In 2014, the venture capitalist Peter Thiel was gaining prominence as one of Silicon Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs and investors. He had made billions of dollars as a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, where he was chairman; and he sat on the board of Facebook, where he was the company’s first outside investor.
That made him an ideal contact for Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender with a knack for cultivating the rich and powerful.
Mr. Thiel apparently had several meetings with Mr. Epstein that year, according to scheduling records of the disgraced financier that were reviewed by The New York Times.
The records — in the form of emails that Mr. Epstein’s assistant sent to remind him of upcoming events — show that in September 2014 Mr. Thiel was scheduled to meet with Mr. Epstein on at least three occasions, either in one-on-one meetings or with others over lunch or dinner. Two other times, Mr. Thiel was listed among more than a dozen other well-known people Mr. Epstein should try to see while at his New York mansion.
It’s unclear from the records whether all the meetings with Mr. Thiel took place. Some were listed as tentative or “TBD” — for “to be determined.”
Jeremiah Hall, a spokesman for Mr. Thiel, declined to comment.
The Times obtained the records through a public records request to the attorney general for the U.S. Virgin Islands, which had sued Mr. Epstein’s estate. (Mr. Epstein died in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.) The records suggest that Mr. Thiel may have had a closer relationship with Mr. Epstein than was previously known.
Even after his 2008 conviction in Florida on a charge of soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl, Mr. Epstein continued to hobnob with top finance executives and investors, scientists, professors, politicians and celebrities.
Mr. Epstein was fascinated with the technology industry, attending conferences with high-profile industry executives. In 2015, for example, the LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman invited him to a dinner attended by, among others, the Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk; the Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg; and Mr. Thiel. (The dinner was previously reported by Axios.)
The records reviewed by The Times, which begin in 2011, are not a comprehensive accounting of Mr. Epstein’s meetings. They do not cover every day, and even full years are missing. (Some of the calendar entries were previously reported by The Wall Street Journal in connection with other individuals.)
On Sept. 14, 2014, Mr. Epstein was tentatively scheduled to have lunch with Mr. Thiel, the records show. The schedule then changed, with Mr. Thiel listed as having an appointment in the afternoon, followed by a potential dinner with Mr. Epstein, the director Woody Allen and others. Mr. Thiel was also expected to have lunch with the financier the next day and the following weekend, the records show.
It’s unclear why Mr. Thiel was meeting with Mr. Epstein. At the time, Mr. Thiel sat on the board of Facebook and oversaw Founders Fund, a top venture capital firm. Mr. Thiel was also the chairman of Palantir, the C.I.A.-backed data analytics company, which at the time was seeking outside investments.
Two years later, Mr. Thiel was the most prominent Silicon Valley investor to back the successful presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Thiel’s name comes up in the calendar entries far less often than other names of famous people like the Wall Street financier Leon Black, who is listed as having come over frequently for breakfast and lunch.