Why Is Stephen Hawking Being Mentioned in Connection With Jeffrey Epstein?

This week, unsealed documents from a settled lawsuit were released, including an email from Epstein in which the late theoretical physicist was mentioned.

stephen hawking and jeffrey epstein are pictured
Images via Getty/Tristan Fewings & Getty/Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan
stephen hawking and jeffrey epstein are pictured

Wait. Why is Stephen Hawking’s name trending?

That was likely the question on many people’s minds following the unsealing of Jeffrey Epstein court documents stemming from a settled lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre. As expected, a number of familiar names popped up in the unsealed docs, though it should be noted that such individuals—including Bill Clinton, for example—have not been formally accused of a crime or any wrongdoing.

Per the Miami Herald, the release of the docs in question comes following a years-long legal fight. Epstein, notably, died behind bars in 2019. His death was officially ruled a suicide. 

As for Hawking, the late theoretical physicist and inspiration for the Oscar-winning film The Theory of Everything, his name was mentioned in an email Epstein sent to Ghislaine Maxwell in January 2015. In June 2022, Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years following her conviction on multiple charges, including sex trafficking of a minor.

In the 2015 email, Epstein told Maxwell she could “issue a reward” to those who could “help prove” Giuffre’s allegations were false. 

“[T]he strongest is the clinton dinner, and the new version in the virgin [islands] that [Stephen] hawking participated in an underage orgy,” Epstein wrote in the brief email, sent on the morning of Jan. 12, 2015.

That same year, photos of Hawking, who died in 2018, made headlines and showed the A Brief History of Time author with Epstein in the Caribbean. As pointed out in a subsequent Snopes deep-dive, the photos stem from an Epstein-funded conference of “cosmologists, experimentalists, theorists, and particle physicists” in early 2006. Later that same year, Epstein was arrested for the first time.

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