What's the Point of Being a Secret Media Mogul?

Pareene · 10/27/08 12:05PM

Ron Burkle, supermarket magnate and friend of Bill Clinton and sleeper-with of models, used to own a magazine, with his friend Yusef Jackson. The magazine was called Radar. Last Friday, Jackson and Burkle closed the magazine and sold its carcass to AMI. It's not really clear why Jackson and Burkle invested in Radar to begin with, except that they wanted to be media moguls, maybe? Then it turned out that being a media mogul doesn't mean publishing one sarcastic niche title, really. Burkle made his money with supermarkets. It is quite profitable, of course, to own all the supermarkets, because people need to eat. But, you know, it's not very glamorous! And Burkle enjoys flying around on his private jet with famous people, and globe trotting with politicians, and partying, and models. He likes models. One can enjoy this lifestyle with supermarket billions, but isn't it more fun to enjoy it with media holdings? So at some point he and Jackson decided to invest in Maer Roshan's crazy magazine about "pop and politics and pop culture and scandal and pop" or whatever the hell the tagline of Radar 3.0 was. And they gave him 15 issues to do with as he pleased, and he did eventually turn out a pretty good product. But the money wasn't there, because it was a new magazine, and there's not even money for old magazines anymore. And honestly it was probably not as exciting and fun to own a magazine as Burkle thought it would be! It's tough, because he also wanted to secretly own the magazine, and no one who secretly owns things gets the same pleasure Rupert Murdoch does from personally tearing up the Wall Street Journal and remaking it in his image. And Murdoch loves newspapers. There's really never been any evidence that Burkle loves magazines. Murdoch will take a loss for years on something like the New York Post. Burkle didn't give Roshan the five years he said it'd take to break even on Radar before he pulled the plug. Because if it's not subsidizing his lifestyle, it's not worth the cash. He's a capitalist, obviously, and Radar was not a charitable endeavor, but if we had his fortune we wouldn't mind wasting it on the talent Roshan brought together. Back to controlling distribution and sales of food! Unlike media, mac and cheese is recession-proof!

Jeffrey Epstein's Prison Store Receipt

Pareene · 10/02/08 02:31PM

Weird "billionaire" "financier" Jeffrey Epstein is in jail right now, for soliciting prostitution. The guy loved sexy massages from underaged girls, and so his jet-set lifestyle is now a bit less jet-setty. No more private planes and hanging out with Kevin Spacey. But prison's not so terrible! The Smoking Gun reports: "During his first three months in jail, the 55-year-old massage enthusiast has spent about $1250 on a wide variety of snacks (moon pies, BBQ chips, cheddar cheese squeezers) and skin care products (Lubriderm, hand lotion, and petroleum jelly)." Attached: one of his commissary receipts! Epstein seems to be buying a lot of extra things, presumably for use as barter. Because of the stock market, you know. And because of prison. [TSG]

More Prison Time For Epstein?

Ryan Tate · 07/21/08 04:34AM

"Three young women suing billionaire Jeffrey Epstein for sex abuse at his Palm Beach mansion want a federal judge to quash the plea deal he made with the state of Florida to serve 18 months in jail in exchange for admitting he solicited a 14-year-old hooker." [Post, Previously]

The Company Ron Burkle Keeps

Pareene · 07/01/08 10:34AM

Supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle's name keeps popping up in the oddest places, doesn't it? When conman Rafaello Follieri was finally busted last week, the suit filed against him by his former business partner Burkle kept coming up. Jeffrey Epstein-finally sentenced yesterday for sex with a minor-used to be "very friendly" with Ron. They compared notes on planes! In that Vanity Fair story that upset Bill Clinton so much, it was Burkle who had those unnamed staffers worried about the appearance of impropriety. Now-the oddest one yet?-King of Pop Michael Jackson announced in a court deposition that it was Ron Burkle, along with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who saved his life when he ran out of money. Burkle brought in the Reverend to help, and Burkle's also done quite a bit of business with the Reverend's son Yusef (they own Radar together!). What a cast of unlikely characters! Did this rogues' gallery of amoral power-junkies select Ron, or vice versa? Why does the ostensibly liberal do-gooder zillionaire associate with these guys?

Happy New Jeffrey Epstein Mugshot Day!

Pareene · 06/30/08 02:48PM

Looks like you won't see former Radar (v. 2.0) investor and theoretical billionaire Jeffrey Epstein at Peggy Siegal's next party. The financier who surely doesn't have much time to finance what with all the massages and alleged raping he's doing is behind bars in Florida. He pleaded guilty to hiring underaged girls for sex and he'll spend 18 months in a Palm Beach jail (followed by a year under house arrest). The plea deal means the federal investigation against Epstein will be dropped, but now he is officially a registered sex offender. So now he'll only be allowed to expose himself to women procured by his assistant who merely look 14. [TSG]

Who Keeps Inviting Jeffrey Epstein Out

Pareene · 05/13/08 03:18PM

Billionaire sex-perv Jeffrey Epstein enjoys sex with underage girls, that much we know. But before we all knew this, he was a very popular financier with many important and famous friends. He went to a lot of parties! He flew Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, and Chris Tucker to Africa for some reason! We can only imagine what the on-flight entertainment was. Now he's apparently getting ready to plea guilty to all sorts of things involving prostitution, and some ladies are suing him for making them his sex slaves when they were underage, so he doesn't quite go out on the town that much. Except sometimes he does! And, to answer our own question, it's because uber-publicist Peggy Siegal is still happy to stand by her 14-year-old raping friend Jeffrey.

Florida's First Epstein Sex Suit Filed!

Pareene · 01/24/08 02:55PM

The first civil suit against alleged former Radar investor and theoretical billionaire Jeffrey Epstein is underway! An anonymous 14-year-old girl is suing Epstein for $50 million for various terrible, terrible things. Epstein, you see, (allegedly!) enjoys the company of destitute young teenagers. According to Jane Doe, an Epstein associate would offer the girls $200 to $300 for performing a simple massage on a creepy billionaire. When they arrived in his bedroom, Epstein would "remove his towel, lay down naked on the massage table, and direct the girl to remove her clothes. He then would perform one or more lewd, lascivious and sexual acts, including masturbation and touching the girl's vagina with a vibrator." Then he would pay them. Don't worry, Epstein fans: Page Six has been on top of this story since well before day one and they already peremptorily attacked the credibility of any girl anywhere who might eventually come forward with similar stories. [Radar]