In 2004, Mr. Brockman hosted a dinner at the Indian Summer restaurant in Monterey, Calif., where Mr. Epstein was introduced to scientists, including Seth Lloyd, the M.I.T. physicist. Mr. Lloyd said that he found Mr. Epstein to be “charming” and to have “interesting ideas,” although they “turned out to be quite vague.”
Also at the Indian Summer dinner, according to an account on the website of Mr. Brockman’s Edge Foundation, were the Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Jeff Bezos, who was accompanied by his mother.
“All the good-looking women were sitting with the physicists’ table,” Daniel Dubno, who was a CBS producer at the time and attended the dinner, was quoted as saying. Mr. Dubno told The Times that he did not recall the dinner or having said those words.
Mr. Brockman was Mr. Gell-Mann’s agent, and Mr. Gell-Mann, in the acknowledgments section of his 1995 book “The Quark and the Jaguar,” thanked Mr. Epstein for his financial support.
However impressive his roster of scientific contacts, Mr. Epstein could not resist embellishing it. He claimed on one of his websites to have had “the privilege of sponsoring many prominent scientists,” including Mr. Pinker, Mr. Thorne and the M.I.T. mathematician and geneticist Eric S. Lander.
Mr. Pinker said he had never taken any financial or other support from Mr. Epstein. “Needless to say, I find Epstein’s behavior reprehensible,” he said.
Mr. Thorne, who recently won a Nobel Prize, said he attended Mr. Epstein’s 2006 conference, believing it to be co-sponsored by a reputable research center. Other than that, “I have had no contact with, relationship with, affiliation with or funding from Epstein,” he said. “I unequivocally condemn his abhorrent actions involving minors.”
Lee McGuire, a spokesman for Mr. Lander, said he has had no relationship with Mr. Epstein. “Mr. Epstein appears to have made up lots of things,” Mr. McGuire said, “and this seems to be among them.”