Home » For Sale: Jeffrey Epstein’s Second ‘Black Book’ of the Rich and Famous

For Sale: Jeffrey Epstein’s Second ‘Black Book’ of the Rich and Famous

A second “black book” of contact names and numbers belonging to the well-connected dead sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is going up for auction in two weeks time. On May 15, the black book will be offered for private sale by sealed bids by Alexander Historical Auctions. A forensic document examiner’s report on its authenticity will be provided alongside it.

Asked how much he thought it may fetch, Bill Panagopulos, Alexander’s owner, told The Daily Beast, “There are no comparables for the sale of this kind of relic. But, based on my experience, if I’m pressed to offer a price I would think it would be $100,000 to $200,000, and up.”

Sealed bids will be accepted for a month. If there’s not an acceptable top bid, Panagopulos said, the Epstein book will be offered in an Alexander Historical’s auction on July 12. There will be an estimate, but no baseline bid.

In 2015, Gawker leaked the contents of the more infamous and first-known black book—whose boldface names and contact details included Donald Trump, Mick Jagger, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and members of the Kennedy family.

The older book, the one now going up for auction, has 220 new names, not listed in the first book, a 2021 Business Insider article reported. Insider called people listed in the book not previously associated with Epstein, like Suzanne Ircha (now Suzanne Johnson), Melania Trump’s best friend, who co-owns the New York Jets with husband Woody Johnson; Carl Icahn, special adviser to Donald Trump during his presidency; Cristina Greeven, wife of Chris Cuomo; Jill Harth, who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault; Marty Peretz, former mentor to Al Gore; and billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis.

Insider said none of their reporting had shown any connection between people listed in the address book and Epstein’s crimes.

Catsimatidis told Insider he met Epstein through a friend in real estate who’d once shared an office with the notorious money manager—and that Epstein once sent him a three-foot bottle of champagne after the businessman offered Epstein a ride to Florida on his plane. A representative for Icahn declined to comment. Chris Cuomo returned Insider’s request for comment from Greeven, declining to comment for the record, or to make Greeven available. Johnson declined to comment.

“I knew all the predators, but I didn’t know what they were like at the time,” Harth told Insider.

The Daily Beast reached out to around 20 people whose names are contained in the black book to ask how they felt about it going up for auction, and any privacy concerns they may have.

In a text message, Catsimatidis told The Daily Beast he was “not concerned” about a potential collector having his number and summed up his ties to Epstein thusly: “Only met him once.”

Asked for his reaction to the book going up for sale, Peretz told The Daily Beast, “I have no reaction.”

Ann Nitze, a private art dealer specializing in 19th- and 20th-century sculptures and paintings, met Epstein through the Santa Fe Institute, co-founded by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann. (The Institute received $275,000 from Epstein over the years.)

I wasn’t a serious friend… But he was very jolly and smart and I wouldn’t have predicted that he did what he did.

Ann Nitze

Nitze wasn’t surprised to be listed in the nearly 30-year-old black book. She told The Daily Beast that Epstein asked for help with building his art collection for a new apartment but never bought anything. “I may have had lunch with him once or twice,” Nitze said, “I wasn’t a serious friend… But he was very jolly and smart and I wouldn’t have predicted that he did what he did.”

What Epstein did—and got away with for decades before his jailhouse suicide—was groom and sexually abuse girls and young women at his mansions in New York, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and beyond. In 2005, around the time Epstein and staff used his other black book in his Palm Beach home, Florida cops were investigating him for trafficking minors. He ultimately got a slap on the wrist from the Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office, serving just 13 months in jail (mostly on work release) after pleading guilty to a state charge of soliciting a child for prostitution.

The feds charged Epstein in New York for child sex-trafficking in July 2019. He died in a Manhattan lockup one month later by suicide, according to authorities, though some people in his circle believe he did not kill himself. Asked whether she believed Epstein’s book would have value to collectors, Nitze answered, “No, because he doesn’t have any value,” but added that she didn’t “want to be mean to the people that are doing it.”

2024 presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his late ex-wife Mary are also named in the book. Kennedy’s campaign didn’t return messages, but the independent candidate has said he flew on Epstein’s plane, including for a “fossil hunting” trip; he stressed this was before anyone knew of the creepy financier’s crimes.

Jeffrey Epstein’s second ‘black book’ is going up for auction.

Alice Benjamin

Panagopulos told The Daily Beast he was not concerned about the potential loss of privacy of those listed.

“No,” he said firmly. “We are not going to publish any of the addresses or phone numbers. But what somebody does with the contents of the book if they buy it is their own business, And at their own risk.”

“They can probably publish it. It’s not copyright,” Panagopulos said. “But if somebody wants this thing to disappear, then they have a chance to buy it privately. I don’t care if they burn it, if they send it into space, if they freeze it in liquid nitrogen and break it into a thousand pieces with a hammer. I don’t care what they do with it!”

