In the aftermath of the widespread blowback amid Apollo clients, many of whom have frozen their new capital allocations to the private equity giant in response to recent reports that co-founder Leon Black had paid “suicided” pedophile Jeffrey Epstein $50 million after he was released from jail, during a conference call on Thursday morning discussing Apollo’s third-quarter results, Black said he regretted doing business with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, even though other prominent people had done the same.

“Like many people I respected, I decided to give Epstein a second chance,” Black said Thursday during a conference call to discuss Apollo’s third-quarter results.

“This was a terrible mistake”, the former Drexel banker added pointing out the obvious, although it still remains unclear just what “second chance” services Epstein provided to Black that was worth a whopping $50 million in compensation, but we are confident we will find out soon enough.

And in what may be the greatest example of “whataboutism” in modern history, Black said that Epstein worked with many prominent individuals after he was released from jail, and that “the distinguished reputations of these individuals gave me misplaced comfort.”

Laughably, Black – who is surrounded by the most brilliant financial minds of his generation 24/7 – has said he sought advice from Epstein for matters such as taxes, estate planning and philanthropy.

Apollo hired law firm Dechert LLP to conduct a review that’s expected to take 60 to 90 days, according to people familiar with the matter.

That said, we doubt their reputations will be just as “distinguished” once it emerges just what “services” underage girls Epstein was providing them.

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Also on the call we learned that despite the posturing, Apollo’s clients were not really turned off by the ongoing scandal, and the PE giant raised another $4 billion in the third quarter even though it expects fundraising to slow, co-founder Joshua Harris said on the call.

Via Zerohedge