Cardi B. Responds To Tekashi 6ix9ine’s Mention Of Her Alleged Gang Affiliation

Cardi B.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

According to reports, in a since deleted tweet, Cardi B. responded to a fan that inquired about whether or not Tekashi 6ix9ine’s mention of her was true.

Over the week, Brooklyn artist Tekashi 6ix9ine testified three days in a row dishing out information about the Nine Trey Blood gang, and other Hip Hop artists who are allegedly a part of the same movement.

Throughout his testimonies, 6ix9ine made mention of Casanova, Jim Jones, and Cardi B. and it looks like Cardi B. is refuting those rumors.

In response to the fan’s question on Twitter, Cardi stated: “You just said it yourself… Brim not 9 Treys. I never been 9 Trey or associated with them,”

Keep in mind Cardi B. also took to Instagram with the infamous KeKe Palmer meme that goes on to say: ‘I don’t know who that man is.’

Patriots cut Antonio Brown after latest allegations

After the latest allegations against Antonio Brown – he contacted a woman who made an anonymous allegation of sexual impropriety against him in a Sports Illustrated story – the New England Patriots have released him.

Brown effectively broke the news himself on Twitter, writing, “Thanks for the opportunity @Patriots #GoWinIt”.

A couple of minutes later, NFL Network confirmed the move.

The Patriots released a brief statement:

“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”

Earlier Friday when he met with media, Patriots coach and de facto general manager Bill Belichick walked off the podium after around three minutes when he was peppered with only questions about Brown.

Slideshow preview image

In his one game with New England, last Sunday in Miami, he recorded four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.

NBC Sports Boston reported on Friday morning that the there was a Monday deadline for the Patriots to pay Brown the final $5 million of his $9 million signing bonus.

On Thursday night, Sports Illustrated reporter Robert Klemko posted a story that he’d been contacted by an attorney for the artist who alleges that Brown made sexual advances toward her in 2017, including approaching her fully naked and with only a small towel covering his penis as she painted a mural in his Pittsburgh-area home.

In group text messages that include the woman, some Brown associates and his lawyer, Darren Heitner, Brown posts pictures of the woman’s children and her Instagram account, telling the lackeys, “let’s look up her background history see how broke this girl is.”

The woman has not sought money from Brown, and in a letter to the NFL, her attorney Lisa J. Banks said she has no intention of seeking money from Brown for his sexual misconduct.

The lawyer wrote to the league on her client’s behalf hoping to put an end to the text messages, “which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her.”

The NFL responded to Banks’ letter within an hour of receiving it, arranging for a call between league investigators and the artist’s attorney.

Brown had become acquainted with the woman because she painted a portrait of him that was part of a charity auction; Brown, who agreed to take part in the auction and softball game benefitting National Youth Foundation, a Pennsylvania-based group, had topped the winning bidder in order to get the portrait of himself.

Then with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown approached the woman about painting a mural in his home; they agreed on a fee of $1,000 a day, and Brown sent a bus to New York City to bring her and some of his associates to Pittsburgh.

The woman said Brown began flirting with her on the first day she was there, but on the second day she turned around to find Brown standing behind her, naked save for the small hand towel.

Brown did pay her for two days’ work but then “ghosted” her, ceasing further contact.

The National Youth Foundation said Brown has not paid the $700 he bid for the portrait of him at the auction two years ago.

On September 10, a woman who had worked with Brown as a personal trainer filed a lawsuit against him in federal court, alleging that he forcibly raped her after two other incidents of sexual assault. The trainer stopped working with Brown after the first two incidents of assault, but after several months he apologized and asked to work with her again; it was after that point he allegedly raped her.



Michael Jordan is pledging $1 MILLION to hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas — saying he’s “devastated” after seeing the destruction the storm has caused.

“I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently,” MJ said.

“My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones.”

Jordan, through his rep, Estee Portnoy, adds … “As the recovery and relief efforts continue, I will be tracking the situation closely and working to identify non-profit agencies where the funds will have the most impact.”

“The Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm.”

So far, officials say at least 50 people are confirmed dead — but THOUSANDS of people are still unaccounted for.

Tons of stars are opening their wallets to help out … from Tyler Perry to Luke WaltonBuddy HieldLudacris and more.

