Before his recent arrest, the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was welcomed in high society — and that includes Silicon Valley.
According to a Vanity Fair report published on Wednesday, the disgraced financier once met Mark Zuckerberg at a dinner organized by Reid Hoffman, the cofounder of LinkedIn, "a few years ago" — well after he went to jail in 2008 on charges including procuring a minor for prostitution.
Ben LaBolt, a spokesperson for Zuckerberg, confirmed that the meeting took place and said it was the only time the Facebook CEO and Epstein met. In a short statement, he told Business Insider: "Mark met Epstein in passing one time at a dinner honoring scientists that was not organized by Epstein. Mark did not communicate with Epstein again following the dinner."
Vanity Fair reported that Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, made the introduction, but a spokesperson for Musk denied this.
"Elon never introduced Jeffrey Epstein to Mark Zuckerberg and does not know either person well enough to do so," Tesla's global director of communications Keely Sulprizio said in an emailed statement to Business Insider. "They simply happened to be guests at a neuroscience dinner organized by Reid Hoffman."
Gabriel Sherman, the author of the Vanity Fair article, did not immediately respond to an email asking whether he stood behind the account he laid out in his story.
Musk also told Vanity Fair in an email that he doesn't recall introducing Epstein to anyone, and that he doesn't know Epstein well enough to have done so. "Esptein is obviously a creep and Zuckerberg is not a friend of mine," he said.
The anecdote illustrates how in the years after his conviction and imprisonment for sex crimes, Epstein was able to continue to move in rarified circles. The 66-year-old multimillionaire was recently arrested on sex-trafficking and conspiracy charges.
It's not clear what relationship Epstein has or had with Hoffman, and a spokesperson for the high-profile tech figure did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.