An image supposedly showing U.S. President Joe Biden with (now deceased) convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was circulated online in December 2021 as the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, one of Epstein’s associates, got underway in New York:
This is not a genuine photograph of Biden and Epstein. This is a composite of two different images.
The part featuring Epstein comes from a photograph that was taken circa 2005. In the original photo, Epstein is standing beside art collector Pepe Fanjul, not Biden.
The part featuring Biden comes from an undated photograph of Biden with Ezra Friedlander, the CEO of the Friedlander Group. The photograph is available on the Friedlander Group’s website on a page of pictures of Friedlander with various US leaders. Here’s a comparison of the two genuine photos (bottom) and the composite image (top):
While the image of Epstein and Biden is fake, Epstein has truly been photographed with a number of high-profile celebrities and politicians. We have confirmed the authenticity of a photograph of Epstein with former President Donald Trump, for example, as well as another photo of Epstein with former President Bill Clinton.
A number of fake photographs featuring Epstein have also been shared on social media. As appears to be the case in the fake photo above, these altered images were created to smear political opponents by creating the false impression that they had a relationship with Epstein (who is now deceased). For example, pictures allegedly showing Vice President Kamala Harris and House Rep. Adam Schiff with Epstein are both fake.
Freeman, Nate. “Wet Paint: Legendary Dealer Mary Boone Is Out of Prison Early, Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book Is Full of Collectors, & More Art-World Gossip.” Artnet News, 4 June 2020, https://news.artnet.com/art-world/wet-paint-mary-boone-jail-1879428.
Landon Thomas Jr. “Jeffrey Epstein: International Moneyman of Mystery.” New York Magazine, 28 Oct. 2002, https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/.
Moynihan, Colin. “Highlights From Day 4 of Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial.” The New York Times, 2 Dec. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/12/02/nyregion/ghislaine-maxwell-trial.