Mega-selling Palm Beach thriller novelist James Patterson could have landed yet more political punches on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with Monday’s publication of a rare true-crime nonfiction book.
But “Filthy Rich,” in which the creator of the Alex Cross series takes on the real-life saga of the Palm Beach millionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, couldn’t deliver evidence that either Trump or Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, partook in Epstein’s salacious sex games with often-troubled teenage girls from the poorer parts of West Palm Beach.
“We found nothing to connect Trump and Clinton to what Epstein did with young girls,” said Tim Malloy, a former reporter and anchor at WPTV-Channel 5 in West Palm Beach who co-authored the tome with Patterson and Vanity Fair investigative reporter John Connolly. “Both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump know Epstein and may be friends with him. But that appears to be the extent of it.”
Still, the tome about Wall Street prodigy Epstein, who served 13 months in a county jail and registered as a sex offender, is chock-full of anecdotes and little-known information that should please those who are still seething that Epstein’s wealth trumped federal and state prosecutors.
“This story definitely shows that if you have vast sums of money to hire lawyers like [Miami Beach constitutional attorney] Alan Dershowitz and [Coral Gables defense lawyer] Roy Black, you can mount a defense that is formidable.”
Actually, “Filthy Rich” doesn’t point the finger at any one culprit for letting Epstein off the hook without a trial but with a plea bargain agreement that has been kept under wraps by the federal government.
There’s enough blame to go around, including “the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office and the Miami-based U.S. attorney,” Malloy said.
But if there’s one thing that stands out in the book, it’s that the Palm Beach Police Department, usually busy trying to preserve the squeaky clean image of the tony island and its mega-rich residents, did its job carefully and professionally when it investigated Epstein, pulled his garbage, wiretapped his phones and watched the comings and goings at his $12.7 million house.
Malloy says he became part of the book project after producing a documentary with Patterson.
“When he asked what we were going to do next, I told him ‘Let’s do something on your neighbor,’ ” Malloy said.
The story starts as several teenage girls complain to Palm Beach cops that they were brought to Epstein’s house to perform sexual acts for Epstein in a room set up to look like a dungeon. Most of the women were paid by Epstein.
In an unusually lenient deal with federal prosecutors that sparked allegations of favoritism, Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to procuring minors for prostitution.