Kevin Hart Reportedly Suffered Multiple Spinal Fractures in Car Accident

Illustration for article titled Kevin Hart Reportedly Suffered Multiple Spinal Fractures in Car Accident
Photo: James Gourley (Getty Images)

The details surrounding Kevin Hart’s car accident this weekend have slowly begun to trickle out, and now we’re learning the extent of his injuries.

TMZ reports that the Night School star suffered multiple spinal fractures that will require extensive rehabilitation:

Sources with direct knowledge tell us Kevin’s Sunday night surgery involved fusing the fractures … 2 of them in the thoracic section of his spine, and 1 in the lumbar. Although the procedure was a success, Kevin is still going through hell. We’re told he has to be heavily medicated because the pain is just that intense.

Symptoms for these types of fractures range from tingling to paralysis, and according to TMZ, often result in difficulties walking—which hopefully won’t affect his physical style of comedy. Hart is expected to make a full recovery, but the road ahead could be challenging.

“Kevin’s gonna have to rebuild his life somewhat. It may be a little different for Kevin from here on out,” Terry Crews told Us Weekly. “One thing I do know is that very few people would survive an accident that horrific. The fact that he survived […] I was just like, ‘Oh, my God.’ Amazing.”

On Monday, Hart’s wife Eniko Parrish provided an update on his status.

“He’s good, everybody’s good. Thank God,” Parrish told TMZ. “He’s fine, he’s awake.”

Hart is expected to be discharged from the hospital later this week.

Raiders reportedly planning to suspend Antonio Brown after incident between WR and GM Mike Mayock

The Raiders are already sick of Brown, who they invested heavily in this offseason

The Oakland Raiders probably regret their investment into Antonio Brown already, given that the team is planning to suspend the star wide receiver before the season even begins after he got into some kind of incident/altercation/heated argument with GM Mike Mayock, according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN. 

Per Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Brown had to be “held back by a couple of teammates” when confronting Mayock. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the incident did not get physical, however Brown did say he would punch Mayock — his boss! — in the face and then punted a ball, Nick Nolte “Blue Chips” style and told Mayock to fine him for that. You can’t even make this stuff up.

More on #Raiders WR Antonio Brown and Mike Mayock yesterday: It did not get physical, sources say. But after a screaming match, Brown told Mayock that he would hit him in the face and then punted the ball… and said, Fine me for that. 19.7K1:24 PM – Sep 5, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy7,925 people are talking about this

In all seriousness, it’s hard to see a path where he returns to the Raiders any time soon.  

Brown was recently fined by the Raiders for missing practice and the team included in the letter to Brown that he was running up against a situation where he could behave in a manner that would qualify as “conduct detrimental to the team.” 

As I noted on Twitter at the time (and was in the process of writing when this news broke, naturally), the language in that letter could absolutely be a set up to suspend Brown for up to four games and to void the guarantees in his contract. 

Read it: Mayock is telling Brown that future behavior could create a situation in which the Raiders use language in their team policy and in the collective bargaining agreement to take action against Brown. 

Antonio Brown posts his displeasure with fines from #Raiders

View image on Twitter

8,59910:25 AM – Sep 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy5,186 people are talking about this

The CBA specifically allows the Raiders to suspend him for four games and to fine him four game checks as a result of conduct detrimental to the team. 

Mayock didn’t really elaborate on the situation, other than to say Brown will not be practicing Thursday.

Jimmy Durkin@Jimmy_Durkin

Well, this is your AB non-update.

Embedded video

1452:19 PM – Sep 5, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy64 people are talking about this

Suffice to say that Brown has met the minimum threshold for any such suspension. Take away the fact he froze his feet so badly in a cryotherapy chamber that his start to the season was in jeopardy — he has skipped multiple practices, reportedly gone AWOL from the Raiders, created a huge distraction with multiple grievances about his helmet and most recently posted a fine letter from his GM on social media.

He then decided to get in an argument WITH HIS GM over said fine letter and the posting on social media. It’s a perfect storm of disaster and it makes guys like Terrell Owens look calm by comparison.

The other thing that could happen, that the Raiders like here? They can void the guarantees in his contract by suspending him for conduct detrimental, based on language in his contract. That would mean a loss of up to $29 million in guarantees and the Raiders potentially going after his signing bonus.

More importantly? It would set up the Raiders to potentially release Brown and not take the salary cap hit. 

Vin Diesel Shares Touching Photo With Paul Walker’s Brother on ‘Fast 9’ Set

Vin Diesel wearing a suit and tie

© Samir Hussein/WireImage

The set of Fast & Furious 9 got a very special visit over the weekend.