Insider commissioned Dennis Ryan, a forensic document examiner, to ensure that the black book wasn’t a cunning fake; he told Insider that the Gestetner imprint on the book’s VeloBind brand of binding strips was from 1995-2000, and would be difficult to fabricate.

Insider noted that the area codes listed for Donald Trump’s Palm Beach abode were listed as 407 in the older, early mid-90s black book, and 561 in the later, better-known book—in line with how the area code had changed in the two different eras the black books had been dated to.

The address book for sale is in a very similar format to its newer counterpart, which was snatched by Epstein’s late butler Alfredo Rodriguez in 2005 before he left Epstein’s employ. He later tried to sell it to victim’s lawyer Brad Edwards for $50,000, calling it the “Holy Grail” of all things Epstein and leading the FBI to arrest him for obstruction.

The book’s origin story paints a cinematic picture. According to Edwards’ memoir Relentless Pursuit, Rodriguez had obtained a roster of underage girls who’d visited Epstein’s home but failed to produce it to authorities.

Rodriguez claimed that Epstein’s accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell kept typed lists on her computer and that he’d printed them out before she fired him—lists that also contained all of the famous people in Epstein and Maxwell’s orbit. “It’s the golden ticket. Everything you will ever need,” the butler said.

Rodriguez, Edwards writes, kept his copy of the little black book for his own protection. “First, when I was fired, I thought they would kill me. This was my insurance policy,” Rodriguez allegedly told Edwards. “If I ever disappeared, my wife would know it was Ghislaine and Jeffrey.”

The butler was hesitant to hand over what he viewed as his property.

“I own it,” Rodriguez allegedly said to Edwards. “It has value. It would be like me having a Mercedes-Benz. Just because you asked for it by subpoena, you think that I should hand it over to you.”

“Nothing will be redacted”

How the earlier black book came to be up for auction in 2024 is almost as surprising as the existence of the book itself. Billy Leroy is a go-to guy in New York for handsome, unusual and sometimes historic collectibles. For many years he ran Billy’s Antiques and Props out of a green tent on Houston and the Bowery, relocating to a storefront on Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, in 2020, and he shares his savvy in Billy Buys Brooklyn, a show that streams on the Discovery channel.

So, when he learned from the Insider documentary about the existence of a second black book of contact names and numbers belonging to Epstein he went on high alert.

The book, which lists the addresses and phone numbers of Epstein’s social and business network, first surfaced in the outside world in the 1990s when it was spotted on the ground and picked up by Denise Ondayko, then a young woman walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City. Within it she saw newsworthy names so she hung on to it as a curiosity.

Years later though she took a closer look, sourced the black book to Epstein and in 2020 she put it up on eBay. Leroy learned from the documentary that it had been bought by a man named Chris Helali for $450.

Helali sent copies of the earlier black book to reporters, including one from the Daily Beast, to help unravel the Epstein mystery. In his 2021 email to one Daily Beast reporter, he wrote: “I hope this continues to shed light not only on Epstein but on his criminal network and the National Security state.”

Jeffrey Epstein's second 'black book' is going up for auction.

Jeffrey Epstein’s second ‘black book’ is going up for auction.

Alice Benjamin

As he prepares for its auction, Leroy said he was not troubled by the earlier address book’s unsavory origins. “I love crime collectibles,” he says. “Al Capone’s signature got $30,000. And Charles Manson’s arrest record fetched $8,500.”

Leroy located Helali with ease—he had run for the US Senate to represent Vermont—and reached out to him on his farm. Helali told him that he had tried to put the black book up at auction at both Sotheby’s and Christie’s. The response from Sotheby’s read in part: We do not believe this is something suitable for auction. I suggest you would have the best results contacting a major newspaper, and there was also a turn-down from Christie’s.

“I convinced him to put it at auction with Alexander Historical Auctions,” Leroy said, noting that he had often dealt with the Maryland-based auction house and that they specialized in such material. Napoleon’s hunting rifle sold there for $120,000—but Adolf Hitler’s reversible gold watch, which had been estimated to go for between $2 and $4 million, under-performed, fetching just $1,100,000.

Leroy duly met up with Helali at a diner in upstate New York and picked up the black book. “When I held it in my hands I really felt the evil energy,” he told The Daily Beast. “It sounds crazy but it’s got some heavy mojo.” The book is 4 by 5 inches, is in good condition and it’s a 92-pager. The names within are printed, except for the last page upon which the two entries are written in what Panagopulos, Alexander’s owner, describes as “a child-like hand, assumed to be that of Epstein.”

The pages as seen onscreen by Insider will now face the world with a significant add. The telephone numbers and addresses of the names had been redacted, meaning blacked out, in the documentary. “Obviously when we auction this nothing will be redacted,” Leroy said.

Some folk, of course, may not be looking forward to this. Panagopulos notes that Alexander’s will not be displaying images with the names and addresses, “but whoever buys the book gets it.”

He added that Alexander’s reserves the right to disclose the selling price, but will “absolutely not” disclose the identity of the buyer.


May 2024