Talk:Jeffrey Epstein

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Lead section[edit]

Re this edit: it is way out of line with WP:BLP to describe Epstein as a sex offender in the opening sentence without giving any context. Without his work as a financier and links to various famous people, the sex offence angle would not be notable enough for a mention. This is a WP:BLP article, ie a biography of Epstein, so it needs to say more than "he is a sex offender" in the opening sentence. This isn't a tabloid newspaper.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:50, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Epstein is at least as well known for his paedophile pimping as for his finance and other work. This should be mentioned in the first sentence for the benefit of readers. In my original edit[1] I included it after "financier", leaving the details lower down in the lede:

Jeffrey Edward Epstein (born January 20, 1953) is an American financier and registered sex offender.[1] He worked at Bear Stearns early in his career and subsequently formed his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. In 2008 Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution and given an 18-month prison sentence, of which he served 13 months.[2] He is a registered level three sex offender.[3]

This was reverted by Ianmacm with the comment: "rv, this ends up saying twice in the lead that he is a sex offender. Needs a mention, but no need to go to town as it is clearly mentioned in the WP:LEAD already."
If we're going to describe him as just one thing in the first, defining sentence, then that one thing should be sex offender. But we can describe him in more than one term. I propose we return to my original edit but remove the second mention, not the first. Thus:

Jeffrey Edward Epstein (born January 20, 1953) is an American financier and registered sex offender.[1] He worked at Bear Stearns early in his career and subsequently formed his own firm, J. Epstein & Co. In 2008 Epstein was convicted of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution and given an 18-month prison sentence, of which he served 13 months.[4] He is a registered level three sex offender.[3]

Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 08:07, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
People have proposed similar wording in articles like Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris but it has been rejected by consensus. If Savile and Harris had not been major figures for many years in showbusiness, the sexual abuse angle would not have become notable in the first place. Plenty of people are registered sex offenders but this does not establish WP:GNG notability on its own. There needs to be some context, and it is Epstein's background as a wealthy financier that does this. For a long time, this article has been reading more like it is Jeffrey Epstein controversies or Jeffrey Epstein lawsuits rather than a biography of him as a person. There are also WP:NOTNEWSPAPER issues with a lot of weight being given to ongoing court actions. I think this article needs a cleanup or it should be referred to WP:BLPN for further input from experienced editors.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:43, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
I think the proposed edit works. It gives both elements of Epstein's notability. I don't understand the point about "on-going court actions" -- he was convicted. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:11, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Epstein has been convicted of one sexual offence, so he is not a serial sex offender. Saying that a person is a sex offender in the opening sentence has been rejected at articles like Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Jonathan King, because they were independently notable before the sex offence controversies occurred.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 04:46, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Saville, Harris and King are all very well-known for their professional careers, Saville and Harris especially so - at least in the UK. Outside finance circles, Epstein is relatively unknown for his work, but widely notorious for his pimping. It is what he's known for. In this case, we owe it to the reader to identify the thing he's most notable for in the first sentence.
I've asked for input at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Should we describe Jeffrey Epstein as a sex offender in the first sentence of his BLP? Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 14:24, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
That BLP/N discussion arrived at no consensus and was archived here. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 04:07, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Conflict of interest template[edit]

I've added a conflict of interest template to the talk page. The aim of the article is not to make Jeffrey Epstein look good or bad. The article is also not intended to be a running commentary on various controversies, as this leads to problems with WP:RECENTISM and WP:NOTNEWSPAPER.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:14, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Tendentious edits to exclude sex offenses from opening sentence[edit]

User:Ianmacm seems to be engaged in problematic edits in connection with this article. Judging by this talk page, there appears to be consensus that the opening sentence "is an American financier" is inadequate, to put it mildly. Epstein is not primarily known as a financier; when he is mentioned in reliable sources it is usually in connection with his conviction for sexual offenses, for which he has served a prison sentence. When you google his name, all the first results are about the crimes he has been convicted of, not finance. His role in sex crimes is "why the person is notable" as per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies; his background as a financier is of secondary importance. User:Ianmacm's comparison with Savile and other figures is flawed; Savile was of course an extremely well known celebrity independently of the sex crimes revelations, and he was unlike Epstein never convicted and sent to prison for it either.

