Recent reports from The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as new court filings in U.S. Virgin Islands civil suit, have revealed a number of additional prominent people who were associates of Jeffrey Epstein’s. Their ties to the notorious sex trafficker and longtime high-society hobnobber were not previously known, having not appeared in Epstein’s infamous black book or in the public flight logs of passengers who traveled aboard his private jet before his jailhouse death in 2019 while awaiting trial.
The new reports also deepen public understanding of the ties between Epstein and some boldfaced names who he had previously been associated with. And they underscored just how frequently Epstein met with his high-flying pals. The Journal delved into his packed itinerary for just one day — September 8, 2014 — and found that he planned to meet with four extremely wealthy men: Bill Gates, Leon Black, Thomas Pritzker, and Mortimer Zuckerman.
The Journal discovered the names after it obtained a previously unreported trove of documents, including thousands of emails and Epstein’s private schedules dating from 2013 to 2017. (The New York Times says it obtained Epstein’s scheduling documents through a public records request to the U.S. Virgin Islands attorney general.) The documents all pertain to the time period after Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution in Florida, and at least some of the period was after Epstein was publicly accused of sex trafficking by victim Virginia Giuffre in 2015.
The schedules include details of numerous meetings Epstein planned and with whom — but the Journal notes that it could not verify whether all of the meetings actually took place. Many of the meetings took place at Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse, one of the locations where he is alleged to have sexually abused women and girls.
In 2019, New York published an exhaustive list of all of Epstein’s alleged high-society contacts, according to public documents available at the time. Below, a look at the new names contained in the Journal’s reporting, why they were linked to Epstein, and a number of assorted developments in the mysterious saga.
Sergey Brin, Google co-founder
According to a new court filing, Epstein advised Brin from 2004 to 2007, including guidance on how to set up a tax shelter — a tax-saving trust for Brin’s kids called a grantor-retained annuity trust, or GRAT — with bankers at JPMorgan Chase. Brin had become a client of the bank in 2004 following a referral from Epstein, and subsequently held more than $4 billion in accounts there. The Wall Street Journal notes that Epstein helped billionaire and Apollo Global Management co-founder Leon Black set up a similar tax shelter. Epstein’s relationship with Brin came to light in an August 2023 court filing by the U.S. Virgin Islands in its civil suit against JPMorgan over the bank’s relationship with Epstein.
Cecile de Jongh, former first lady of the U.S. Virgin Islands
The Wall Street Journal reports that according to court filings made by JPMorgan Chase in response to the civil suit brought against the bank by the U.S. Virgin Islands, de Jongh allegedly began working for Epstein starting in 2000, and continued working for him when her husband, John de Jongh, was serving as governor of the U.S. territory (from 2007 to 2015). The court filings also allege Ms. de Jongh helped arrange visas for some of Epstein’s victims. Per the Journal’s report:
De Jongh helped get visas for several alleged victims of Epstein, JPMorgan said in court filings. She connected one woman to a local immigration lawyer and worked to get others student visas by arranging special classes for them at the University of the Virgin Islands, the bank said. De Jongh helped arrange and enroll Epstein victims in an English as a second language, or ESL, course at the university, according to emails she sent to university staff and Epstein.
“They are structuring the class around the ladies. Please let me know so that they know what to do or not to do,” de Jongh wrote to Epstein in June 2013, according to the court filings.
Ehud Barak, former Israeli prime minister
According to the documents, the longtime Israeli politician was a regular guest of Epstein’s at his Upper East Side townhouse in the years from 2013 to 2017, meeting with the financier monthly for large stretches of that time. He also flew on Epstein’s jet. Reached by the Journal, Barak acknowledged that he met with Epstein when visiting New York City and that Epstein “often brought other interesting persons, from art or culture, law or science, finance, diplomacy or philanthropy.” He said he never met Epstein “with girls or minors, or even adult women in improper context or behavior,”
The connection between Epstein and Gates has been well known for years, but in late May, the Journal published a revelatory new story on their relationship. The paper reported that Gates had an affair with a bridge player named Mila Antonova in the early 2010s and that Epstein attempted to leverage his knowledge of the situation against the Microsoft co-founder.
