GHISLAINE Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein as early as 1988 through her father Robert Maxwell, it was claimed today.
The British socialite, 58, now locked up on charges linked to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, was said to have confided that the paedophile could support her “emotionally”.
She and Epstein were also pictured together, in an unearthed photograph, at a memorial event for her dad Robert in New York, just 19 days after his death in November 1991.
Two sources told the ‘Broken: Seeking Justice’ podcast – about the Epstein scandal – that Maxwell Sr was the person who introduced his prized daughter to the American financier.
Journalist Emily Saul, speaking about the photo, said: “Shot at the Plaza Hotel during a memorial event for Robert Maxwell, the picture shows Ghislaine and Epstein in conversation.
“Wearing a blue silk jacket, Ghislaine smiles coyly at Epstein, who is seated to her right, wearing a white bowtie and an enormous grin. It doesn’t look like a first date.”
The Sun revealed earlier this month that investigators have sworn testimony claiming that Epstein was secretly bankrolled by media mogul Maxwell.
DATE WITH THE DEVIL
Frenchman Jean-Luc Brunel, a model scout pal of Epstein, was said to have disclosed Maxwell’s involvement to friends almost 20 years ago.
A former close associate of Brunel told The Sun: “He was having a conversation with some acquaintances in New York City around 2002.
“Jean-Luc was telling them how Ghislaine’s father Robert Maxwell was one of the reasons why Jeffrey Epstein had money.”
Former bookkeeper Maritza Vasquez, in a Florida civil lawsuit, declared that Robert Maxwell “started” Epstein’s money.
She said in the deposition that Epstein “had a relationship with a woman, that her father was very wealthy, and that’s how he started his own money.”
Czech-born businessman Maxwell built a publishing empire after moving to Britain following the Second World War.
But in 1991 his body was discovered floating in the Atlantic Ocean, after he toppled off yacht The Lady Ghislaine, named after his daughter.
It later emerged that the fraudster had stolen hundreds of millions of pounds from his own company’s pension funds.
His daughter Ghislaine fled to New York City after his death and soon began dating Epstein.
It has never been revealed how they knew each other or met.
Epstein, aged 66, was arrested in July last year and was charged with sex trafficking minors before he was found dead the following month in his New York jail cell.
In July this year, Ghislaine Maxwell was detained by the FBI at a $1m property in New Hampshire after intense speculation as to her whereabouts.
She is now awaiting trial at a Brooklyn prison on charges of perjury and helping lure young girls for Epstein.
The socialite faces up to 35 years behind bars if convicted.
Maxwell strongly denies all allegations of misconduct made against her.