- The interview was one of the rare times that the fiercely private Epstein's voice was recorded.
- In the recording, Epstein explains why he bought Little St. James in the first place, saying he can "think the thoughts I want to think" and "explore as I see fit."
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A former reporter has released recordings from a 2003 interview he had with Jeffrey Epstein , after the disgraced pedophile died over the weekend in a New York City jail while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
David Bank was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal in 2003 when he flew to Epstein's private Caribbean island Little St. James to talk with the financier ahead of his $6.5 million donation to Harvard.
While Bank never turned the interview into an article, on Wednesday, he turned his recordings over to Bloomberg , and they offer a rare insight into the usually private Epstein.
Epstein conducted the interview from outside his house because there were 'too many girls' inside
Bank told Bloomberg about one thing that wasn't on the tapes. When he asked Epstein why he wanted to conduct the interview in a gazebo outside, instead of inside the house, he said Epstein told him, "Too many girls."
But that seems to be the only reference to the underage girls that victims said Epstein surrounded himself with over the years.
The rest of the interview focused mainly on how he got into finance and his keys to success.
Read more: A look inside Jeffrey Epstein's real-estate portfolio, from the Florida and NYC mansions where sex trafficking reportedly took place to the private island in the Caribbean that was raided by the FBI
At one point in the interview, Epstein started talking about his private island and how it offered him solitude away from his job where he had to worry about clients.
"I can't be totally wacko in what I do. It affects lots of other people who will get angry with what I do because then it affects me again.
"But on my own island or on my own ranch, I can think the thoughts I want to think. I can do the work I want to do and I'm free to explore as I see fit," Epstein said.
In another revealing part of the interview, Epstein appeared to worry how his wealth might make him the target of false accusations.
"My concern is that people can make spurious allegations all the time," he said. "The idea is if nothing else he'll buy me off. I'll attack his reputation and he'll buy me off."
He added that this is the reason he's "always been private."
"As you become known as a philanthropist or in giving away money, then you become the perfect victim of frauds and identity theft," he said.
Read the full story from Bloomberg
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- The famous connections of Jeffrey Epstein, the elite wealth manager who died in jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges
- Trump defended spreading a conspiracy theory that the Clintons played a part in Jeffrey Epstein's death, which enraged FBI agents
- French child protection group calls on prosecutors to open investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's activities in France
- Prison guards watching Jeffrey Epstein reportedly fell asleep and failed to check on him for 3 hours the night he died then tried to cover up their mistake
- The Queen sat next to Prince Andrew as they drove to church on Sunday in a 'show of support' for her son amid the Epstein allegations
- Former federal prosecutors explain where the Epstein investigation goes now and dismiss 'far-fetched' conspiracy theories
- Jeffrey Epstein's private Caribbean island has reportedly become a tourist attraction after his sex trafficking charges and apparent suicide