A new book goes into detail about parties with "beautiful women" that were at the heart of Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein's "bromance".
An infamous sex trafficker — turned convicted paedophile — and the self-described billionaire who would one day be President of the United States. Beginning in the late 80s, theirs was a love story for the ages.
Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump shared an "epic bromance", an excerpt from American Kompromat by Craig Unger, published in Vanity Fair this week, has revealed.
The friendship was bound by a mutual appreciation of wealth and women and years of occupying adjacent real estate in Palm Beach and in the columns of Page Six.
"In those days, if you didn't know Trump and you didn't know Epstein, you were a nobody," Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz — who later served on Epstein's defence team in 2006 — told The New York Times in 2019.
Introduced through Epstein's then-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, the lives of the two men routinely intersected for decades in "a world of unimaginable decadence".
"Within the context of their highly transactional relationships, Trump's friendship with Epstein struck onlookers as a significant mutually beneficial connection," Unger writes.
"In the 90s, Trump needed friends. He had just gone belly-up in Atlantic City. In addition to helping Trump get back on his feet, Epstein seemed to be a latter-day Hugh Hefner — surrounded by gorgeous young women, bespoke private planes, and spectacular residences, all while Ghislaine Maxwell orchestrated a never-ending series of movable feats at which Epstein would entertain and play courtier to presidents, movie stars, brutal dictators, world-class scientists, Wall Street billionaires, and the like.
"And he'd have sex with two, three, or more young girls almost every day. Trump fit right in."
"Terrific guy," Trump famously told New York magazine of the disgraced financier back in the day.
"He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
The world has long been aware of how much the former president "likes beautiful women". As for Epstein — well.
A highly selective 1992 party held at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach saw no fewer than 28 highly attractive young women flown in to participate in a "calendar-girl" competition, the entertainment for — you guessed it — just two male guests.
"Donald, this is supposed to be a party with VIPs," George Houraney, the competition's organiser, told Trump, according to The Times.
"You're telling me it's you and Epstein? … I know Jeff really well, I can't have him going after younger girls."
Trump ignored the warning and ploughed ahead anyway.
Yet, asked under oath in a September 2016 deposition whether he ever socialised with Trump in the presence of girls under the age of 18, Epstein pleaded the Fifth.
Unger claims in his book that the two also frequently "shared" young women.
"Trump was often the centre of Maxwell's attention, and women who entered Trump's orbit sometimes ended up being associated with both Trump and Epstein, spending part of their time living in a Trump Tower condo and part in Florida, at Mar-a-Lago or one of Epstein's homes," he writes, adding that Trump "was very much part of Epstein's picture".
Trump became known for hosting parties in suites at the Plaza Hotel, where older rich men were introduced to young women and girls — some as young as 15 — who assumed "they'd get somewhere by joining the party".
One partygoer, a photographer, told the Daily Beast's Michael Gross that Trump would "go from room to room".
"It was guys with younger girls, sex, a lot of sex, a lot of cocaine, top-shelf liquor," they said.
So intertwined were the two men, Epstein claimed he even introduced Trump to his third wife — former US First Lady Melania — though neither of the Trumps ever mentioned his playing a role in their meeting.
Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. And then, in 2004, after a friendship of roughly 17 years, Trump and Epstein had a "serious falling-out" when, according to Unger, Epstein sought to buy a "spectacular oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach" only for Trump to steal the deal and claim it for himself.
"From then on, whenever Epstein's name was mentioned to Trump, the whole tenor of the conversation instantly changed," Unger writes.
Their relationship became so toxic that Epstein at one point told friends that he blamed Trump for his legal problems with the Palm Beach County police.
After Epstein's 2019 arrest for sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of girls and women at his mansion in Manhattan and elsewhere, including his Palm Beach estate — and subsequent suicide — Trump sought to distance himself from his former bestie.
Gone was the glowing praise and descriptions of Epstein as terrific. Trump insisted, after Epstein pleaded guilty to his charges, that he "knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him".
"I had a falling out with him. I haven't spoken to him in 15 years," the then-president told reporters.
"I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you."