The Epstein story is like a spy novel
Robert Ludlum's The Matarese Circle in particular
BY HENRY ABBOTT
I started looking into the NBA’s most important source of cash—Apollo Global—after it emerged Apollo’s founder Leon Black had funded Jeffrey Epstein. That journey has taken me to the craziest collection of places:
And, of course, women and children as sexual playthings.
It all sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel, right? That’s what I keep thinking. And that’s why I paid special attention to the weird fact that one of the characters in this series reportedly earned a nickname from a Robert Ludlum novel.
Every key person at the founding Apollo Global—including NBA billionaires who run the Hawks and 76ers right now—came from Michael Milken’s firm Drexel Burnham Lambert. There are two prominent books about Drexel: The Predator’s Ball, by Connie Bruck, and Den of Thieves, by James B. Stewart. Both mention employees calling Milken by the nickname “Shep,” inspired by the Robert Ludlum thriller The Matarese Circle.
In Den of Thieves, Stewart writes:
Huh. Well now this is interesting. The real Michael Milken’s company threw parties for powerful men, stocked with young women, known as the Predator’s Ball—and shook up the business world by pioneering new ways to take control of the biggest companies in the world. And the people who work most closely with him have nicknamed him after a fictional overlord who seizes control of conglomerates through his criminal Matarese group, who are masters of coercion through sex and violence?
Then in real life, Milken’s protege—Leon Black—emerges as a key funding source of Jeffery Epstein, who entertained presidents, executives, and princes.
I bought a used copy of the book.
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