Andrew’s ‘stamp of approval’ paved way for Ghislaine
Prince Andrew helped Ghislaine Maxwell hustle her way into New York high society by giving her the "stamp of approval," according to former friends.
Helen Kirwan-Taylor, who said she was in Maxwell's "little black book", said that her royal connection gave her immediate entree to New York's elite circles.
Writing in the Telegraph, family friend Ms Kirwan-Taylor said that the rest of the British socialite's family had "hid away in shame" after the 1991 death of her father, newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, who was accused of stealing millions from his employees' superannuations.
But as the "Maxwell empire crumbled," Ghislaine Maxwell "teleported herself to New York City" - and was "right in the middle of the action" with the "most connected people in Manhattan."
"Not only was she mixing with the very rich, but she seemed to be right in the middle of the action," recalled Ms Kirwan-Taylor, who was listed in Epstein's infamous black book along with her husband and father-in-law.
Ms Kirwan-Taylor says she made it into the contacts book Ms Maxwell curated for Jeffrey Epstein, the infamous paedophile, after catching the socialite's attention while working as an assistant producer at 60 Minutes, a role that granted her access to "presidents and prime ministers".
The list also reportedly included Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Naomi Campbell and Tony Blair.
"The question is, how did someone whose father had robbed pensioners and who died in mysterious circumstances, manage to break into the wealthiest circles of Manhattan?"
According to the New York Post, it all came down to her well-known close ties to royalty and the Duke of York, one of Maxwell's Manhattan society friends told the paper.
"Ghislaine came over with the stamp of approval from Prince Andrew. The thinking was if she hangs out with him, she must be OK," the insider said.
"You only really need one person in society to vouch for you and the rest follow."
But while Maxwell found herself "directing traffic" as a major player in high society, "the old rumours of New York money didn't give Epstein the time of day," Kirwan-Taylor insisted.
"There were rumours from the start," she wrote of his sexual perversions that later saw him jailed for underage sex offences.
Maxwell is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn on charges of conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse young women.
Ms Kirwan-Taylor, whose family's friendships with Maxwell ended in the 1980s, feels certain there is still more to come in her former friend's story.
"I suspect Ghislaine, raised by one depraved fraudster and romantically entangled with another, has a trick or two up her sleeve, yet," she wrote.
EPSTEIN'S 'SECRET' GIRLFRIEND
Meanwhile, it has emerged that convicted paedophile Epstein had a secret girlfriend who was a children's book author nicknamed "Chocolate Sauce".
The woman, Shelley Anne Lewis, describes herself as a "spiritual entrepreneur" - and runs a "sacred space" in New York City, according to a report.
News of a previously unknown girlfriend first emerged in the latest trove of unsealed court documents, in which Maxwell was shown to have begged Epstein to get "Shelley" to publicly announce in the 2000s that she - not Maxwell - was the paedophile's ex, the New York Post reports.
Now she has been identified as British-born author Shelley Anne Lewis, 43, who was a frequent traveller on Epstein's private jet, including trips to his so-called private island, according to reports.
"Shelley was always very well connected and beautiful. I am shocked and saddened," a former colleague told UK media of her apparent romantic ties to the notorious late paedophile.
Ms Lewis has refused to comment on reports - but appeared to have deleted her social media accounts before the latest document dump.
There is no suggestion Ms Lewis was connected in any way to the crimes of Epstein.
She would have been 22 when she is said to have started dating Epstein in 1999, when he was 46, meeting while she worked in the contemporary art department of Christie's auction house in New York.
The revelation came as Maxwell, Epstein's alleged "pimp", won her battle to block "highly intrusive" court documents just hours before they were to be released.
Her victory means highly personal details of her sex life will remain sealed until September, says a report.
Fresh allegations against Maxwell are included in documents which were originally filed under seal as part of a lawsuit against her by Epstein victim Virginia Roberts.
Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein, had urged a US appeals court to block the release of a deposition about her sex life.
She had filed eleventh-hour paperwork in New York to prevent the files from being made public.
Maxwell said they could destroy her ability to get a fair trial against separate, criminal charges, that she aided the late financier's sexual abuse of girls - which she has denied.
The civil lawsuit documents are thought to contain "nude, partially-nude, or otherwise sexualised images, videos, or other depictions of individuals".
Maxwell's lawyers have also said they contain "intrusive questions about her sex life".
EPSTEIN ACCUSER TAUNTS GHISLAINE
Meanwhile, Australian-based Virginia Roberts Giuffre had some harsh words for her alleged abuser Ghislaine Maxwell over the weekend, after the British socialite desperately tried to block the release of explosive court documents containing details of her alleged crimes.
The 36-year-old took a jab at Maxwell on Twitter as she shared a photo of herself relaxing poolside in Australia, where she now lives with her husband and kids.
"Hey Ghislaine Maxwell, just sitting outside, taking some time to de-stress after you & your lawyers shenanigans. Like the view?
"If you didn't abuse 1000s of minors you would not be staring at your toilet as a piece of
artwork," Ms Giuffre said in a scathing tweet.
Maxwell is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn as she awaits trial on charges on conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse girls.
Ms Giuffre's comments come after a federal judge ordered more than 80 court documents pertaining to her 2015 civil defamation case against Maxwell be made public this week.
Maxwell, 58, who has been charged with multiple counts of criminal sex trafficking, had filed an emergency order to keep the papers sealed claiming it would destroy her ability to get a fair trial.
While a first bundle of court papers were released last Thursday, a US appeals court on Friday agreed to temporarily delay the release of a 2016 deposition about Maxwell's sex life.
Her lawyer argued it could make it "difficult if not impossible" to find an impartial jury, out of the public eye.
The deposition, which was taken in April 2016, had been scheduled for release on Monday.
Ms Giuffre has long claimed she was trafficked by Epstein when she was underage with the help of his alleged "madam" Maxwell.
Maxwell is accused of aiding the disgraced financier's sexual abuse of multiple girls by allegedly recruiting and grooming them to have sex with him and other powerful men.
Ms Giuffre has also claimed Maxwell had arranged for her to have sex with Prince Andrew three times: once at Epstein's New York apartment, once in the Caribbean, and once at her London home in March 2001.
Today is the day I find out if I get a steel rod down my spine or they do a 3D version of a new spine. Cheers to a healthy life 🥂🤞😬 Having tons of fun in Surfers Paradise 🇦🇺with my GF. Margarita’s all around 💓⭐️🦋 pic.twitter.com/CrMTlbyGqs— Virginia Giuffre (@VRSVirginia) July 30, 2020
A photo that shows Ms Giuffre, Prince Andrew and Maxwell in Ghislaine's apartment taken in 2001 has been widely circulated.
Prince Andrew has strongly denied all of Ms Giuffre's allegations.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997, and committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.
Earlier this week, Ms Giuffre unveiled her new hairdo to her Twitter followers after going from blond to brunette, and revealed she was due to undergo surgery on her neck.
In a follow-up tweet, she added: "Fingers crossed the surgery is a success and I can continue on my path for justice."
She did not share details about surgery or its purpose.
She then posted a photo in a neck brace days later saying she was awaiting to learn if she needed a steel rod down her spine.
Originally published as Andrew's 'stamp of approval' paved way for Ghislaine