ehud barak and epstein
© Reuters / Corinna Kern
Jeffery Epstein (L) Ehud Barak (R)
According to a new book by journalist Michael Wolff, former Israeli prime minister Barak said he and Epstein have "nothing to worry about. The secrets are safe."

Former prime minister Ehud Barak was a "frequent guest, almost a fixture" at convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's mansion in New York before Epstein's death in 2019, according to a new book by journalist Michael Wolff.

Too Famous: The Rich, The Powerful, The Wishful, The Damned, The Notorious - Twenty Years of Columns, Essays and Reporting, to be released on Tuesday, features Barak's relationship with Epstein in great detail.

According to Wolff, Barak worked hard to rehabilitate Epstein's image following a Miami Herald story in 2017 that broke the allegation of rape, molestation and sex trafficking of underage girls that turned into an arrest in July 2019.

Epstein and Barak, along with the former's lawyer, Reid Weingarten, reportedly asked Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president who they described as a "new friend," for a PR strategy to publicly exonerate Epstein.

Barak, who reportedly excused Epstein's crimes as merely prostitution and claimed it is "no longer called prostitution... it is something else, much worse," once joked to Epstein that they have "nothing to worry about" as the secrets "are safe," according to Wolff.

Barak and Epstein also reportedly claimed that former US attorney-general William Barr was the most powerful man in the United States during Donald Trump's presidency.

Trump "lets someone else be in charge until other people realize that someone, other than him, is in charge," Epstein reportedly said.

The well-connected money manager was known for socializing with politicians and royalty. Over the years, Epstein counted Trump, former president Bill Clinton and Barak as his friends, as well as Britain's Prince Andrew who last month accepted service in the United States of a sexual assault lawsuit allegedly occurring at Epstein's London home.

The disgraced financier was found dead in the New York jail cell where he was being held without bail on sex trafficking charges in August of 2019, after he had pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14, from at least 2002 to 2005.

Before his 2019 arrest, Epstein reached a plea deal with prosecutors in 2007 that was widely criticized as overly lenient. He served 13 months in prison, during which he was allowed to leave for 12 hours a day, six days a week. in 2019, prosecutors said a search of his townhouse uncovered evidence of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of nude photographs of "what appeared to be underage girls," including some photos cataloged on compact discs and kept in a locked safe.

A week after his death, the case against him was closed, but a similar probe opened in France investigating claims of sex crimes on French territory or against any under-age French victims.

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was a close associate of Epstein, was later charged by the US federal government with crimes of enticement of minors and sex trafficking of underage girls. In February, her lawyers made an accusation claiming she was prosecuted only because Epstein is dead and they want to hold someone responsible.