A tragic story in the world we live in

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The Statue of Liberty from behind. Photo: JH.

Thursday, July 11, 2019. Yesterday was another hot day in New York with temps reaching up to 90. Sunny mostly, and even breezy in my neck of the woods (near the river), but time for the A/C or at least shorts and just about topless, no matter what.

The news. Yesterday (and the day before), what people are talking about – and presumably reading (a lot of us don’t really read much anymore if it’s not brief or on the cellphone) – is Jeffrey Epstein. I don’t need to go into “what about” Jeffrey Epstein because it’s all over all the media. The puzzle seems to be: Why has he been re-arrested (after going through this including a “jail” term) and WHO were the clients who visited his famous Caribbean island for sex with …(fill in the blank). The Names are imagined to be the big news simply because of the “scandal” associated with their Epstein activities in the Caribbean.

Jeffrey Epstein. Credit: Neil Rasmus/© Patrick McMullan.

I received several calls from media (reporters) asking me about his “friends” and did I know him? 

Firstly, I didn’t know him and I don’t think I’ve ever met him because I’ve been familiar with his name and his presence going back to when he worked for Leslie Wexner, the retailing billionaire who started The Limited chain and is the majority stockholder in Victoria’s Secret.  I first heard of him back in the ‘90s when he was, or so I was told, working for Leslie Wexner as his right hand man. 

The description was one of a sharp young guy who worked for a very successful businessman. The fact that they were both Jewish, brought up in a domestic culture where the emphasis was ultimately on ambition —  study, learn, work and achieve —   made it even more convenient: they knew who they were talking to. The great all-American goal is success. These two men clearly had that. That drive  starts out early. Coming from Brooklyn, the center of nowhere, and moving to Oz is a real, deeply conscious objective. At least that’s the way it looks in the photos and the magazines. 

What I also had heard at the time from someone who knew them personally – which is now years ago – was that the two men were also thisclose – although Mr. W around the time of their employment separation, married and started a family.

Mr. Wexner was contacted about this latest arrest of Mr. Epstein by media. A spokesman for him said that Mr. Wexner had long ago “severed” his relationship with Mr. Epstein. There are many ways to describe a former relationship with a business associate. “Severed” in this case reads like a silent adjective.

Naturally, I had read about Mr. Epstein’s Caribbean island “retreat” and the sexual activities which evidently took place there between men (mainly, because we don’t know the full scope) who were having (some kind of) sex with underage (presumably) women. This was two or three years ago. When you hear enough about a subject that is sex-related, it eventually becomes So-what-else-is-new? Unless, of course, there is real evidence of a crime. Famous men involved, if it is criminal by law, could cause a riot at least where their homefires burn.

Pedophilia, a word rarely muttered or uttered in polite company (or in print) up until a few years ago, is now a prominently reported situation, inferred or otherwise.  A friend of mine, whom I referred to on Monday’s Diary, Paxton Quigley, recently published a novel called “Just Try Me” about dominatrixes. She told me that Sex Trafficking underage girls and young women, and boys, is a major activity among certain members of the rich, the chic and the shameless all over the world.

Mr. Epstein’s name is now thoroughly linked to all such activities. Yet the evidence, if true, is not quite so forthcoming. It is imagined that this is all going down because of the “names” on any such list — especially Jeffrey Epstein’s list of available sex partners, which include many well known powerful and wealthy people. Names that we’d identify. 

Former President Bill Clinton has already issued a denial of any such attributable activity, saying he’d only flown on one of Mr. Epstein’s private jets FOUR times and that was with his Secret Service contingent (as witnesses) and only to European countries, not to the private island in the tropics. So somebody is not telling the whole truth and nothing but. However, it was Mr. Epstein who was arrested for such activities, not the former President.

What was always curious to me about him — which is often what is curious to me about anyone I learn about, is where did he come from?  He was born January 20, 1953, a Jewish kid from Brooklyn back in the day when Manhattan didn’t even go to Brooklyn, let alone take up residence. His father worked for the parks department. It was a modest way of life at that time, but common and respected in post-War America. People of Epstein’s parents’ generation worked hard and brought up their children to do the same, as well as to aspire. For a New York kid from Brooklyn, a million miles away from Fifth Avenue and everything it represents/represented, it was not an uncommon aspiration. Or a dream.

I’ve never met him. I have met Ghislaine a number of times – always at public gatherings. She’s an agreeable personality, pleasant and friendly. She’s easy to talk to on a social level. That’s her charm, It’s a special charm and very important in the world of ambitious people. Mr. Epstein was an ambitious boy. From Brooklyn. When they came to meet for the first time, Ghislaine would have noticed that. Furthermore her father, Robert Maxwell, who came to an unclear and scandalous ending on a boat in the Atlantic, was also plagued by financial scandal, leaving his lovely daughter to learn to fend for herself. One can see that it must now be more challenging.

Somewhere along the way from boyhood to adolescence to young man-in-a-hurry, Jeffrey Epstein must have had stars in his eyes, as they say. And presumably in his beds later. It’s one of nature’s requirements for fame and fortune. From  boyhood to manhood; the way our lives play out. He was a very smart kid. He also had something to prove. To someone; maybe himself. I don’t know what it was, but somewhere along the line between then and now, he got on the road to Make Believe with others. Money is a dangerous cocktail for many who acquire a lot of it.  Observing it, I’m often reminded of “lead us not into temptation” as in Lord’s Prayer “… but delivers us from evil.”

When you look at the story, from the beginning to the present, you can conclude he did all this so he could be a loser. Aside from his legal problems and public reputation, he ended up being a monster to most all of those girls and young women who were in some way enslaved by his action. Ironic and in its way, a tragic story in the world we live in, and even worse, it’ll soon become yesterday’s mash potatoes.

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