In March 2011, a group of technology executives gathered in a private dining room at an upscale Italian restaurant in downtown Long Beach, California, for a meal and some conversation. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Google cofounder Sergey Brin, and others were all in town for TED, the annual conference with the slogan “ideas worth spreading.” They were among friends at an annual event called the “billionaires’ dinner,” without a retinue of handlers and hangers-on.
Yet when the event was later immortalized online, at least one infamous individual was missing from the names of the masters of the universe who had gathered for the evening: the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
This elite dinner, and another similarly select gathering that Epstein attended later that year, were both organized by the New York literary agent John Brockman, whose exclusive intellectual club, called Edge, seems to have played a role in Epstein’s efforts to regain credibility and influence in circles of the rich and powerful. At the time, he was less than two years removed from finishing a 13-month prison term in a Florida state jail for soliciting prostitution from an underage girl.
A leaked email obtained by BuzzFeed News also suggests that Epstein separately pursued ties with Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.
The months following Epstein’s release from prison would be crucial for the disgraced financier as he began his reacclimation to the upper-crust social circles he had occupied before his arrest. In late 2010, Epstein reportedly hosted a dinner for celebrities and Prince Andrew at his Upper East Side mansion, and by the next year he was once again mingling with Brockman, an über networker among the elite of tech, science, and Wall Street.
With a goal to “seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves,” Brockman’s Edge Foundation had previously welcomed Epstein as a patron to the sciences. – READ MORE