OPINION: Epstein's list of famous names reiterates a horrible truth.

Jeffrey Epstein knew everyone.

He invited celebrities and politicians to his private island and mansions; he offered them lifts in his private jet and he was invited to all the fancy parties attended by supermodels, actors, TV hosts and royalty.

He was the epitome of rich, powerful and connected. He was also a paedophile, accused of running a sex trafficking ring for as long as four decades before taking his own life in 2019 after being arrested on several charges.

While Epstein died before he was able to be tried, his associate Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty in 2021 of trafficking women and girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.

Watch Maxwell's sentence. Post continues.

Video via KTLA 5 News

Right now she's in the middle of a defamation trial, and as court proceedings play out thousands of pages of Epstein records and formally redacted documents are being released to the media. Everyone's obsessed with the sheer number of famous names (about 150 so far), being dropped within these files.

We already knew about Epstein's associations with people like Prince Andrew and Donald Trump. But everyone from Michael Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Clinton, Cate Blanchett, Bruce Willis and David Cooperfield are getting a mention. There's also chief executives of enormous companies, high-profile lawyers and Harvard professors.


It's important to point out that most of these people aren't being accused of doing anything wrong - they are merely referred to as people Epstein's accusers claim to have met, or have come into contact with either directly or indirectly, while with him. Sometimes they were merely name-dropped by Epstein, without there being any actual evidence of him having any contact with them.

But herein lies the problem. Amongst those 150 people, there definitely is a very large chunk who were regularly, or semi-regularly in contact with the financier. What it does reveal is how enormous and influential his social circle actually was. It also raises the question; who saw or heard something potentially criminal while in his presence and chose to ignore, turn a blind eye or deny?

The question here isn't about criminality, it's about moral conduct.

According to Epstein survivor Virginia Guiffre's evidence within these newly released files, former president Bill Clinton "walked into [Vanity Fair] and threatened them not to write sex trafficking articles about his good friend".

So it seems Clinton likely knew about the allegations against Epstein and instead of letting them be investigated further, he allegedly tried to shut them down.

Alongside many of the famous names in these documents is phrasing along the lines of "has knowledge of" or "may have knowledge" of sex trafficking conduct.

This kind of attitude is likely why Epstein and Maxwell could operate unopposed for as long as four decades: fame and wealth buys power.


We saw it with Harvey Weinstein. It took more than 100 women coming forward with allegations and 40-odd years for him to be arrested.

That's why the MeToo movement even exists; powerful men were getting away with sexual violence and it took a literal uprising for victims to be heard.

The truth of our world is that money buys silence. It always has.

Perhaps some of those 150 heard rumours or witnessed something dodgy but knew that trying to take on Epstein wasn't worth the risk of financial, social and reputation ruin.

I get that. I truly do. But the fact that more of those names didn't distance themselves from Epstein, even after he was convicted of being a sex offender in 2008 after pleading guilty to charges of soliciting a single underage victim in Florida, is appalling. 

They happily hopped on his jet. They happily shared a glass of champagne at a party. They happily socialised on his private island - proving that even a convicted pedophile can slot back into his life relatively unaffected if he's connected enough. 

The Epstein 'list' isn't shocking in the slightest. But it does reiterate a horrible, unfair truth - the 'elite' remain, largely, above the law. There's a separate set of rules for them, and us. 

Perhaps this unceremonial naming in the metaphorical public square will make some question their movements and morals. 

Is choosing to ignore or turn a blind eye worth it? As we're seeing more and more, the truth does eventually come out. 

Feature image: AAP.