On Saturday, Vin Diesel, the franchise’s star and producer, posted a black-and-white photo of him and Cody Walker, the brother of the late Paul Walker, with their backs turned and walking around the production.

“There is something special that happens every time Cody comes to visit production…. Always making Pablo proud! All love, always,” he captioned the image, adding the hashtags “#Fast92020, #Fatherhood and #FastFamily.” Cody commented on the photo, “Be good,” along with the hang loose emoji.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on Aug 24, 2019 at 10:23am PDT

Before Paul died in a car accident in November 2013, he starred alongside Diesel in the franchise. In fact, production on Furious 7 hadn’t wrapped at that point and Cody was enlisted to stand in for his brother so that the film could be completed.

Earlier this month, Paul’s 20-year-old daughter, Meadow, shared a rare tribute to her late father. She posted a photo of the leading man swimming in the ocean with a wild pig.

“Thinking of you xx,” she captioned the sweet snap, which caught the attention of Paul’s Fast and Furious co-star, Jordana Brewster, who wrote, “I love this picture.”

Tyrese Gibson also commented, “Animal and Ocean lover!!! Never seen this pic! So cool!.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on Aug 17, 2019 at 9:59am PDT

Last month, Diesel shared some new details on the upcoming sequel, including the return of some acclaimed actors to the franchise.

“Week three. Fast 9. Here on set. We’ve got a lot of the original cast here, including Oscar winners like Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren,” the 52-year-old told the camera in a video. “Uh…a few new surprises, including John Cena, who I believe is going to completely shine in this movie.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on Jul 8, 2019 at 5:09am PDT

As fans will remember, Theron played Cipher, a cyberterrorist who managed to break up the team in The Fate of the Furious. As for Mirren, she also briefly appeared in the most recent sequel as Deckard and Owen Shaw’s (Jason Statham and Luke Evans) mother, Magdalene Shaw. She reprised the character in the spinoff Hobbs & Shaw this summer.

The film’s cast will also include franchise regulars like Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Nathalie Emmanuel.

Fast & Furious 9 arrives in theaters on May 20, 2020.

Why Missy Elliott Is Still Processing Her MTV VMA Triumph

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty ImagesMissy Elliott poses in the press room with ‘The Video Vanguard Award’ during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Aug. 26, 2019. 

The day after torching the MTV Video Music Awards with her fierce performance and equally passionate speech after receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, Missy Elliott is still trying to process the moment.

“I was taken straight from the stage to the dressing room and told I had to change for my after party,” recalls Elliott with a laugh. “By the time the party was over, I’d ordered food that I never ate. I had to sleep because I had to get up and start doing press. But I’ve gotten a lot of calls from my peers so it’s starting to sink in—especially hearing from Janet [Jackson].”

Describing her new Iconology EP as an “appetizer” for more projects coming down the road, Elliott chats further about reuniting with dancer Alyson Stoner some 17 years after “Work It,” casting Teyana Taylor as the “hood fairy godmother” in “Throw It Back” and why videos “will always be a big deal” for her.

“Work It” dancer Alyson Stoner was a big surprise. Have you two stayed in touch all this time?

No, we hadn’t. I knew we had seven minutes and maybe 15 seconds and I was like, “How am I going to fit in all of these records?” I knew I wanted to do outfit changes so I thought I probably wouldn’t be able to fit in “Work It.” But it’s been 17 years since we’ve done “Work It” and people always ask what happened to the little white girl that was in the video? So I told my choreographer, “I need you to find Alyson.” When we got in touch with her, I said, “I can’t do this performance without you being in it.” When Alyson got into rehearsal, my choreographer said, “Alyson, just go for it. Just do you.” We were all in amazement. She’s still sauced out, still has the swag.

Your “Throw it Back” video also reunites you with Teyana Taylor in a cameo role. Are you two cooking up something more?

I’ve known Teyana from way back when she and Pharrell were featured with me on [the 2009 track] “Put It on Ya.” So we’d been saying for a minute that we were going to work together again. I just admire Teyana’s creativity, and she most definitely appreciates that ‘90s music. With “Throw It Back,” I was like, “Yo, it would be crazy and cool to have her as like a hood fairy godmother.” Teyana was so kind to come to the set and stay for as long as she needed to … I love her. As for the two of us doing something else? Most definitely, yes.

