Ghislaine Maxwell admitted that Jeffrey Epstein had secret recordings of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, a CBS News producer has claimed in a new book.
The British socialite, who is awaiting trial on charges of procuring girls for Epstein to abuse in the mid-1990s, was reportedly duped by journalist Ira Rosen into confirming that the sex offender had taped his famous friends.
Reports that Epstein had planted secret recording devices in his homes and – it was rumoured – had potentially incriminating tapes of his many powerful associates have circulated for years but have never been verified.
Mr Rosen, an award-winning producer, said he spoke with Ms Maxwell ahead of the 2016 presidential election and, acting on a “hunch” that recordings existed, duped the socialite into apparently confirming his theory.
In his memoir, Mr Rosen writes that he told Ms Maxwell: “I want the tapes. I know he [Epstein] was videotaping everyone.”
Mr Rosen claims that Ms Maxwell “gave me a stern look and pointed a finger in my face. She said: ‘I am the daughter of a press baron. I know the way you people think. If you do one side, you must do the other. If you get the tapes on Trump you have to do Clinton’.”
Mr Rosen replied: “I will. I will go wherever the story goes.”
Last year Mr Trump said he had met Ms Maxwell “numerous times” but was “not a fan” of Epstein, whom he had a falling out with about 15 years ago.
A spokesperson for Mr Clinton has previously said his friendship with Epstein came to an end before the financier’s was convicted of soliciting a minor for sex in 2008.
The producer believes Ms Maxwell’s comments confirmed reports that Epstein, who was accused by dozens of women of procuring them for sex convicted of soliciting a minor in 2008, had secretly recorded the elite friends he hosted at his various properties. No tapes have ever been forthcoming.
Ms Maxwell, the daughter of the late media tycoon Robert Maxwell, is being held without bail in a Manhattan jail while she prepares for a July trial.The 59-year-old has always denied any wrongdoing.
Just this week, her legal team claimed she had been “physically abused” by prison guards, is losing her hair and is “withering to a shell of her former self”.
“Recently, out of view of the security camera, Ms. Maxwell was placed in her isolation cell and physically abused during a pat down search,” lawyer Bobbi Sternheim wrote to a New York Judge.
“When Ms Maxwell recoiled in pain and when she said she would report the mistreatment, she was threatened with disciplinary action,” she added.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has not responded to the latest claims, but in December they defended Ms Maxwell’s jail conditions, saying she received three meals a day, could use the recreational areas and had more than eight hours of call time each month.