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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images

Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black on Thursday said during an earnings call that he made a "terrible mistake" by employing Jeffrey Epstein to work on personal financial and philanthropic services.

Why it matters: Apollo is one of the world's largest private equity firms, and already has lost at least one major client over Black's involvement with Epstein.

Black began the call saying that "it runs counter to my nature to speak publicly about personal matters," but believed he must because those matters are now affecting Apollo.

  • "With the benefit of hindsight, working with [Epstein] was a horrible decision on my part."
  • Black reiterated that Apollo never did business with Epstein. He also said that there is vetted documentation of the professional services provided by Epstein to Black and Black's family foundation, related to "estate planning, tax, structuring of art entities and philanthropic advice" between 2012 and 2017."
  • Black explained that while he knew of Epstein's 2008 guilty plea in Florida for soliciting an underage girl for sex, he was led to believe Epstein had rehabilitated himself as evidenced by the "distinguished" people with whom Epstein associated.
  • Black rejected any suggestion that he was ever blackmailed by Epstein, calling it "categorically untrue."
  • He said that he wasn't made aware of the most "reprehensible" allegations against Epstein until "late 2018," even though many of them were reported on years earlier.

Black declined to take questions on Epstein from analysts, citing an investigation being conducted by law firm Dechert on Apollo's behalf.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jan 25, 2021 - Economy & Business

Wall Street titan Leon Black stepping down as Apollo's CEO

Credit: Apollo

Leon Black is stepping down as CEO of investment giant Apollo Global Management, following the conclusion of an independent investigation into his interactions with Jeffrey Epstein.

Why it matters: Black has long been one of Wall Street's top power brokers, and he's one of the people responsible for helping to create the modern private equity industry.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.