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]

  1. ^ a b Lewis, Paul (January 4, 2015). "Jeffrey Epstein: The rise and fall of teacher turned tycoon". Guardian.
  2. ^ "Jeffrey Epstein: the billionaire paedophile with links to Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Robert Maxwell – and Prince Andrew". The Independent.
  3. ^ a b Dargan, Michele (November 22, 2011). "Jeffrey Epstein must register as NY's highest level sex offender". Palm Beach Daily News.
  4. ^ "Jeffrey Epstein: the billionaire paedophile with links to Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Robert Maxwell – and Prince Andrew". The Independent.
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)
Why is everybody ignoring the elephant in the room? The only reason sex offense is mentioned so prominently by these bitter, delusional partisans, —in fact, the ONLY reason they are here, —is to bludgeon the Clintons. For example, in Rollingstone's [Pizzagate: Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal] article yesterday Nov 16, 2017 on the whacko and Russian-fed fake news avalanche, Epstein is mentioned at least 3 times, —which is how I landed here.
Quoting from a comment above: "Epstein is at least as well known for his paedophile pimping as for his finance and other work." Sadly this is true for a minority of gullible people self-imprisoned by their AlexJones-Fox-Limbaugh conspiracy theory echo-chamber. They happily seek and chug-a-lug nasty delusions like Hillary's child sex slave ring with pizzagate, and other imaginary, perverted daydreams. Of course the quivering will say, or write, or do anything to destroy such a monster. How unspeakably sad.
--2602:306:CFCE:1EE0:2CA5:3D0:2D38:D4CC (talk) 02:54, 25 November 2017 (UTC)Doug Bashford

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)


Shouldn't it read "financier and convicted Pedofile", or does "financier pedofile and accused child rapist" sound better 68.173.128.206 (talk) 14:58, 12 June 2018 (UTC)

We'd need very solid sourcing before calling Epstein a pedophile. We don't currently have that, though it might exist. I went through the cited sources and none of them use the word pedophile. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:06, 12 June 2018 (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)

WP:BLP Concern in "Virginia Roberts lawsuits" section.[edit]

Under the section "Virginia Roberts lawsuits" in this article, the statement "He trafficked her to several people, including Prince Andrew and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.", where "He" refers to Jeffrey Epstein and "her" to Virginia Roberts is made. Please notice there's no qualification of the claim as an allegation.

Under WP:BLP that statement ought to be changed to establish that it is not yet a fact determined in court, but an allegation made by Ms. Roberts in one of her lawsuits> "Virginia Roberts claims FBI has videos of her having underage sex with Jeffrey Epstein and 'powerful friends' by The Independent's Adam Withhall, the source cited inline to support it refers to the act in question as an allegation by Ms. Roberts, not a proven fact.

I'm changing this sentence to "Allegedly, Epstein trafficked Roberts to several people, including Prince Andrew and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz." first and soliciting consensus later under the guidelines in WP:BLP which require statements challenged or likely to be challenged to be supported by inline citation of a reliable published source. loupgarous (talk) 21:43, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

There is a load of unproven material in the Virginia Roberts section. I'm not happy about this, but the section is shorter and less prominent than it once was. The article should be careful here unless the claims actually stand up in court.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:37, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

Career?[edit]

In September 2002, Epstein flew Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa in his private Boeing 727.[4][7]

Epstein is also a longtime friend of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and has partied with celebrities such as Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos, Charlie Rose, and Woody Allen.[8]

Not sure how the above fit in the "Career" section. Personal section, perhaps? Avocats (talk) 19:40, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

 Done --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:56, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

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Lede[edit]

Why do constructive edit keeping being blanket reverted to a wording which highlights one portion of his life and deletes a wider clarity on Epstein in the introduction? This appears to be blind reverting to a version without reading the constructive editing being made. 91.110.126.210 (talk) 15:35, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Oh, so now you want to discuss it. That's what was suggested before you got into an edit-war... Nomoskedasticity (talk) 18:34, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
There is a section above on this page discussing the issue of the opening sentence. My views are in this section, so I won't repeat them here.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:05, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't think Brighton's edit neutrally represented Epstein in any way, shape, or form. He's best known as a financier and as a sex offender, that's why those were in the first sentence. He's not best known as a philanthropist, the bit about funding scientific research was unsourced, and the explanation of his sentence put undue weight on the technicalities of his plea (which have received heavy scrutiny) and did not reflect the full story. Brighton's version made it sound like the guy might have once accidentally solicited an underage prostitute. I agree it read like apologism, regardless of actual intent. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:09, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

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No mention of the "Lolita Express"?[edit]

It seems incongruous to me that the search term ["Lolita express"] redirects to Jeffrey Epstein, but then appears nowhere in the text. I attempted to make a small addition recognizing the use of the term by media, but it was reverted without comment. The term appears in sources [5] and [54] (articles by the New York Post and Fox News) which are already part of the article, as well as in articles from Newsweek and Gawker which I cited, and in other articles by the Daily Beast (seems I can't link it without tripping abuse filter 189) and Vice News. None of these are considered unreliable sources by Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources/Perennial sources. I reached out to the editor who reverted my edit, but he hasn't responded. As such, I am undoing the revert until someone can provide a reason against it. 179.153.230.248 (talk) 03:24, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

For reference, here is the IPs original message in its entirety:
Extended content

It seems incongruous to me that the search term ["Lolita express"] redirects to Jeffrey Epstein, but then appears nowhere in the text. I attempted to make a small addition recognizing the use of the term by media, but it was reverted without comment. The term appears in sources [5] and [54] (articles by the New York Post and Fox News) which are already part of the article, as well as in articles from Newsweek and Gawker which I cited, and in other articles by the Daily Beast (it has "pedophile" in the URL, so it seems I can't link it without tripping a filter) and Vice News. None of these are considered unreliable sources by Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources/Perennial sources. I reached out to the editor who reverted my edit, but he hasn't responded. As such, I am undoing the revert until someone can provide a reason against it.

Regards, Compassionate727 (T·C) 20:00, 6 September 2018 (UTC)