Leon Black tells investors 'I deeply regret' involvement with Jeffrey Epstein
Wall Street tycoon and Apollo Global Management co-founder Leon Black expressed regret for his dealings with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in a letter to investors on Monday.Posted — Updated
The letter, provided to CNN Business by Apollo — a private equity firm, comes after a report from The New York Times revealed more details about the billionaire's relationship with Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 of two state prostitution charges and was found dead in his prison cell after being charged in federal court with child sex trafficking. Black may have paid up to $75 million to Epstein for consulting and other services, the Times reports, citing two unnamed sources with knowledge of the transactions.
The New York Times also reported that Epstein and Black "often socialized and dined together."
"None of the reporting in the recent New York Times article is inconsistent in any way with the information I shared with you over a year ago," Black stated in the letter to Apollo's limited partners. CNN has not obtained the 2019 information.
Black said in the letter that his relationship with Epstein spanned only professional services that included "estate planning, tax and philanthropic endeavors." He also wrote that he occasionally met with Epstein at Epstein's townhouse in New York to conduct business, as Epstein did not have a separate office. He also noted visiting Epstein's private island for a "picnic lunch." In the letter, Black said that members of his immediate family accompanied him.
"With the benefit of hindsight — and knowing everything that has come to light about Epstein's despicable conduct more than fifteen years ago — I deeply regret having had any involvement with him," Black stated in the letter.
"Mr. Black was completely unaware of, and continues to be appalled by, the reprehensible conduct that surfaced at the end of 2018 and led to the federal criminal charges brought against Mr. Epstein and deeply regrets having had any involvement with him," a spokesperson for Black said Monday. "Importantly, there has never been an allegation by anyone, including the New York Times, that Mr. Black engaged in any wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct."
The spokesperson also said Black "received personal trusts and estates planning advice as well as family office philanthropy and investment services from several financial and legal advisors, including Mr. Epstein, during a six-year period, between 2012 and 2017."
A spokesperson for Apollo said the firm "never did any business with Jeffrey Epstein at any point in time."
Black told investors he would "cooperate fully" with any investigative inquiries regarding Epstein before later expressing remorse for his relationship with the disgraced financier. Black and Epstein reportedly had a decades-long business relationship.
In August, US Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George filed subpoenas to serve Black and Apollo Global Management, demanding financial documents and communications for the company and several other entities tied to Black in the territory's civil case against Jeffrey Epstein's estate.
The Virgin Island Attorney General's lawsuit filed in January alleges 22 counts, including aggravated rape, child abuse and neglect, human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution.
Black is not a named party in the lawsuit.
"We understand that the U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General is seeking information from Mr. Black, several major banks and others as third-party witnesses in a civil probe of entities set up by Mr. Epstein in the U.S. Virgin Islands," a spokesperson for Black said Monday. "Mr. Black intends to cooperate fully with any such inquiry."
-- CNN's Lauren del Valle contributed to this report
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