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Jeffrey Epstein Likened Pedophilia to Being Gay

Jeffrey Epstein

The admitted pedophile made the comment in an apparent attempt to excuse his own proclivities.

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Opponents of LGBTQ equality have long and inaccurately likened homosexuality to pedophilia. Now it turns out that admitted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein made the same comparison in an attempt to excuse his proclivities.

Epstein, who died Saturday, apparently by suicide, in a New York City jail while awaiting trial on federal sex abuse charges, made the statement last year to journalist James B. Stewart.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter spoke with Epstein August 16, 2018, at the latter's mansion in Manhattan, Stewart wrote in a New York Times column published Monday. The conversation was "on background," meaning Stewart could use the information but not attribute it to Epstein, but Stewart considers the agreement to have been voided by Epstein's death.

"During our conversation, Mr. Epstein made no secret of his own scandalous past -- he'd pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting prostitution from underage girls and was a registered sex offender -- and acknowledged to me that he was a pariah in polite society," Stewart wrote. "At the same time, he seemed unapologetic. His very notoriety, he said, was what made so many people willing to confide in him. Everyone, he suggested, has secrets and, he added, compared with his own, they seemed innocuous. People confided in him without feeling awkward or embarrassed, he claimed."

Stewart, who often writes about business, was particularly interested in reports that Epstein was advising electric-car company Tesla on taking the corporation private, but Epstein was reluctant to discuss the matter.

"If he was reticent about Tesla, he was more at ease discussing his interest in young women," the journalist recalled. "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."

"The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it," including photos of filmmaker Woody Allen and former President Bill Clinton, both of whom have been accused of sexual misconduct, Stewart noted. "He also 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."

Epstein later invited Stewart to have dinner with himself and Allen, and another time with author Michael Wolff and former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, but Stewart declined both invitations. Early this year, Epstein asked Stewart to be his biographer, but the writer was "leery of any further ties to him" and working on another book.

"That was the last I heard from him," Stewart concluded. "After his arrest and suicide, I'm left to wonder: What might he have told me?"

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.