James Patterson: Jeffrey Epstein Was "Watching" More Than "Participating," Like Gatsby


Author James Patterson talks to CNN's Brooke Baldwin about his 2016 book 'Filthy Rich: The Billionaire's Sex Scandal,' an investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and his life of sexual debauchery.

"Gatsby, I would say," Patterson said of Epstein's social life. "Lonely, smart. I think he was more of watching the party than a participant in the party. I think that he clearly is obsessed, I mean, to the point where it's a mental illness."

Patterson also talked about the history of Epstein's wealth and how "nobody" knows where it came from. However, the author said billionaire investor Leslie Wexner might know "some things" about where he made his money.

"Do you even know how he became so wealthy?" CNN host Baldwin asked.

"Nobody," the author responded. "When I did the book, we had three really tough-minded private detectives doing all sorts of investigation."

"Nobody could get anything," Patterson revealed. "I think if you're going to get anything about how he got his money, somebody's got to get to Leslie Wexner, who owned Limited and Victoria Secret, because I think he knows some things about where Jeffrey's money came from. I think he does."

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: James Patterson is the author of "Filthy Rich: A Powerful Billionaire, the Sex Scandal that Undid Him, and All the Justice that Money Can Buy."

James Patterson, wonderful to have you through. Thank you very much.


BALDWIN: You wrote the book on the man, so you are...


PATTERSON: Yes. Yes. So, we're celebrating. We're celebrating what's going on.

The reason I got into this is, some journalists and some detectives who had been involved in this case from the beginning had their hearts broken in 2006 and couldn't -- the upset that everybody's feeling now, these people have felt for 10 years.


PATTERSON: A friend of mine, Tim Malloy, John Connolly, who had done the investigative reporting for "Vanity Fair."

So the idea of this -- of something happening now, this book -- "Filthy Rich" came out in 2016, which was -- God bless "The Miami Herald."

BALDWIN: No kidding.

PATTERSON: But a lot of this or most of it was in the book.

BALDWIN: Was in the book.

PATTERSON: And we didn't get, unfortunately, the attention, or this could have all happened two years earlier.

Acosta, that was dealt with in the book. What we have in the book also is, they got the girls as 30-year-old women. We have the police interviews when they were teenagers, which are as devastating or maybe even more devastating.

But for me it's just -- thank God that this has happened.

BALDWIN: Who -- for people who are watching and trying to wrap their heads around these accusations, and can you just tell me about the social circle, the parties that these girls...

PATTERSON: I don't go to parties. I don't go to parties.


BALDWIN: You know about this man. I mean...


BALDWIN: Lift the veil.


Gatsby, I would say, lonely, smart. I think he was more of watching the party than a participant in the party.

I think that he clearly is obsessed, I mean, to the point where it's a mental illness, in terms of -- and the fact that it continued from 2000. And still, when they go to his mansion right now, they find all these pictures, presumably of underage girls.

So it's going on and on and on.

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