Many moons ago, in the early 2000s, my friends spent a weekend in Southampton with a distinctive young blond who resembled Lady Gaga if Gaga were British. She was about 22 and said she was an interior designer, or a jewelry designer, or a motivational coach—I can’t remember which, but in any case the job sounded semi fake— and she lived in an apartment on the Upper East Side that her older boyfriend had given her, at least often attended auctions. He loved vegetarian food and playing unfamiliar concertos on his grand piano. As she strolled down Southampton’s tree-lined streets, she was struck by their beauty and said she’d have to discuss getting a home there with her boyfriend. His name was Jeffrey Epstein.
Back then, as a cocky, petite, ink-stained wretch, I wasn’t one of the young women in Manhattan whom Epstein and his friends approached for relationships, one-night stands, or abuse. But I was surrounded by a lot of them. They were always the most beautiful girls in the room, usually models or former models, with a slightly aloof Stepford Wives aura that masked a deeper vulnerability. Several names came up when they were around: Epstein, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, film financier Steve Bing, and former president Bill Clinton, then in the prime of his postpresidential career and flying around on Epstein’s jet, dubbed the Lolita Express, or Burkle’s jet, dubbed Air Fuck One. (Clinton has not been