With the understanding that not everyone believes in ghosts and/or paranormal activity, I am hoping we can all agree on one thing: Jeffrey Epstein’s New York City mansion? Extremely fucking haunted. For decades, until he was finally arrested for (allegedly) having sex-trafficked and abused dozens of girls as young as 14, Epstein lived here in relative impunity. He hosted powerful people — Woody Allen, Britain’s Prince Andrew — at his townhouse and filled its 40 rooms with sinister decorations: a hallway tiled in eyeballs, a decorative taxidermy poodle purchased specifically because Epstein wanted his visitors “to think what it means to stuff a dog.” I cannot conceive of cleansing agents strong enough to exorcise this man’s imprint from the property, but then we are talking about one of Manhattan’s largest private residences. Naturally, someone bought it — for $51 million! — and will now attempt to scrub away its horrifying aura.
The New York Times reports that, for Goldman Sachs executive Michael D. Daffey and his wife, Blake Daffey, “the first order of business is a complete makeover — physically and spiritually.” That’s according to the couple’s spokesperson, Stu Loeser, who projected that this ambitious remodel would take about a year to a year and a half to complete. During that time, the interior-design team will presumably be responsible for purging Epstein’s aesthetic choices — his prison-guard mural, his doll chandelier, his human chessboard — provided no one has already removed them, and his soul from the premises.
Despite all that, Loeser said the Daffeys view their new home as “a place with a lot of potential.” From the perspective of square footage, that is certainly true. This Upper East Side mansion boasts seven floors, a wine cellar, and an outrageous 15 bathrooms — basically, it is a towering reminder of the opulent lifestyle Epstein continued to lead, even ten years after he pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution. Good luck to the Daffeys in expunging that thought.