It’s the disturbing double-take you should have overlooked.
A cringe-worthy TikToker has gone viral for claiming to be “besties” with millionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who died by hanging suicide in his Metropolitan Correctional Center jail cell in 2019.
The account @epsteinsbestie attempts to make light of Epstein’s horrific crimes with tone-deaf parody based on the fact that the profile user, Sloppy JoJo, appears to be related to a man who does resemble the convicted sex offender.
Some of the videos have been viewed more than 3.5 million times on the video mashup platform, including one in which @epsteinsbestie claims to have “spotted Epstein in a children’s playground.”
“What are you doing here, bud?” a man says from behind the camera.
“I’m waiting for somebody,” responds an unidentified middle-aged man with grey hair, tan skin and a bushy brow.
“You look like Jeffrey Epstein,” the disembodied voice continues. The anonymous lookalike hesitates: “Uh, nope, don’t know that guy.”
Another video simply declared “Epstein is innocent” over footage of the mimic sipping a beer while wearing a bedazzled blue cowboy hat. “Spotted Jeffrey Epstein at a bar,” it was captioned.
Before his death, 66-year-old Epstein faced up to 45 years in prison for conspiracy to sexually exploit vulnerable girls, according to his indictment. The Manhattan financier was known to have engaged with dozens of girls as young as 14, bringing many of them across state and country lines.
It’s difficult to ascertain whether the man on camera is in on the joke, much less has any idea that millions are comparing him to a modern-day monster. But viewers in the comments are having a laugh-riot at his — and Epstein’s victims — expense.
One overly enthusiastic viewer called the previous clip “the single greatest TikTok, of all time. fact” — a top comment with nearly 30,000 likes on the post.
To reiterate, on an app that boasts about one billion videos viewed every day, a 16-second sketch about spotting a doppelganger for the notorious human trafficker in a playground, according to tens of thousands of users, was the best thing in the history of the platform.
Others went along with the joke. “That’s exactly what Jeffery Epstein would say,” said another.
“He was picking up his cabinet from Wayfair,” one quipped — a reference to the conspiracy theory that storage furniture purchased Wayfair is being used to traffic children across borders — with Sloppy JoJo dubbing the comment “winner.”
Reassuringly, there are some who aren’t amused by the crass mockery. Beneath a Christmas Day video depicting the doppelgänger on a ride-along to deliver gifts to kids, wrote one critic, “You weird to have made a whole TikTok about being a child milestones [sic] friend. What they said about birds of a feather?” they asked.
“You don’t know him like me, he’s a sweet man,” insisted Sloppy JoJo.
No. Just, no.