What was the inspiration for another Iconology standout, “Why I Still Love You”?

My father was really heavy into R&B and my mother was heavy into gospel. In the house on Sundays, they’d have both turned up loud … it was like the best of both worlds. I’d listen to R&B for the content. Then as far as the harmonies and how to construct them, that came from the gospel side. James Brown and Little Richard give me that same kind of R&B and gospel influence. With “Why,” I was just playing around with a ratchet song when I decided I wanted to put some harmonies on it and make it like a quartet song. I recorded it with no music. Then I went to Miami to ask Timbaland to put some music underneath it.

So is the EP the appetizer for a full-length album coming soon? 

It most definitely is an appetizer but I won’t give you any dates for an album. I will tell you that there are a couple of things coming out before the end of the year. And a tour is definitely on the agenda.

Now versus 20 years ago, how important are videos in promoting music?

It’s different now. I remember when people would say, “Hey, I ain’t going to work today because I want to make sure I see this new video.” It was an event. Now people are like, “Oh, I’ll catch that later on YouTube.” But for me, visuals are the puzzle to my lyrics. Whenever I do my lyrics, I always think of what I could do visually. That’s only because I come from a place of just watching videos and being intrigued. I might not like a song and then I’ll see the video and like the song. Or it could be vice-versa: I like a song, see the video and I don’t like it. But I always like to see them together because that matters to me. I don’t know if videos are big deal, a make or break for the new generation of kids. But they will always be a big deal for me.

Is there a video from your catalog that you’d like to re-make with a millennial spin?

My favorite video in my catalog is “She’s A Bitch” because when you look at it, you can sense that we were ahead of our time. Even when I look at it to this day—knowing that it came out over a decade and a half ago—it’s like, “Yo, what were we thinking?” I think about Hype [director Williams] saying, “Hey, I want you to have a bald head.” I’m laughing and he’s like, “No, I’m for real.” Then I’m like, “OK, let’s do it.” It’s so crazy how you get older and you start overthinking. But when you’re younger, it’s simply let’s do it. That’s my favorite video because it most definitely was next-level. People hadn’t seen anything like it in hip-hop. It had the millennial spin on it before the millennial [generation] happened.

Drake Slapped with a Massive Copyright Infringement Lawsuit — For Stealing a Beat


Producer Samuel Nicholas III — aka Sam Scully — filed a federal lawsuit in Louisiana against superstar rapper Drake this week.

Drake, alongside various collaborators and several record labels, is accused of copyright infringement for sampling one of Nicholas’ beats that was allegedly used in two songs.

The two songs in question were hit singles for Drake in 2018: “Nice For What” and “In My Feelings,” both of which were released off his Scorpion album from the same year. Nicholas, who lives in New Orleans and goes by the stage name Sam Skully, insists that Drake, in both songs, lifted a beat from a song he made in 2000 called “Roll Call.”

Nicholas says that he learned of the alleged use of his beat when he watched an interview of producer Adam Pigott recorded in July of last year.  According to Nicolas, Pigott, who is also known as  BlaqNMilD, admitted to using a beat that he has called “That Beat” when creating the Drake songs, and Nicholas says that he recognized it as his.

Nicholas further says that “That Beat” is not an interpretation of the beat in “Roll Call” or even a new performance of it. He believes that “That Beat” is a direct copy of the beat in his song, and he states that neither Drake nor Pigott asked him for permission to use it, nor did they provide any compensation for its use.

The lawsuit Nicholas filed against Drake is asking the court to impose an injunction on the two songs.

He also wants the court to invalidate the copyrights of the songs, and he wants not only profits from the songs but to receive damages for the alleged infringement.

In addition to Drake and Pigott, the lawsuit names Freddie Ross, who is a collaborate of Pigott and is also known as Big Freedia, as well as the following record labels: Cash Money Records Inc., Republic Records (a subsidiary of Universal Music Group) and Young Money Entertainment LLC.  The complaint has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

So far, none of the parties in the suit, including the plaintiff, have issued comments about the suit.  You can find the full complaint here.

Police killings are the sixth leading cause of death among young men, study shows

“Policing plays a key role in maintaining structural inequalities between people of color and white people in the United States,” lead researcher Frank Edwards said.