By Antonova’s account, Gates, an avid bridge player, had met her at a tournament in 2010 while Gates was still married to his ex-wife, Melinda. Antonova later sought money to fund a start-up that would help people learn the game online. Boris Nikolic, a friend and then–scientific adviser to Gates, introduced Antonova to Epstein in 2013. Epstein didn’t agree to fund the venture but did pay for Antonova to go to software-coding school.
Then, in 2017, well after the Gates-Antonova relationship had ended, Epstein reportedly emailed Gates requesting that he reimburse him for the cost of the schooling. That message came shortly after Gates rebuffed Epstein’s efforts to get a major charitable fund with JPMorgan Chase off the ground. From the Journal:
The implication behind the message, according to people who have viewed it, was that Epstein could reveal the affair if Gates didn’t keep up an association between the two men.
But Gates reportedly never paid Epstein.
“I had no idea that he was a criminal or had any ulterior motive,” Antonova told the Journal of Epstein. “I just thought he was a successful businessman and wanted to help.” She said, “I am disgusted with Epstein and what he did.” And Nikolic said, “I deeply regret that I ever met Epstein. His crimes were despicable. I never saw anything like his illegal behavior. My heart goes out to his victims and their families.”
Leon Botstein, president of Bard College
Epstein had roughly two dozen meetings scheduled with Botstein over the four years covered in the documents, mostly at his townhouse. Regarding his relationship with Epstein, Botstein told the Journal he was only interested in Epstein’s money: “I was an unsuccessful fundraiser and actually the object of a little bit of sadism on his part in dangling philanthropic support.”
Botstein said he first met with Epstein in 2012 to thank him for making unsolicited donations to the college’s high schools, then he continued meeting with him to try to secure more. Epstein donated 66 laptops to Bard in 2015, according to the documents, and Botstein twice invited Epstein to musical performances at the college, but the longtime Bard president said he ultimately concluded that Epstein wasn’t interested in making more donations and “he was simply stringing us along.”
A follow-up report from the Journal found that Botstein accepted$150,000 in checks from an account linked to Epstein in 2016. Botstein claims that money was then donated to Bard, which was confirmed by the school. A spokesperson for Botstein added that the money was for his year-long role on an advisory board for Gratitude America, Epstein’s charity.
That Epstein was a convicted sex offender who had admitted to procuring a child for prostitution didn’t dissuade Botstein and Bard from seeking his financial support. “We looked him up, and he was a convicted felon for a sex crime,” Botstein told the Journal, but “we believe in rehabilitation.” He said they kept his criminal history in mind when Epstein visited the school: “Because of his previous record, we had security ready. He did not have any free access to anybody.” According to the plans in the documents, Epstein brought some of his young female assistants on his trips to Bard.
William Burns, CIA director
The documents indicate that Epstein had three scheduled meetings in 2014 with Burns, who was at that point the deputy security of state in the Obama administration. They met both in Washington, D.C., and New York, per the Journal:
A lunch was planned that August at the office of law firm Steptoe & Johnson in Washington. Epstein scheduled two evening appointments that September with Mr. Burns at his townhouse, the documents show. After one of the scheduled meetings, Epstein planned for his driver to take Mr. Burns to the airport.
The longtime diplomat left the State Department in October of that year and became president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he remained until President Biden nominated Burns to run the CIA in 2021.
CIA spokesperson Tammy Kupperman Thorp released a statement to the Journal denying Burns had any kind of relationship with Epstein: “The director did not know anything about him, other than that he was introduced as an expert in the financial services sector and offered general advice on transition to the private sector,” she said. “They had no relationship.”
