Jeffrey Epstein Documents Part 2: Dinners With Lawrence Summers and Movie Screenings With Woody Allen

From a Wall Street Journal story by Khadeeja Safdar and David Benoit headlined “Jeffrey Epstein Documents, Part 2: Dinners With Lawrence Summers and Movie Screenings With Woody Allen”:

Lawrence Summers wanted $1 million to fund an online poetry project his wife was developing. The former Treasury secretary and onetime Harvard University president turned to Jeffrey Epstein.

“I need small scale philanthropy advice. My life will be better if I raise $1m for Lisa,” Mr. Summers said in an email to Epstein in April 2014, referring to his wife, Elisa New, a Harvard professor. “Mostly it will go to make it a PBS series and for teacher training. Ideas?”

Epstein replied that they could meet in Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Summers invited him to dinner, according to a trove of documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Two days later they made plans to meet at The Fireplace, a cozy restaurant in nearby Brookline, one of several meetings the two men scheduled that year.

In 2016, a nonprofit linked to Epstein donated $110,000 to Ms. New’s nonprofit, which develops video content about poetry, according to tax records.

The documents reviewed by the Journal, which include thousands of pages of emails and schedules from 2013 to 2017, provide new details about the nature and frequency of Epstein’s contacts with an array of powerful people long after he was a registered sex offender. He had pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution.

Mr. Summers “deeply regrets being in contact with Epstein after his conviction,” and Ms. New’s nonprofit “regrets accepting funding from Epstein,” said a spokeswoman for the couple. Ms. New’s nonprofit later made a contribution “exceeding the amount received, to a group working against sex trafficking,” the spokeswoman said.

Many of the people or institutions named in the documents were previously known to have associated with Epstein. Some of the documents show that their disclosures about contacts with Epstein were incomplete. Other documents provide new details about how often or where the people met with Epstein, and the kinds of favors Epstein did for them.

The documents don’t reveal the purpose of most of the meetings. The Journal couldn’t verify whether every scheduled meeting took place. Many of the people told the Journal they met with Epstein for reasons related to his wealth and connections.

Among the new details:

Mr. Summers continued to meet with Epstein and seek his help years after Harvard decided it would no longer accept his donations.

Reid Hoffman, a billionaire venture capitalist and LinkedIn co-founder, visited Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean and was scheduled to stay over at his Manhattan townhouse in 2014.

Woody Allen, the Oscar-winning movie director, attended dozens of dinners with his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, at Epstein’s mansion and invited Epstein to film screenings.

Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister, visited Epstein dozens of times and accepted flights on Epstein’s private jet while visiting his mansions in Florida and New York.

Leon Black, the billionaire co-founder of private-equity giant Apollo Global Management, scheduled more than 100 meetings with Epstein from 2013 to 2017.

Mr. Hoffman said he met with Epstein to raise funds for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and that he regrets interacting with Epstein after his conviction. Mr. Allen’s spokeswoman said the filmmaker went with his wife to group social events at Epstein’s townhouse. Mr. Black declined to comment. He stepped down after an Apollo investigation found he paid Epstein for tax planning and estate advice.

Mr. Barak said he often visited Epstein when he traveled to New York. He said he met interesting people at Epstein’s townhouse where they would discuss politics and other topics.

“In retrospect, [Epstein] seems to be a terrible version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but at the time seemed to be an intelligent person, socially well connected and of wide areas of interest, from science to geopolitics,” Mr. Barak said. He said that he never participated in any parties or activities with girls or women.

The documents show that the disgraced financier kept a busy schedule, filling his days with meetings with politicians, executives and celebrities, including at his New York townhouse and his residence in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prosecutors alleged in 2019 that Epstein had abused girls and had run a sex-trafficking ring. He died that year in jail awaiting trial in what the New York City medical examiner said was a suicide.

Barnaby Marsh, then an executive at the large charitable fund John Templeton Foundation, met with Epstein roughly two dozen times, often for breakfast at the townhouse, the documents show. He was previously known to have met with Epstein, but not to that extent.

Mr. Marsh, who advises wealthy people on philanthropy, said he went to Epstein’s townhouse for gatherings because it was full of billionaires and academics who had many of the same interests in charitable giving. Mr. Marsh said Epstein openly discussed his jail time.

“So many of these billionaires knew him,” Mr. Marsh said. “Nobody ever said ‘Watch out for him.’ ”

He said Epstein convened people, including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to try to solve problems facing rich donors, such as how to make large gifts. Epstein told Mr. Marsh that Epstein was managing money for Mr. Gates, Mr. Marsh said.

