of Epstein’s life and the power brokers he hung out with.
What’s your sense of the extent to which the black book might be used as an investigative road map?
I haven’t talked to law enforcement about it, but I’d say the book would be hugely helpful. Although the majority of the individuals in the book aren’t perps, some will invariably be privy to inconvenient truths about Epstein. Plus, the black book also contains perps who law enforcement can compel to disclose the particulars of Epstein’s network.