Pivar, 90 years old, is an art collector, scientist, and a founder (alongside Andy Warhol) of the New York Academy of Art. He ended up speaking with me for over an hour about his “very, very sick” friend in a conversation we wound up publishing in its entirety. Stuart told me—over and over again—that Epstein suffered from “satyriasis,” which he described as the male version of nymphomania, and that he used his money and power to “make an industry” out of having sex with underage girls. This apparently entailed Epstein having sex with “three girls a day” and “hundreds and hundreds” in total. He said he never knew Epstein was having sex with children until Maria Farmer, a student at the academy and an acquaintance of Pivar, had told him she had been assaulted and held hostage by Epstein. He also claimed that Epstein had never invited him to what he called “The Isle of Babes,” a reference to Epstein’s private island where much of the child sex trafficking allegedly occurred.
This admission, from one of Epstein’s supposedly closest friends, sort of puts the nail in the coffin of this particular kerfluffle. Not only did ESR’s denouncement of using the word “pedophile” to describe Epstein miss the mark ethically and morally, it also missed the mark factually. Here, someone very close to him admits that he was a straight-up pedo. I’m sure this was all documented in the early days of these revelations, but I hadn’t wanted to read about it that closely. Given the broad outlines of what could be reported in polite circles, I was quite certain that the line had been crossed so completely that the line no longer existed, and this proves it. It doesn’t take a genius’ genius to figure that one out.
The whole article is a gift that keeps on giving, but this hook is what made me read the whole thing:
After Epstein’s arrest in 2019, a media narrative coalesced around the question of his strange place in the global elite: Epstein the master salesman, a man who had skillfully conned his way into the world’s most powerful circles, fooling everyone in the process. But after my travels through the book, after hearing more of the petty gossip and childish drama of the people who rule our world, I realized this was obviously incorrect. Built into the premise of Epstein the mastermind scammer is the notion that some kind of legitimate path to a legitimate global aristocracy exists. To call Epstein a grifter is to assume he circumvented some genuine meritocratic world order, where the “real” virtuosos dutifully climb the “real” ranks into the oligarchy, powered by nothing but their native talents.
The truth is that the elite world that Epstein ascended into, the one I tapped into by way of the black book, is populated with hordes of loathsome, boring, untalented people living their bumbling, idiotic lives while just so happening to wield some share of the preposterous global bounty that he and the rest were after. For all the mystery surrounding Epstein’s fortune, its existence is hardly more inscrutable than the wealth of any of his other billionaire peers. He earned it the same way they all did, which is to say precisely not at all.
This wasn’t some masterful hack into the global aristocracy. It’s what everyone does. It’s what the whole thing is. There is no scam here. It’s grifters grifting grifters all the way down.
But the final analysis — that Epstein was a tool in the employ of the CIA — was both novel to me, and is pretty convincing. It fits the facts pretty well.