“I had high hopes that he would follow the paths of others who used their ‘second chance’ to make a positive impact in the world,” Mr. Marsh said. “In the end, he disappointed me.”

Epstein misrepresented his relationship with Mr. Gates and didn’t manage money for him, said a spokeswoman for Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates has said they met for philanthropic reasons.

“As Bill has said many times before, it was a mistake to have ever met with him and he deeply regrets it,” the spokeswoman said.

Glenn Dubin and Eva Andersson-Dubin

The documents reveal how Epstein’s friends sustained a relationship after his conviction in ways that were mutually beneficial. Epstein received help to repair his reputation, and his friends received favors.

Eva Andersson-Dubin, a longtime friend and the wife of hedge-fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, invited Epstein to charity events, to which he contributed.

In the summer of 2015, Epstein sent Dr. Andersson-Dubin a “funny story” about checking into a California hotel with a young woman.

“I went to park the car and the bellman said to Karnya ‘is that your father,’” Epstein, then 62, wrote in an email, referring to his female companion, then in her 20s.

Dr. Andersson-Dubin wrote back: “Glenn laughs so hard!!!!”

In 2019, when Epstein was charged with sex trafficking, the Dubins told the Journal through a spokesman that they were “horrified,” and that they had continued their friendship after his 2008 guilty plea because they believed he had rehabilitated himself.

Dr. Andersson-Dubin, a physician and former Miss Sweden, has said she dated Epstein in the 1980s. Epstein connected Mr. Dubin to JPMorgan Chase, which bought control of his hedge fund, Highbridge Capital Management, in 2004 for more than $1 billion. Epstein earned a fee for the transaction, the Journal has reported.

The documents also reveal Epstein offering help to one of the Dubins’ daughters, as he did for the children of other contacts.

In 2012, Epstein emailed the Dubins’ daughter that he would arrange modeling jobs for her with apparel brands. In 2014, he scheduled a meeting between her and a professor at Harvard, where she was a student, the documents show.

A spokeswoman for the Dubins said Epstein didn’t make introductions for modeling jobs for their daughter. The spokeswoman reaffirmed the Dubins’ 2019 statement, which also said: “Had they been aware of the vile and unspeakable conduct described in these new allegations, they would have cut off all ties long ago and certainly never allowed him to be in the presence of their children.”

Lawrence Summers

Epstein donated millions of dollars to Harvard during Mr. Summers’s tenure as the university’s president from 2001 to 2006. Harvard has said it decided to reject donations from Epstein after his 2008 guilty plea in Florida.

Mr. Summers, who remains a Harvard professor, had more than a dozen meetings scheduled with Epstein from 2013 through 2016, including several dinners, the documents show.

Mr. Summers didn’t solicit donations for Harvard from Epstein after his conviction and didn’t personally receive money from him, his spokeswoman said. “Their interactions primarily focused on global economic issues,” she said.

But he did solicit donations for Ms. New, his wife. In 2014, Ms. New, a professor of English, was hoping to expand to the general public her Harvard coursework about poetry. She established the nonprofit that received the Epstein donation and later created a public-television series, the spokeswoman said.

Mr. Marsh said Epstein asked him multiple times if the Templeton Foundation could donate to Ms. New’s poetry project. Templeton didn’t donate to the project, he said.

Harvard declined to comment beyond its 2020 report on its ties with Epstein, which found he donated $9.1 million before 2008 and had visited the campus dozens of times after his conviction.

Woody Allen

Epstein was known to have been friendly with Mr. Allen. The documents reveal new details about some of their activities and how often they met. They were scheduled to get together nearly every month in 2014 and 2015.

In November 2012, an assistant to Mr. Allen sent one of Epstein’s assistants a note: “Woody was wondering if Jeffrey would be interested in watching his new film either today or tomorrow?” Epstein said he was available.

Epstein and Mr. Allen also planned visits to the studio of artist Jeff Koons in 2013, and to Sotheby’s auction house in 2017, the documents show. Mr. Koons didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Epstein arranged for Mr. Allen to join dozens of dinners at Epstein’s townhouse. Mr. Allen went with his wife, Ms. Previn. Epstein’s staff sometimes ordered Mr. Allen flourless chocolate cakes and bottles of Beck’s beer, the documents show.

