Apollo Global Management co-founder and CEO Leon Black spoke out about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, whose professional services he said he used for roughly half a decade, according to a Thursday report.
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Black said during a Thursday morning third-quarter earnings call he enlisted the help of the disgraced financier’s services from 2012 to 2017, coughing up millions each year to benefit Black’s family’s business and philanthropic endeavors, Seeking Alpha reported. He reportedly said he met Epstein in the mid-'90s, while the convicted sex offender was working with other big names.
Epstein did not work for Apollo during the pair’s five-year professional relationship, he said.
Black, who Forbes estimated to be worth $7.4 billion as of Thursday, said he first learned about the allegations against Epstein in 2006, but “decided to give Epstein a second chance” --- only to find out in 2018 there were newer allegations against him, according to the report.
“This was a terrible mistake,” Black said.
Epstein, 66, was a hedge fund manager who hobnobbed with the rich, famous, and influential, including presidents and a British prince.
He died in August 2019 after he was found unresponsive in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, N.Y., prison officials said at the time. The New York City Medical Examiner determined he committed suicide by hanging, but his death and the circumstances are still subject to investigation.
At the time of his death, Epstein was awaiting trial on federal charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy after investigative reporting by The Miami Herald stirred outrage over the 2008 plea bargain. They accused him of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.
Under a 2008 non-prosecution agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor and another similar prostitution charge. That allowed him to avoid federal prosecution and a possible life sentence, adnd instead serving 13 months in a work-release program. He was required to make payments to victims and register as a sex offender.
Epstein's longtime associated, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested in July
The Associated Press contributed to this report.