How Jeffrey Epstein Weaponized Humor


What the newly exposed emails between Epstein and former JP Morgan banker, Jes Staley, show about Epstein's manipulations

One of the many things people may not understand about Jeffrey Epstein is the way he deployed black humor as a seduction method.

He used it to lean into the darkness about him, not away.

For example when I first met him in person, I am fairly certain that he left out a copy of a book by the Eighteenth Century sexual libertine, the Marquis de Sade in his townhouse in New York, as a joke. His idea of a joke, that is. He knew that I’d already learned that he had a reputation for sexual something – at that point in my reporting, I wasn’t yet fully sure what – and his way of trying to diffuse the tension and probably distract me from the seediness of what I was hearing, (I hadn’t yet got to any alleged criminality) was to make light of it.

It’s also why he kept a vast stuffed elephant in the living room of his Paris apartment. The Epstein “joke” was that this was the “elephant in the room”…ie a metaphor for his sexual crimes. It was effective because people who had heard he went to jail in 2009 for soliciting a minor bought into his “I didn’t know her age..this whole thing is so misguided” shtick, because why would anyone who had abused an underage woman (let alone hundreds of them) make such an enormous, apparently hilarious joke of it? It defied belief.

Welcome to who Jeffrey Epstein really was, in addition to being a sexual pervert. A brazen but brilliant manipulator, not just of women and children. But of powerful, successful men, too. Jes Staley, the former CEO of Barclays and former head of JP Morgan’s private bank, has said that he never knew of Epstein’s criminal sexual abuse and trafficking. Prosecutors in the US Virgin Islands allege otherwise in papers filed yesterday.

Read the rest at Vicky Ward Investigates.