According to the documents, Epstein arranged several meetings with Chomsky in 2015 and 2016, when he was teaching at MIT, where Epstein had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. The scheduled meetings included a gatherings of academics as well as a flight with Epstein aboard his private jet to New York to have a dinner at his townhouse with film director Woody Allen and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn.
When the Journal asked Chomsky about the meetings, the 94-year-old replied in an email that his “first response is that it is none of your business. Or anyone’s. Second is that I knew him and we met occasionally.” Chomsky said he and Epstein discussed politics and academics, and “if there was a flight, which I doubt, it would have been from Boston to New York, 30 minutes. I’m unaware of the principle that requires that I inform you about an evening spent with a great artist.”
“What was known about Jeffrey Epstein was that he had been convicted of a crime and had served his sentence,” Chomsky told the Journal. “According to U.S. laws and norms, that yields a clean slate.” He also said Epstein arranged for him to meet Barak so they could talk about “Israel’s policies with regard to Palestinian issues and the international arena.”
A follow-up report from the Journal showed that Chomsky received a transfer of around $270,000 from an account linked to Epstein in March 2018. “My late wife died 15 years ago after a long illness. We paid no attention to financial issues,” Chomsky explained by email. “We asked Epstein for advice. The simplest way seemed to be to transfer funds from one account in my name to another, by way of his office.”
Terje Rød-Larsen, noted ex-diplomat
Rød-Larsen may not be a household name, but he’s a big deal in diplomatic circles, having helped put together the landmark Oslo Accords in the early 1990s. Per the Journal, he was such a fixture at Epstein’s New York townhouse between 2013 and 2017 that the staff knew to have cucumbers ready for his gin. He also received a personal loan from Epstein, as well as a donation to his nonprofit.
Rød-Larsen stepped down from that nonprofit when his ties to Epstein were initially revealed in 2020. He gave no additional comment to the Journal this week.
Joshua Cooper Ramo, a FedEx board member
The Journal reports that Epstein scheduled more than a dozen meetings over the four years with Ramo, who was at that point a co-CEO of Henry Kissinger’s consulting company. Ramo also served on the board of Starbucks and still serves on the board of FedEx. Most of the meetings were scheduled in the evening at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse. Epstein also invited him to a 2013 breakfast at the townhouse that Barak attended.
Ramo didn’t respond to the Journal’s requests to comment on the meetings.
Ariane de Rothschild, chairwoman of Edmond de Rothschild Group
In 2019, the private Swiss bank Edmond de Rothschild Group falsely claimed it and its chairwoman, Ariane de Rothschild, had no ties to Epstein. According to the documents reviewed by the Journal:
Mrs. de Rothschild, who married into the famous banking family, had more than a dozen meetings with Epstein. He sought her help with staffing and furnishings as well as discussed business deals with her, according to the documents. In September 2013, Epstein asked Mrs. de Rothschild in an email for help finding a new assistant, “female … multilingual, organized.”
“I’ll ask around,” Mrs. de Rothschild emailed back.
She bought nearly $1 million worth of auction items on Epstein’s behalf in 2014 and 2015, the documents show. Mrs. de Rothschild was named chairwoman of the bank in January 2015. That October, she and Epstein negotiated a $25 million contract for Epstein’s Southern Trust Co. to provide “risk analysis and the application and use of certain algorithms” for the bank[.]
In a response to the Journal, the bank admitted that its 2019 statement was inaccurate and said that de Rothschild had business-related meetings with Epstein from 2013 to 2019, that he had introduced the bank to U.S. finance leaders, provided tax and risk consulting, and had recommended law firms. The bank also said that Epstein “solicited her personally on a couple occasions for advice and services on estate management” and that she “was similarly unaware of any questions regarding his personal conduct” at the time.
