Grammy recipient James Keach mistakenly thanks Jeffery Epstein in acceptance speech

The producer appeared to swap the last names of two directors he meant to thank.

Updated: March 15, 2021 - 4:20pm

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A Grammy Awards winner at the virtual awards ceremony Sunday evening mistakenly expressed gratitude to the late billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in 2019 in a New York jail.

The mistake occurred when music producer James Keach, 73, won the Best Music Film award for his documentary titled "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice." In the virtual award ceremony Keach mistakenly mixed up the last names of the film's two directors.

"Excellent. I want to thank Linda Ronstadt for allowing us to make this movie, Rob Friedman, Jeffrey Epstein," Keach said, appearing to swap the names of the films directors, Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman. 

The Grammys have had a declining audience over the past several years, as celebrity award ceremonies become less popular with the public. The official Grammys Twitter account reported 12.6 million tuned in to Sunday night's show, down from 16.5 million who watched the 2020 ceremony.