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It was only a year ago, on July 6, 2019, that financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested at Teterboro Airport on charges of sex trafficking of minors, setting off a chain reaction of events. His Upper East Side Beaux Arts mansion, which Epstein had inherited from former L Brands CEO Les Wexner, was raided by the FBI, and his Caribbean island, which locals had dubbed “Pedophile Island,” was raided by local authorities. The rest of his vast real estate portfolio came to light, as did graphic details of the crimes he committed at these homes—and of his creepy decorating taste.
And though Epstein himself was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent suicide just a month after his arrest, the scandal hasn’t died with him. The list goes on. His close ties to powerful figures like Donald Trump and Prince Andrew continue to be scrutinized—the prince gave a television interview about it so disastrous he’s had to relinquish his palace duties. Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who had been MIA since his arrest, was finally found earlier this month hiding out in a New Hampshire compound—she was charged with six counts, from “conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts” to perjury, and will remain in jail until her July 2021 trial.
Among the many questions that remain: Will all this horror render his homes impossible to sell? We may soon find out. This week the Washington Post broke the news that two of Epstein’s homes—the Manhattan townhouse and a Palm Beach mansion he had purchased in 1990—are going on the market for a combined $110 million.
The New York City listing, located at 9 East 71st Street, is a stunning property if you consider its merits on the house alone. Built in 1930 and designed by Horace Trumbauer, who is also responsible for the Elms in Newport, the mansion is 50 feet wide (a rarity in this city), seven stories tall, and has 40 rooms, making it one of Manhattan’s largest private homes. The Frick Collection is across the street and Marie-Chantal of Greece is a neighbor. It’s now listed at $88 million, courtesy of the Modlin Group.
If it sells, it will be the largest townhouse sale in New York City history. But only time will tell if the home’s excellent provenance can supersede the bad vibes left behind by Epstein, who filled it with weird art (a life-size doll hanging from the ceiling; a mural of himself in a prison yard; a painting of Bill Clinton in a dress) and turned it into ground zero for his criminal activity.
The same is true for Epstein’s Palm Beach home, 358 El Brillo Way, which he bought in 1990 for $2.5 million. The 14,000-square-foot property, which has six bedrooms, a separate staff house with three bedrooms, and a pool house, now has the asking price of $22 million. This one was also the site of a raid back in 2008, which led to Epstein’s indictment on prostitution charges. Among the items authorities found in the house: framed nude photos, sex toys, soap shaped like genitalia, and massage tables.
Proceeds from the sale are expected to go to Epstein’s estate, which recently created a compensation fund for his victims. Along with these two properties, Epstein also owned a ranch in New Mexico, a pied-a-terre in Paris, and an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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