Kathryn Ruemmler, Goldman Sachs general counsel
The documents reveal that Epstein scheduled more than three dozen meetings with Ruemmler, starting in 2014, after she left the White House counsel’s office and joined the private sector as a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins. Epstein also scheduled her to fly with him to Paris in 2015 and to his now-notorious island estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he looked at apartments she was interested in, and he discussed with his staff whether the young women working at his Manhattan townhouse would make Ruemmler uncomfortable. According to emails obtained by NBC News, Epstein also referred her as a client to JPMorgan Chase in 2019, just months before his final arrest. “Jeffrey just thought that Kathy is one of the most powerful women in Washington and thought you two would bond,” Epstein’s assistant wrote to a JPMC staffer.
In 2020, Ruemmler took a job as a top lawyer at the Goldman Sachs Group, where she co-chairs the firm’s reputational-risk advisory committee. A Goldman spokesperson told the Journal that Ruemmler’s relationship with Epstein was professional and related to her work at Latham & Watkins:
In the normal course, Epstein also invited her to meetings and social gatherings, introduced her to other business contacts and made referrals. It was the same kinds of contacts and engagements she had with other contacts and clients.
The spokesperson also said that Ruemmler never noticed anything untoward at his townhouse, that she never flew anywhere with him, that she never visited his island, and that her comment was “I regret ever knowing Jeffrey Epstein.”
Ties between Epstein and the ex-treasury secretary and Harvard president were already well-known. But the Journal provides more detail about their connection. Though Harvard stopped accepting donations from Epstein after his 2008 conviction, Summers continued to meet with him frequently.
The paper uncovered an email Summers sent to Epstein in 2014, in which he asked the financier’s advice on how to raise money for a nonprofit poetry initiative spearheaded by his wife, Harvard Professor Elisa New. “I need small scale philanthropy advice. My life will be better if i raise $1m for Lisa,” Summers wrote. “Mostly it will go to make it a pbs series and for teacher training. Ideas?” Epstein and Summers made plans for dinner near Summers’s Massachusett’s home two days later, and in 2016, an Epstein-linked nonprofit gave $110,000 to New’s project.
In a statement to the Journal, Summers and New said that Summers “deeply regrets being in contact with Epstein after his conviction,” New “regrets accepting funding from Epstein,” and that New’s nonprofit had made a donation “exceeding the amount received” it had received from Epstein to an anti-sex trafficking group.
The New York Times reports that according to Epstein’s scheduling records, Epstein had several meetings with the PayPal co-founder in 2014:
The records — in the form of emails that Mr. Epstein’s assistant sent to remind him of upcoming events — show that in September 2014 Mr. Thiel was scheduled to meet with Mr. Epstein on at least three occasions, either in one-on-one meetings or with others over lunch or dinner. Two other times, Mr. Thiel was listed among more than a dozen other well-known people Mr. Epstein should try to see while at his New York mansion. It’s unclear from the records whether all the meetings with Mr. Thiel took place. Some were listed as tentative or “TBD” — for “to be determined.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that Epstein also scheduled meetings between Thiel, himself, and Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin. “I was rather naive,” Thiel said of the 2016 meeting. “I didn’t think enough about what Epstein’s agenda might have been.”
Close Trump ally and private equity manager Tom Barrack was friends with Epstein and the former president back when they were close in south Florida in the 1980s. The Wall Street Journal reports that Epstein tried to revive the connection in 2016 after Trump cinched up the Republican nomination. In August of that year, Epstein schedule a lunch with Barrack, who was an informal adviser to the Trump campaign at the time. Barrack was also invited to Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse in September 2016 with Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin and Woody Allen.
The private equity giant’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein was made public years ago, eventually leading to his departure from his position as chairman of the Museum of Modern Art. But Leon Black is still facing scrutiny for his connections to Epstein. On July 25, the Senate Finance Committee announced it would investigate the Apollo Global Management co-founder’s dealings with Epstein. The probe will look into the $158 million that Black paid Epstein over the years for tax and estate-planning advice — a nine-figure sum to a man who did not graduate college. Four days earlier, on July 21, Black also agreed to pay $62.5 million to the U.S. Virgin Islands in a settlement that would clear him from any allegations made during the territory’s investigation into Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking ring on Little St. James.
