No it wasn't all that different a world at the turn of the millennium.Different world 20+ years ago.
How was Epstein a "wrong un", apart from having an (then rumoured, now alleged) predilection for young women - actually an inherent biological trait probably shared by nearly every straight male, but tempered by social "rules"?
Who at the FCO or in PS's CP team is going to vet each and every member of the international wealthy elite and the dictate to PA who he can and cannot have an acquaintance with. Look at Epstein's network list; are the FCO going to tell a POTUS that he is not fit to shake hands with PA?
Having said that it was a different world 20+ years ago, have you ever been to a night club frequented by footballers/ celebs/ the Rich? Ever known a girl involved in the fashion or modelling industry? Have you seen what some parents will do to get their daughter hitched up to wealth?
Its a good old witch/ compo hunt, but the hypocrisy of the affair is astounding.
How long do you think an an ambassador would have got away with keeping that sort of company?
That the Russians never got in there and stitched him up with some gymnast that looked 22 but was in fact twelve can only be an oversight on their part - and that's assuming we'd know if they had.
Personally I don't see that he has done anything wrong in strict legal terms, but the arrogance, piss poor judgement, hubris and lack of integrity on display is breathtaking.