06:40 GMT04 July 2020
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    The potentially explosive book does not implicate Clinton in any of Epstein's wrongdoings, but suggests a closer connection between the two that previously thought. A spokesperson for Clinton called the revelations "a total lie".

    Former US President Bill Clinton kept company with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein because of his affair with Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman accused of recruiting underage girls as sex slaves for the late financier, according to a new book.

    "Clinton was allegedly carrying on an affair with at least one woman in Epstein’s orbit, but she was well over the age of consent," reads an excerpt from A Convenient Death: The Mysterious Demise of Jeffrey Epstein, shared by the New York Post.

    The book by investigative reporter Alana Goodman and political writer Daniel Halper, which is coming out next week, cites an unnamed source as claiming that "[Bill] and Ghislaine were getting it on".

    "That's why he was around Epstein—to be with her," said the source, who allegedly witnessed the affair. "You couldn’t hang out with her without being with him."

    A spokesperson for Clinton said of the account: "It’s a total lie today, it’s a total lie tomorrow, and it’ll be a total lie years from now."

    Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

    Maxwell, 58, is a socialite and daughter of British media tycoon Robert Maxwell, who died a mysterious death in 1991 while sailing on his yacht in the Atlantic Ocean. She was dating Epstein in the 1990s but remained close to him after they broke up. Several of Epstein's victims have sued Maxwell for procuring them on behalf of the financier and even participating in sexual assault together with him. Some of the women claim to have been underage at the time of the alleged assault.

    Maxwell has been keeping an extremely low profile since Epstein's death in a New York prison cell last August, which was reportedly a suicide. The FBI is investigating her involvement in his crimes. She filed a lawsuit against his estate this March, which denies any role in or knowledge of Epstein's alleged crimes and seeks reimbursement for legal costs and security fees stemming from the investigation and related media coverage.

    What is known about Clinton and Maxwell?

    Although this appears to be the first time there is word of a romantic affair between the two, they were known to have been close. There is a photo of the pair posing aboard Epstein's private jet, with Clinton resting his arm on Maxwell's shoulder.

    According to the New York Post, Clinton visited Maxwell's Manhattan home multiple times, while the New York magazine reported in 2002 that they were seen dining together on Madison Avenue. The British heiress also attended Chelsea Clinton's July 2010 private wedding ceremony and participated in the events of the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative as recently as 2013.

    ​"Ghislaine was the contact between Epstein and Clinton," a source familiar with the relationship told Politico last year. "She ended up being close to the family because she and Chelsea ended up becoming close."

    Chelsea Clinton denied that they were close and said their relationship ended after she learned about the accusations against Maxwell in 2015.

    Has Clinton been accused of wrongdoing?

    Although the former US President is no stranger to infidelity drama, he has never been accused of sexually abusing minors. He was photographed posing with Chauntae Davies, Epstein's personal masseuse, who accused the financier of rape, on one trip but she maintained that Clinton was a "complete gentleman".

    Another alleged victim, Virginia Giuffre, said in court documents that she saw Bill Clinton on Epstein's private Caribbean island where alleged abuse took place. Her case is bolstered by Steve Scully, who was formerly employed as an IT worker on the island; he recounted in a new Netflix documentary that he had seen Clinton there when there were no other guests present.

    Bill Clinton has denied visiting the island and ever knowing about Epstein's wrongdoings, but has acknowledged taking a total of four trips on Epstein's private jet.

    Tags:
    Chelsea Clinton, sexual assault, rape, United States, Ghislaine Maxwell, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein
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