Image: Protesters march and rally on the fifth anniversary of the death of Eric Garner in New York

Members of Black Lives Matter protest on the fifth anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, a day after federal prosecutors announced their decision not to prosecute NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo or other officers on charges related to his death, in New York on July 17, 2019.Michael A. McCoy / ReutersAug. 13, 2019, 11:25 AM EDTBy Gwen Aviles

Young American men are at a high risk of being killed by a police officer, according to a recent study.

Police killings — which can include shootings, choking and other uses of force — are the sixth-leading cause of death among men of all races ages 25-29, according to the study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

Accidental death, a category that includes drug overdoses and car accidents, was the biggest cause at 76.6 deaths per 100,000, followed by suicide (26.7), other homicides (22.0), heart disease (7.0), and cancer (6.3).

The risk of being killed by the police is more pronounced for black men, who are 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by police, while black women are 1.4 times more likely than white women to be killed by police.

According to Frank Edwards, lead researcher of the study and an assistant professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, the numbers “may be an undercount.”

While the killings of Michael Brown, 18, Charleena Lyles, 30, and other black men and women at the hands of law enforcement have brought national attention to the role race plays in police violence against Americans, researchers lack basic estimates of the prevalence of police-involved deaths, in large part because of an absence of official and authoritative data.

Edwards told NBC News that the federal government “never collected adequate data” speaking to racial, gender-based and age disparities among victims of police violence and that researchers cannot rely on police departments to self-report such cases.

“Police departments have very little incentive to record the number of deaths, nor are they mandated to do so,” Edwards said.

In conducting this research, Edwards and his team instead relied on data from Fatal Encounters, a journalist-led effort that uses news reports, public records requests and crowdsourced information to document police-induced fatalities.

Edwards said that he hopes the study shows the need for a “multi-pronged approach” to collecting data that doesn’t require exclusively relying on media reports. He also hopes the numbers will lead to others understanding police-involved deaths and police brutality as public health issues.

“There’s clear evidence that shows the harmful and distinct ways police violence expands inequality,” Edwards said, citing other research that shows “stop and frisk” and aggressive policing can affect both mental and physical health. “Policing plays a key role in maintaining structural inequalities between people of color and white people in the United States.”

The Day Jeffrey Epstein Told Me He Had Dirt on Powerful People Image

Jeffrey Epstein’s home on East 71st Street.
Jeffrey Epstein’s home on East 71st Street.CreditCreditKirsten Luce for The New York Times

Almost exactly a year ago, on Aug. 16, 2018, I visited Jeffrey Epstein at his cavernous Manhattan mansion.

The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it. He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.

So one of my first thoughts on hearing of Mr. Epstein’s suicide was that many prominent men and at least a few women must be breathing sighs of relief that whatever Mr. Epstein knew, he has taken it with him.

During our conversation, Mr. Epstein made no secret of his own scandalous past — he’d pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting prostitution from underage girls and was a registered sex offender — and acknowledged to me that he was a pariah in polite society. At the same time, he seemed unapologetic. His very notoriety, he said, was what made so many people willing to confide in him. Everyone, he suggested, has secrets and, he added, compared with his own, they seemed innocuous. People confided in him without feeling awkward or embarrassed, he claimed.

I’d never met Mr. Epstein before. I had contacted him because my colleagues and I had heard a rumor that he was advising Tesla’s embattled chief executive, Elon Musk, who was in trouble after announcing on Twitter that he had lined up the funding to take Tesla private.

The Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation into Mr. Musk’s remarks, which moved markets but didn’t appear to have much basis in fact. There were calls for Mr. Musk to relinquish his position as Tesla’s chairman and for Tesla to recruit more independent directors. I’d heard that Mr. Epstein was compiling a list of candidates at Mr. Musk’s behest — and that Mr. Epstein had an email from Mr. Musk authorizing the search for a new chairman.

Mr. Musk and Tesla vehemently deny this. “It is incorrect to say that Epstein ever advised Elon on anything,” a spokeswoman for Mr. Musk, Keely Sulprizio, said Monday.

When I contacted Mr. Epstein, he readily agreed to an interview. The caveat was that the conversation would be “on background,” which meant I could use the information as long as I didn’t attribute it directly to him. (I consider that condition to have lapsed with his death.)

He insisted that I meet him at his house, which I’d seen referred to as the largest single-family home in Manhattan. This seems plausible: I initially walked past the building, on East 71st Street, because it looked more like an embassy or museum than a private home. Next to the imposing double doors was a polished brass plaque with the initials “J.E.” and a bell. After I rang, the door was opened by a young woman, her blond hair pulled back in a chignon, who greeted me with what sounded like an Eastern European accent.

