‘Are you aware of Prince Andrew, Duke of York ... he is the son of Queen Elizabeth II of England?’
Royal dragged into Maxwell sex trafficking trial... by her defence team
PRINCE Andrew was dragged into the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking trial yesterday as one of several highprofile names who flew on the private jets of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein’s chief pilot told how he flew a string of VIPs including the Duke of York, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, along with disgraced actor Kevin Spacey, on the financier’s luxury fleet.
After it was thought Maxwell may try to protect her friends in high places, it was her own lawyer who introduced the topic of Andrew.
In the court in New York, Christian Everdell asked pilot Larry Visoski: ‘Are you aware of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, he is the son of Queen Elizabeth II of England?’ The pilot said: ‘Yes.’ Mr Everdell said: ‘Did he fly on Epstein’s planes?’
Again Mr Visoski said yes, but could not recall when.
During his testimony Mr Visoski described Maxwell as Epstein’s ‘number two’ when asked by prosecutor Maurene Comey what place she occupied in the paedophile’s ‘hierarchy’. Epstein, he said, was ‘definitely number one’.
The pilot, the trial’s first witness, said he was used to flying high-profile passengers but that he never encountered sexual activity aboard three jets he piloted for Epstein during roughly 1,000 trips between 1991 and 2019.
Mr Trump flew ‘a number of times’, he said. The pilot recalled how he would have to make the aircraft ‘look nice’ for Mr Clinton.
Mr Visoski said he stayed in the cockpit for the majority of flights, but would sometimes emerge to go to the bathroom or get coffee.
Although he was called as a witness by the US government, the pilot’s testimony seemed to aid the defence of Maxwell as he answered questions from Mr Everdell about what he saw when he checked the planes over after a flight. Mr Visoski didn’t hesitate when Mr Everdell asked him if he ever saw sexual activity aboard Epstein’s Gulfstream G2B or Boeing 727 jets or found sex toys when he cleaned the planes up.
‘Never,’ the pilot answered to both questions. He said he never saw used condoms either. And when he was asked if he ever saw sex acts with under-age females, he answered: ‘Absolutely not.’
The pilot said Epstein never warned him to stay in the cockpit during flights and also encouraged him to use a bathroom near the rear of the plane that would require him to walk past the aircraft’s couches. He said he never saw any children on his planes who were not accompanied by their parents.
The Boeing has been dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’ amid claims Epstein flew under-age girls around the world to sexually abuse them, including at his ranch in New Mexico and private island in the Caribbean.
Maxwell, 59, is accused of grooming young girls and sex trafficking them to be ‘served up’ to be assaulted by her powerful boyfriend Epstein.
Her trial will feature four women who allege she facilitated Epstein’s sexual abuse of them. She denies all of the charges.
Yesterday the chief pilot said that while he remembered the famous
‘She was Epstein’s No2’
names, he had no recollection of three of the accusers, known in court as Annie, Kate and Carolyn.
The other woman, known as Jane, was allegedly just 14 when Maxwell trapped her in a nightmare of abuse that lasted years.
Mr Visoski said he remembered meeting Jane in the mid to late 1990s but did not know how old she was. He told jurors: ‘Mr Epstein brought her to the cockpit and introduced her to me.’
He said she had ‘piercing powder-blue eyes’, but added: ‘She looked like a mature woman.’ Mr Everdell asked him: ‘You remember she had large breasts?’ The pilot replied: ‘She was a mature woman... like she was in her twenties.’
The court was shown photos of the luxury airliners Epstein owned, along with his array of homes. Mr Visoski said Epstein gave him 40 acres of his New Mexico estate to build a house on and paid for his daughters’ college education.