“Woody and Soon-Yi lived in the same neighborhood as Epstein and were frequently invited to dinner parties at his townhouse,” said a spokeswoman for the couple. “There were always other guests at those gatherings.”

“Woody never had a business meeting with Epstein and not once spent time with him without Soon-Yi also being present,” the spokeswoman said.

In October 2014, Epstein planned for Mr. Allen to give lessons on film editing at his townhouse to a group of guests watching Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” the documents show.

Terje Rød-Larsen

On the guest list for the 2014 film session with Mr. Allen, the documents show, was Terje Rød-Larsen, a Norwegian diplomat who helped negotiate the Oslo Accords in the 1990s.

The documents reveal Epstein also made plans for Mr. Rød-Larsen to visit his private island in 2012. The diplomat came so frequently to Epstein’s townhouse—dozens of times from 2013 to 2017—that the staff knew to have cucumbers on hand for his gin, the documents show.

Mr. Rød-Larsen resigned in 2020 as president of the International Peace Institute after Norwegian newspaper DN reported he visited the townhouse frequently, had received a $130,000 personal loan from Epstein, and had accepted about $650,000 in donations from Epstein foundations for the nonprofit.

The IPI said in 2020 that it was unaware of the donations and the loan, and that Mr. Rød-Larsen had apologized for his “failed judgment.”

Mr. Rød-Larsen didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the IPI said it had no comment beyond its 2020 statement.

Ehud Barak

After Epstein was arrested in 2019, photos were published in newspapers showing Mr. Barak, the Israeli politician, entering Epstein’s townhouse in 2016.

The documents provide new details about his scheduled meetings. They show that between 2013 and 2017, Epstein planned at least three dozen meetings with Mr. Barak. They had appointments every month for 11 consecutive months starting in December 2015, the documents show.

Mr. Barak told the Journal he was introduced to Epstein in 2003 by Shimon Peres, another former prime minister of Israel, at a social event with U.S. dignitaries, and that he would regularly visit Epstein when he traveled to New York. “Quite often, I came to the townhouse with my wife,” Mr. Barak said. Mr. Peres died in 2016.

Mr. Barak also took flights on Epstein’s private jet, the documents show. In January 2014, he met Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion and then they flew together to Tampa, where Epstein dropped him off and continued on to New York.

“I flew only twice on his airplane, together with my wife and Israeli security detail,” Mr. Barak said. He said he remembers the trip in Florida was to visit a U.S. military installation in Tampa.

“I never participated in any party or any other improper event around [Epstein], and never met him with girls or minors, or even adult women in improper context or behavior,” Mr. Barak said.

Reid Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman, the LinkedIn co-founder, has apologized for his interactions with Epstein, including inviting him in 2015 to a dinner in Palo Alto with Silicon Valley leaders. After Epstein was arrested in 2019, Mr. Hoffman said he had met with him to help raise funds for MIT at the request of the then director of MIT’s Media Lab, Joi Ito.

The documents reveal that Epstein had plans for Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Ito to visit his private island in March 2014 and in November 2014. On the second date, Epstein planned to travel with both men from Palm Beach to the island for a weekend and then fly together to Boston.

When the venture capitalist had a flight scheduled to land late at night in New York on Dec. 4, 2014, Epstein arranged for Mr. Hoffman to stay overnight in his townhouse, the documents show. The following morning, Mr. Hoffman was scheduled to attend a “breakfast party” with Epstein, Mr. Gates and others, according to the documents.

Mr. Hoffman told the Journal he only once visited Epstein’s island residence, Little St. James, for an MIT fundraising trip with Mr. Ito. He said he regrets ever meeting with Epstein and his last interaction with Epstein was in 2015.

“It gnaws at me that, by lending my association, I helped his reputation, and thus delayed justice for his survivors,” Mr. Hoffman said in an email. He said he met with Epstein to discuss science projects at universities. “While I relied on MIT’s endorsement, ultimately I made the mistake,” he said, “and I am sorry for my personal misjudgment.”

Mr. Ito said in an email: “Reid attended a few fundraising events at my request, including one trip to Little St. James, after I confirmed to Reid that Mr. Epstein had been an approved donor target for MIT in accordance with university rules and regulations.”

After Epstein’s arrest in 2019, Mr. Ito resigned from the MIT Media Lab and apologized for accepting funding from Epstein. MIT said at the time that it was a mistake to accept Epstein’s gifts. The school later said it donated $850,000 to nonprofits supporting survivors of sexual abuse.

Speak Your Mind