I can’t say how old she was, but my guess would be late teens or perhaps 20. Given Mr. Epstein’s past, this struck me as far too close to the line. Why would Mr. Epstein want a reporter’s first impression to be that of a young woman opening his door?

The woman led me up a monumental staircase to a room on the second floor overlooking the Frick museum across the street. It was quiet, the lighting dim, and the air-conditioning was set very low. After a few minutes, Mr. Epstein bounded in, dressed casually in jeans and a polo shirt, shook my hand and said he was a big fan of my work. He had a big smile and warm manner. He was trim and energetic, perhaps from all the yoga he said he was practicing. He was undeniably charismatic.

Before we left the room he took me to a wall covered with framed photographs. He pointed to a full-length shot of a man in traditional Arab dress. “That’s M.B.S.,” he said, referring to Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. The crown prince had visited him many times, and they spoke often, Mr. Epstein said.

He led me to a large room at the rear of the house. There was an expansive table with about 20 chairs. Mr. Epstein took a seat at the head, and I sat to his left. He had a computer, a small blackboard and a phone to his right. He said he was doing some foreign-currency trading.

Behind him was a table covered with more photographs. I noticed one of Mr. Epstein with former President Bill Clinton, and another of him with the director Woody Allen. Displaying photos of celebrities who had been caught up in sex scandals of their own also struck me as odd.

Mr. Epstein avoided specifics about his work for Tesla. He told me that he had good reason to be cryptic: Once it became public that he was advising the company, he’d have to stop doing so, because he was “radioactive.” He predicted that everyone at Tesla would deny talking to him or being his friend.

He said this was something he’d become used to, even though it didn’t stop people from visiting him, coming to his dinner parties or asking him for money. (That was why, Mr. Epstein told me without any trace of irony, he was considering becoming a minister so that his acquaintances would be confident that their conversations would be kept confidential.)

If he was reticent about Tesla, he was more at ease discussing his interest in young women. He said that criminalizing sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and that at times in history it was perfectly acceptable. He pointed out that homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world.

Mr. Epstein then meandered into a discussion of other prominent names in technology circles. He said people in Silicon Valley had a reputation for being geeky workaholics, but that was far from the truth: They were hedonistic and regular users of recreational drugs. He said he’d witnessed prominent tech figures taking drugs and arranging for sex (Mr. Epstein stressed that he never drank or used drugs of any kind).

I kept trying to steer the conversation back to Tesla, but Mr. Epstein remained evasive. He said he’d spoken to the Saudis about possibly investing in Tesla, but he wouldn’t provide any specifics or names. When I pressed him on the purported email from Mr. Musk, he said the email wasn’t from Mr. Musk himself, but from someone very close to him. He wouldn’t say who that person was. I asked him if that person would talk to me, and he said he’d ask. He later said the person declined; I doubt he asked.

When I later reflected on our interview, I was struck by how little information Mr. Epstein had actually provided. While I can’t say anything he said was an explicit lie, much of what he said was vague or speculative and couldn’t be proved or disproved. He did have at least some ties to Mr. Musk — a widely circulated photoshows Mr. Musk with Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s confidante and former companion, at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars party.

“Ghislaine simply inserted herself behind him in a photo he was posing for without his knowledge,” Ms. Sulprizio, the spokeswoman for Mr. Musk, said.

It seemed clear Mr. Epstein had embellished his role in the Tesla situation to enhance his own importance and gain attention — something that now seems to have been a pattern.

About a week after that interview, Mr. Epstein called and asked if I’d like to have dinner that Saturday with him and Woody Allen. I said I’d be out of town. A few weeks after that, he asked me to join him for dinner with the author Michael Wolff and Donald J. Trump’s former adviser, Steve Bannon. I declined. (I don’t know if these dinners actually happened. Mr. Bannon has said he didn’t attend. Mr. Wolff and a spokeswoman for Mr. Allen didn’t respond to requests for comment on Monday.)

Several months passed. Then early this year Mr. Epstein called to ask if I’d be interested in writing his biography. He sounded almost plaintive. I sensed that what he really wanted was companionship. As his biographer, I’d have no choice but to spend hours listening to his saga. Already leery of any further ties to him, I was relieved I could say that I was already busy with another book.

That was the last I heard from him. After his arrest and suicide, I’m left to wonder: What might he have told me?