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Editor Tina Brown recalls 'dead cold and creepy' Epstein threatening her over exposé
5 May 2022, 18:48 | Updated: 5 May 2022, 19:00
Tina Brown has recalled her encounter with "dead cold and creepy" Jeffery Epstein as she explained how Prince Andrew became "suckered into the predators web".
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Speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr, the Former Vanity Fair editor and author of the Palace Papers revealed she was "threatened" by Epstein after she ran a story on his sweetheart deal which revealed the first glimpse into his perverse crimes.
It came as Epstein stood to serve up to 10 years in prison if convicted of federal charges for sexual crimes against 30 to 40 victims, but instead struck a deal to register as a lifelong sex offender and serve 13 months in jail, where he could leave during the day as he pleased.
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Recalling her chilling encounter with Epstein during her time as editor of US news outlet The Daily Beast, Ms Brown said: "He came and sat in my office and threatened me. It was so creepy.
"He was sat there with these lizard like eyes, dead cold, like a kind of mafia boss really.
"And he looked at me and said 'just stop'. And I have this image I remember, of him frozen in the doorway and I said to him, I had met him once at the Clinton conference just briefly, and I said to him 'Jeffery if you have a problem with something we are going to run, I suggest your lawyer talks to our lawyer'.
"And he said ‘just stop’ and then there was this sort of pause and he got up and he walked out of my office and down into the elevator and I was kind of stuck."
After the bizarre threat was made Tina expected a "blizzard of legal outreach" but was left surprised when no legal challenges came and instead Epstein began a "PR offensive" highlighting all his philanthropy work.
She continued: "This was pre-MeToo. And I think he gambled rightly, that there wouldn’t be that much interest in him, who although was a big financial wheeler dealer, wasn’t well known."
Andrew then pressed the Royal expert on the predator's highly scrutinised friendship with the Queen's second son, asking: "Can you shed any light on how Andrew became so friendly with Epstein?"
Ms Brown replied: "He was a very sinister figure but he was a very seductive figure and Andrew always surrounded himself with terrible people all of his life.
"He’s got the worst judgement about people because he only mixes with people who want something from him as royal gravitas, which is likely to mean they are basically themselves dubious.
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"And that’s of course how he got sucked into the Epstein web through his friend Ghislaine Maxwell.
"He has no judgement Andrew. He is in a way naïve. You know Epstein made Andrew feel important. He made him feel part of the big time.
"He really suckered Andrew in, and Andrew really thought he was his friend and that was really what was in a sense pathetic actually."
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls in December 2021.
A statement from the US attorney's office said at the time: "A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable - facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children.
"Crimes that she committed with her long-time partner and co-conspirator, Jeffrey Epstein."
She had known the Duke of York since her days at university and introduced Andrew to her former partner, Epstein.
In a Newsnight interview, Andrew admitted he organised a shooting weekend for Maxwell at the Queen's Sandringham Estate.
In 2000, he was pictured in Thailand attending a "hooker and pimps" party with Maxwell.
Epstein killed himself in a federal detention centre in New York in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.