NYT Columnist Shares Deets Of ‘On Background’ Interview With Epstein Before Death

Rick Friedman/Corbis News

Last summer, Jeffrey Esptein told a New York Times columnist that criminalizing sex with young girls was a “cultural aberration” similar to how homosexuality was once viewed.

That’s one of several details that New York Times columnist James Stewart divulged in a new essay published in the Times Monday, several days after Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell.

About a year ago, Stewart visited Epstein’s Manhattan mansion for an interview, which Epstein agreed to do “on background,” meaning Stewart could use the information Epstein told him, but he couldn’t attribute it to him.

Stewart wanted to speak with Epstein about rumors that he was advising Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Throughout the interview, Epstein bragged about the dirt he claimed to have on his famous friends — both related to drugs and sexual activities — and didn’t hesitate to discuss his sexual interest in younger women. Epstein even had a young woman who appeared to be no older than 20, according to Stewart, answer the door when he arrived.

While the information was provided on background, Stewart said he considered the agreement “lapsed” following Epstein’s death over the weekend. Epstein was found dead by apparent suicide on Saturday in his jail cell where he was awaiting trial for federal charges that he ran a sex trafficking ring in the early 2000s. Epstein had already been previously convicted of sexual abuse and was registered as a sex offender.

Read a segment of the essay below:

“If he was reticent about Tesla, he was more at ease discussing his interest in young women. 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.”

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