Considering why Ron Burkle now supposedly "detests" former dinner companion and alleged sex perv Jeffrey Epstein, the most obvious explanation was that Burkle passed judgment on Epstein's bedroom proclivities. However, the real reason for their split may go back to two particular forces responsible for so much anxiety in this town — Bill Clinton and Radar magazine. In hindsight, it was all too obvious, really.
First, it appears that Epstein might have been horning in on Burkle's most precious personnel acquisition, that perpetual charm machine known as William Jefferson Clinton. In the Burkle-fluffing Forbes article mentioned earlier, Burkle makes no secret how much he loves the access and visibility that Consultant Clinton grants his business ventures. (Clinton is said to sotto voce find this annoying, as it makes his post-Presidential lifestyle seem less about earnest causes and more about herding dollahs.) In any case, Epstein also recognized Clinton's asset value, taking the ex-prez for rides on his jet (like Burkle did and does) and organizing a dinner in Clinton's honor at Epstein's East Side townhouse. Burkle probably didn't appreciate all these overtures, even if Clinton maintained there was plenty Bill to go around.
One of the other guests at that same dinner party was Radar 2.0 funder Mort Zuckerman. Back when Zuckerman and Epstein were both working that incarnation of Radar, Epstein was notoriously (and understandably, given his bedroom proclivities) secretive and hard to reach; supposedly, no one, not even Radar editor Maer Roshan, had his direct number. That didn't stop numerous public figures who received unflattering Radar coverage from calling Zuckerman and (eventually, through an assistant) Epstein, complaining to no avail. One of these complainants was Ron Burkle, and who should he have call Epstein on his behalf but none other than Bill Clinton. These frictions couldn't have endeared Epstein to Burkle, given the latter's notorious dislike of bad publicity.
After news of his alleged sexual misconduct broke, Epstein lost every friend he ever had, in a hurry. Rumor has it that Zuckerman might have been one of the few who had an early inkling, which may have contributed to his pulling the plug on Radar 2.0 as a way to completely disassociate himself from Epstein. For Burkle's part, whatever his feelings about Epstein then and now, he apparently doesn't feel the same about Radar — his involvement with the 3.0 iteration is an open secret. Will Burkle protect his pals from Radar coverage? Too early to tell. We'll see if he's inclined to call off the dogs now that he's the one holding the leash.