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Paedophile Jeffrey Epstein offered reward to disprove claims Stephen Hawking took part in orgy

An email shows that the multimillionaire was willing to give money to Virginia Giuffre’s friends to ‘help prove’ her claims were false

Holly Evans
Saturday 06 January 2024 19:59 GMT
Dershowitz defends Epstein associates ahead of documents release

Jeffrey Epstein told his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell that she could offer a financial reward to friends of his accuser Virginia Giuffre if they could help prove her allegation that Stephen Hawking had engaged in an underage orgy was false.

Newly released court documents reveal that the paedophile financier sent an email in 2015 showing that he was happy to issue a reward to counter her allegations, shortly after Ms Guiffre had filed a civil claim in the US.

The email, sent to disgraced British socialite Maxwell, read: “You can issue a reward to any of Virginia’s friends, acquaints, family that come forward and help prove her allegations are false. The strongest is the Clinton dinner, and the new version in the Virgin Islands that Stephen Hawking participated in an underage orgy.”

Stephen Hawking at a conference in the Caribbean held by Jeffrey Epstein (Supplied)

The Cambridge professor had previously visited Epstein’s private Caribbean island in 2006 as part of a conference funded by the multimillionaire, and pictures show him at a barbecue on Little St James. This occurred months before Epstein was first charged with child sex offences, which included procuring a minor for prostitution.

Professor Hawking, who died in 2018 aged 76, is one of more than 170 people who have been named after a US judge ordered that documents relating to Epstein could be made public.

The first tranche of documents, in which high-profile figures such as the Duke of York and former US president Bill Clinton featured heavily, was released on Wednesday evening.

Also published among the court documents as part of Ms Giuffre’s civil claim against Maxwell was the transcript of the socialite’s videotaped evidence given under oath.

During her interview, known in the US as a deposition, Maxwell claimed she could only recall Prince Andrew visiting Epstein’s island once.

Documents containing the names of 170 of Jeffrey Epstein’s associates are being made public (Reuters)

Andrew stepped down from public life following the furore over his friendship with Epstein, and paid millions to Ms Giuffre – a woman he claimed never to have met – to settle a civil case that alleged sexual assault.

The prince was cast out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style after Ms Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. He strenuously denies any wrongdoing.

Asked whether any girls under the age of 18 were present on the one occasion on which she recalled Andrew being on the island, Maxwell replied: “There were no girls on the island at all. No girls, no women, other than the staff who work at the house.

“Girls meaning, I assume you are asking, underage, but there was nobody female outside of the cooks and the cleaners.”

Former US president Bill Clinton features heavily in the documents released so far (Netflix)

Other documents indicate that Maxwell sent an email in January 2015, shortly after a civil claim had been filed against her, in which she described herself as “out of my depth”.

She added: “I have already suffered such a terrible and painful loss over the last few days that I can’t even see what life after press hell even looks like – statements that don’t address all just lead to more questions... what is my relationship to Clinton? Andrew on and on.”

One website on which the documents were being released on Wednesday evening crashed within minutes, warning that the server might be overloaded – prompting a tweet from Ms Giuffre that read: “We broke the website”.

The deposition of a woman named Johanna Sjoberg was also published as part of the documents.

She previously claimed, while giving testimony in May 2016, that Andrew had touched her breast while sitting on a couch in Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Epstein sent an email to Ghislaine Maxwell saying he was happy to ‘issue a reward’ to Virginia Guiffre’s friends (Via Reuters)

The incident is alleged to have taken place when Ms Giuffre and Ms Sjoberg were at Epstein’s house off Fifth Avenue in New York.

Ms Sjoberg’s deposition made reference to a puppet being placed on Ms Giuffre’s breast at the same time – believed to be Andrew’s Spitting Image puppet.

Buckingham Palace previously said the allegations were “categorically untrue”.

During the same interview, Ms Sjoberg also said that Epstein had told her that former president Bill Clinton “likes them young, referring to girls”.

Ms Sjoberg said: “I knew he had dealings with Bill Clinton. I did not know they were friends until I read the Vanity Fair article about them going to Africa together.”

Epstein was found dead in his cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges (US Department of Justice)

Asked if Epstein had ever talked about the former president, Ms Sjoberg said: “He said one time that Clinton likes them young, referring to girls.”

In 2019, Mr Clinton’s spokesperson said he knew “nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to” and that the pair had not spoken “in over a decade”.

The spokesperson also said Mr Clinton had never been to Epstein’s island – called Little St James – or to his ranch in New Mexico or his house in Florida.

Another former US president, Donald Trump, also featured in Ms Sjoberg’s deposition. She said Epstein had called him and visited one of his casinos after his private plane was diverted.

Maxwell has been jailed for 20 years and plans to appeal her sentence in November (PA)

Ms Sjoberg said: “Jeffrey said, ‘Great, we’ll call up Trump and we’ll go to... I don’t recall the name of the casino, but... we’ll go to the casino.”

Epstein was found dead in his cell at a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019 while he was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide.

Maxwell has been imprisoned since July 2020, despite numerous attempts by her defence counsel to have her released on bail.

She was sentenced to 20 years in prison at the federal court of the Southern District of New York in June 2022.

The socialite indicated her desire to appeal shortly after her conviction, with her lawyers claiming that the allegations against her were premised on “faded, distorted and motivated memories”.

Her appeal is currently scheduled to be heard in November.

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