Simon Sebag Montefiore's (unsurprisingly) was on Epstein's list.Simon Sebag Montefiore was born in London. His father was psychotherapist Stephen Eric Sebag Montefiore (1926–2014), a great-grandson of the banker Sir Joseph Sebag-Montefiore, the nephew and heir of the wealthy philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore, considered by some "the most important Jew of the 19th century". Simon's mother was Phyllis April Jaffé (1927–2019) from the Lithuanian branch of the Jaffe family. Her parents fled the Russian Empire at the beginning of the 20th century. They bought tickets for New York City, but were cheated, being instead dropped off at Cork, Ireland. Due to the Limerick boycott in 1904, her father Henry Jaffé left the country and moved to Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Simon's brother is Hugh Sebag-Montefiore.
The Montefiore family are descended from a line of wealthy Sephardi Jews who were diplomats and bankers all over Europe and who originated from Morocco and Italy. After the 1492 Alhambra Decree was issued against the Jews in Spain, some of Montefiore's ancestors stayed in Spain while remaining secretly Jewish. During the reign of Philip II of Spain, one of them became governor of a province of Mexico. He and his family were denounced by a political rival and tortured by the Inquisition. Two teenaged girls were burned alive in Mexico City while a son escaped to Italy and changed his name to Montefiore.
Sebag Montefiore was educated at Ludgrove School and at Harrow School, where he was editor of the school newspaper, The Harrovian. At the age of 17 he worked down South African gold mines, saying in 2023 "These were the last years of apartheid. I wanted to see its collapse first-hand." However, this would have been in 1982-83, a decade before the end of apartheid. In the autumn of 1983 he interviewed UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher for The Harrovian. He won an Exhibition to read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).
Montefiore worked as a banker, a foreign affairs journalist, and a war correspondent covering the conflicts during the fall of the Soviet Union.
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Simon Sebag Montefiore is a banker and historian who makes up rumours about Stalin.