The argument that it is covered in the lead section is also flawed; for instance, Google currently shows the following Wikipedia snippet about him when searching for his name: "Jeffrey Edward Epstein is an American financier. He worked at Bear Stearns early in his career and subsequently formed his own firm, J. Epstein & Co". That is hardly an adequate summary of the article, or even of the lead section. The opening sentence should stand on its own and establish why he is notable (what he is mostly known for). Currently both the bulk of the body of the article and even most of the lead section are devoted to sex crimes, not finance; like the lead section itself is supposed to be a summary of the article reflecting its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources (Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section), this is also true for the opening sentence. --Tataral (talk) 18:08, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Incidentally, User:Ianmacm promised (above) that he was "not going to edit war if someone changes the first sentence to "Jeffrey Epstein is an American financier and sex offender"". --Tataral (talk) 18:10, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
This was discussed recently at WP:BLPN. The problematic edits are the ones trying to say that Jeffrey Epstein is notable solely for being a sex offender. See the thread here--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:15, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Yep. The discussion is archived here. I agree with you but our argument failed to sway the opposition. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 19:49, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Consensus relating to this particular article is primarily determined by discussion on this talk page. There appears to be significant support here to include it in the opening sentence. There also appears to be support in the old discussion on the noticeboard, for example TFD's suggested compromise "is an American financier and convicted sex offender"; the noticeboard discussion doesn't demonstrate that he is primarily known as a financier either, and the fact that the bulk of the article is about sex crimes and not finance attests to the fact that he is primarily known for that. The lead is supposed to reflect the content in the body. --Tataral (talk) 20:15, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

The reason why this edit was reverted yesterday is that it has clumsy and crude wording that is out of step with core WP:BLP values. There are various ways of tackling this, but there was a consensus at BLPN that being a registered sex offender does not in itself make a person notable enough for their own Wikipedia article. How many sex offenders are there in the USA? Probably thousands. Do they all have their own Wikipedia article? No. It is therefore misleading to cite this as the primary cause of a person's notability. I was also concerned about describing him as a former financier as this is not clearly stated in the article or the sourcing.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:15, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
We have many pages dedicated to singers, but obviously not everyone who can carry a tune deserves a Wikipedia article - but that's clearly not what Ianmacm is arguing. Ianmacm isn't saying Jeffrey Epstein should have a Wikipedia page because he's a sex offender, they're saying he's a noteworthy person who is primarily known for his sex crimes, and that that should be recognized first and foremost over him being a financier. At this point, saying Epstein is famous for being a financier is like saying Britney Spears is famous for having been in The Mickey Mouse Club. Samtayhow (talk) 12:58, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
There's no consensus on anything at BLP/N. Since this is a BLP, when there's on consensus we err on the conservative side and leave the controversial edit out. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 06:09, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm in favor of changing the first sentence to describe Epstein as "an American financier and sex offender," and then deleting the both the last sentence (which would be redundant) as well as the portion of the third sentence about his prison sentence. How long he served is of course worthy of inclusion in the article, but isn't sufficiently noteworthy from the lead and serves as a distraction from the main, most noteworthy point (that he was convicted of soliciting underage girls). --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:01, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Bhagat blackmail claim[edit]

This IB Times writer mentions reports being released balls ring that security cameras were present for the purpose of blackmail. Does anyone know what report this was referring to? Would like to accompany this with a source like the report itself which Bhagat is referring to so we can better confirm the accuracy of the claim and understand who made the report and what evidence supports the allegation. Ranze (talk) 10:06, 10 November 2016 (UTC)

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Trump’s Labor nominee oversaw ‘sweetheart plea deal’ in billionaire’s underage sex case[edit]

Time for a section or reference. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/alexander-acosta-trump-jeffrey-epstein-plea-235096 --Wikipietime (talk) 11:20, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

More: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/alexander-acosta-trump-labour-secretary-nominee-plea-deal-miami-jeffrey-epstein-a7624286.html and http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-jeffrey-epstien-alexander-acosta-sex-abuse-case-20170321-story.html. And there will be more... Nomoskedasticity (talk) 13:05, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Read our article. This is already heavily covered. Though it could certainly be tightened up, and the new sources (I've seen even more) could prove useful. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:58, 22 March 2017 (UTC)