Jeffrey Epstein kept a bizarre painting of Bill Clinton on prominent display in his New York townhouse, it was reported on Thursday.
Epstein’s $77 million (£63.5m) home in the Upper East Side – the largest private home in the City, with 40 rooms over seven floors – was described by the young girls he allegedly abused as being full of surreal and intimidating art.
Among the most unusual of works is an oil painting of Mr Clinton, dressed in a blue dress similar to the infamous one worn by Monica Lewinsky, and wearing red stilettos.
Mr Clinton is shown lounging in a chair in the Oval Office, and leering at the camera.
The painting was spotted by a visitor to the house in October 2012.
The art work, dubbed Parsing Bill, was painted and sold by a New York-based Australian artist named Petrina Ryan-Kleid.
The two men were friends in the 2000s, with Mr Clinton taking four trips on Epstein’s private jet as part of his work with the Clinton Foundation.
These trips, accompanied once by actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker, sparked a surge of interest in the mysterious Gatsby-esque Epstein.
“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of 21st-century science,” said Mr Clinton, through a spokesman, in 2002.
“I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratisation, empowering the poor, citizen service and combating HIV/Aids.”
Mr Clinton also met the financier at his New York home, although he never visited Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, waterfront home in Florida or his private island in the Caribbean.
The pair appeared to grow apart, however, and were not seen together in Epstein’s later years, after he was charged by police in Florida in 2005 for prostitution of a minor.
A spokesman for Mr Clinton said after Epstein’s July 6 arrest that the former president was completely unaware of Epstein’s “terrible crimes” and hasn’t spoken to the ultrawealthy sex offender in “well over a decade”.
Some speculated that Epstein’s decision to hang the ghoulish painting was in response to his being “dumped” by his former friend.
Epstein was known for his eyebrow-raising tastes in furnishings.
A life-size female doll, hanging from a chandelier, greeted his guests as they arrived.
At the bottom of the staircase is a chess board, with each of its customized figurines modelled after one of his staffers and “dressed suggestively,” a visitor told The New York Times.
The entrance hall as decorated with “row upon row of individually framed eyeballs, imported from England,” Vanity Fair reported in 2003.
The same article described how Epstein kept a stuffed black poodle in his study, placed on top of a grand piano.
“I want people to think what it means to stuff a dog,” Epstein told the magazine.
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