In an unearthed 2003 interview, Jeffrey Epstein praised his private island retreat as a place where he could 'think the thoughts I want to think' and be 'free to explore as I see fit'
- On Wednesday, Bloomberg obtained tapes of an unpublished interview former Wall Street Journal reporter David Bank had with Jeffrey Epstein on his private island in 2003.
- The interview was one of the rare times that the fiercely private Epstein's voice was recorded.
- In the recording, Epstein explains why he bought Little St. James in the first place, saying he can "think the thoughts I want to think" and "explore as I see fit."
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A former reporter has released recordings from a 2003 interview he had with Jeffrey Epstein, after the disgraced pedophile died over the weekend in a New York City jail while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.David Bank was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in 2003 when he flew to Epstein's private Caribbean island Little St. James to talk with the financier ahead of his $6.5 million donation to Harvard.Advertisement
While Bank never turned the interview into an article, on Wednesday, he turned his recordings over to Bloomberg, and they offer a rare insight into the usually private Epstein.
Epstein conducted the interview from outside his house because there were 'too many girls' insideBank told Bloomberg about one thing that wasn't on the tapes. When he asked Epstein why he wanted to conduct the interview in a gazebo outside, instead of inside the house, he said Epstein told him, "Too many girls."
But that seems to be the only reference to the underage girls that victims said Epstein surrounded himself with over the years.The rest of the interview focused mainly on how he got into finance and his keys to success.Read more: A look inside Jeffrey Epstein's real-estate portfolio, from the Florida and NYC mansions where sex trafficking reportedly took place to the private island in the Caribbean that was raided by the FBIAdvertisement
At one point in the interview, Epstein started talking about his private island and how it offered him solitude away from his job where he had to worry about clients.
AP Photo/Gianfranco Gaglione
"But on my own island or on my own ranch, I can think the thoughts I want to think. I can do the work I want to do and I'm free to explore as I see fit," Epstein said.
In another revealing part of the interview, Epstein appeared to worry how his wealth might make him the target of false accusations."My concern is that people can make spurious allegations all the time," he said. "The idea is if nothing else he'll buy me off. I'll attack his reputation and he'll buy me off."Advertisement
He added that this is the reason he's "always been private."
"As you become known as a philanthropist or in giving away money, then you become the perfect victim of frauds and identity theft," he said.
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