Birds of a feather

 It will come as no surprise to learn that Woody Allen and Jeffrey Epstein were “close friends”:

One thing Woody Allen is not afraid of is defending powerful men who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct. He’s served as one of Roman Polanski’s most vocal defenders, saying the fugitive filmmaker is “a nice person” who’s “paid his dues” for raping a 13-year-old girl and then fleeing the country, and in the immediate wake of the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, accused the movie mogul’s victims of conducting “a witch hunt” against him, before walking it back.

And then there’s his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

It’s not clear when Allen and Epstein first crossed paths, though the two were longtime friends and neighbors on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for years. The director and his wife, Soon-Yi Previn, have been photographed a few times leaving the financier’s townhouse—including in September 2013, five years after Epstein pleaded guilty to child prostitution charges, when a Page Six headline declared: “Woody Allen pals around with child-sex creep.”

Epstein “was hugging him and talking close to his ear,” and “had his arm on Woody’s shoulder,” one witness told the tabloid, adding that the pals appeared to enjoy a stroll down Madison Avenue before arriving at Epstein’s seven-story mansion.

Diplomat Terje Rød-Larsen joined this walk, along with his friend, filmmaker Håkon Gundersen, who told the Norwegian newspaper DN last October: “I heard that Epstein knew Woody Allen and several other famous film producers. With my background, I thought it was very interesting.”

When Allen arrived, Epstein allegedly told Gundersen, “Here you will meet someone else who is also very interested in film.” Gundersen said they all visited Central Park for about two hours that day before heading back to Epstein’s home. (Woody Allen and Soon-Yi did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.)

Around the same time, Epstein hosted another dinner at his New York home, where he introduced Allen to a connection at MIT. Joi Ito, former director of the MIT Media Lab, “met other influential individuals at meetings with Epstein, including Woody Allen, a senior executive at the Hyatt Corporation, and a former prime minister of Israel,” according to a report commissioned by the school on its ties to Epstein.

MIT staff even raised the possibility that Epstein would bring Allen to campus during his October 2013 visit. “Ito expressed concern that inviting Epstein and Woody Allen to campus could create a public relations headache for MIT,” the report states. Apparently citing the Page Six story, Ito tried to dissuade Epstein from bringing Allen. “Since you two were just in the news recently, I wonder if that might be bad,” Ito emailed the financier.

How ironic that back then, MIT was more worried about the bad press from Woody Allen…. And as usual, it’s not mentioned that Epstein and Allen happen to share a certain ethnicity with Messrs. Weinstein and Polanski. What ARE the odds?