Black could also be back in civil court for his Epstein connections. On July 26, an anonymous woman with Down syndrome and autism sued Black in New York for allegedly raping her when she was 16. The alleged assault took place in 2002 at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion — after which Epstein refused to take her to see a doctor, leaving her in the care of Ghislaine Maxwell. Black’s lawyer has called the allegations “frivolous and sanctionable.”
One of the dealings Black had with Epstein, the New York Times reports, was when, in 2016, Epstein helped Black avoid taxes when Black sold a $25 million Alberto Giacometti sculpture and used the proceeds to buy $30 million Cezanne painting.
Staley, too, has been a well-known associate of Epstein for years. But the banker’s connections to Epstein have faced a new level of inspection over the past year. Staley, who resigned from Barclays in 2021 for his association with the sex criminal, had a close connection with Epstein. “I deeply appreciate our friendship,” Staley wrote to him in 2009 when he was working at JPMorgan Chase. “I have few so profound.” Emails obtained by the Daily Beast show that Epstein helped connect him to his high-society associates, including Prince Andrew, Bill Gates, former New York Fed board member Lee Bollinger and Dubai businessman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
The largest bank in the world by market capitalization has been in trouble for years for its connections to Epstein. But over the past year, JPMorgan Chase has had to answer about how many people knew of their dealings with the alleged sex trafficker due to the U.S. Virgin Islands lawsuit alleging the bank helped enable Epstein’s operation. The most recent detail came out in late August when USVI prosecutors claimed that JPMorgan processed over $1 billion for Epstein during his 16 years as a client.
The territory has sued the bank for $190 million in damages. In oral arguments on September 12, a lawyer for the U.S. Virgin Islands claimed that, in 2019, the bank had had informed the government of their business together dating back to 2003, reporting it “suspicious activity.”
“Epstein’s entire business with JPMorgan and JPMorgan’s entire business with Jeffrey Epstein was human trafficking,” attorney Mimi Liu stated. “The only reason that JPMorgan finally after 16 years reported the billion dollars in suspicious transactions for Jeffrey Epstein is because he was arrested, and then he was dead.” JPMorgan Chase has denied any liability and stated that its business was a “mistake.”
A little less than a month ahead of the trial scheduled for October 23, JPMorgan Chase settled with the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Attorney General’s Office. The bank agreed to pay $75 million, with $20 million of that going to charities, $20 million to lawyers’ fees, and $10 million to a victims’ mental-health fund. JPM also reached a confidential settlement with Jes Staley for an undisclosed amount.
As New York’s Kevin Dugan wrote, the settlement marked “the real beginning of the end into the official inquiries into the cabal of wealthy and powerful people who helped make — and who benefited mightily from — Epstein’s monstrous crimes.”
The royal’s connections to Epstein have been public for years now, but a new documentary on the king’s younger brother have placed him back in the tabloid headlines. In the A&E documentary Secrets of Prince Andrew, model Lisa Phillips claims that she saw Prince Andrew at Little St. James in 2000, where Epstein allegedly told her friend to have sex with the royal. “It was traumatic for her and after that, she was not the same,” Phillips said in the doc. “Her life went completely out of control.”
Royal biographer Andrew Lownie said in the documentary that Epstein and Prince Andrew were “real best buddies” and that “there were seven different numbers for Andrew in Epstein’s little black book.” According to Lownie, Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were invited to royal getaways like Balmoral and Sandringham and to “personal birthday parties at Windsor.” (Indeed, there is a photo of Epstein and Maxwell at a cabin on the Balmoral estate.)
“Epstein and Ghislaine were invited to the heart of the British monarchy,” Lownie said. He added that Epstein allegedly once said: “There’s only one person who likes sex more than me, and that’s Andrew.”
According to Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter, Andrew would have had to seek “permission from the queen” to invite Epstein to private events. “The queen would believe her children,” Arbiter said.
This post has been updated throughout.