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1. Musk refutes reports about his links with Epstein ex-girlfriend

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (File photo: IANS)

San Francisco, July 5 – Tesla and SpaceX CEO has once again denied any links with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell after a photo of him with Maxwell went viral on social media.

The photo was taken at a 2014 Vanity Fair party where Musk and British socialite Maxwell, 58, who was arrested and charged with multiple counts of child sex trafficking, were seen together.

Writer Leigh Alexander tweeted on Saturday along with tagging the photo: “Who’s your friend? You look like you’re having fun”.

Musk hit back: “I was at that Vanity Fair party with @TalulahRiley. Don’t know Ghislaine. Real question is why did VF (Vanity Fair) invite her?”

Alexander further tweeted: “She was on a huge press tour; I’ve even met her and I work in a niche. Why would you throw your weight at her? Is it her fault you associated with these people?”

Musk has also denied reports that Epstein once toured his SpaceX facility.

“To the best our knowledge, he never toured SpaceX. Don’t know where that comes from”, tweeted Musk to a user who asked the question.

In a statement to Vanity Fair last year, the Tesla CEO distanced himself from Epstein, who he said was “obviously a creep”.

Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of Epstein, is facing charges in the US after being arrested by the FBI on Friday.

She is accused of assisting Epstein’s abuse of minors by helping to recruit and groom victims known to be underage.

Maxwell has previously denied any involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged sexual misconduct.

Epstein died in prison on August 10 last year as he awaited, without the chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges.

He was arrested in New York following allegations that he was running a network of underage girls – some as young as 14 – for sex. His death was determined to be suicide.

Prosecutors allege that between 1994 and 1997, Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14.

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2. Meeting Jeffrey Epstein was a huge mistake: Bill Gates

Microsoft founder Bill Gates. (File Photo: IANS)

San Francisco – Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has admitted that meeting the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was “a huge mistake” in his life.

In an interview with CNN, Gates said that “several” meetings with Epstein gave him credibility, which was a mistake.

According to him, the friendship with Epstein was an attempt to get “billions for philanthropy”.

In 2019, Gates told The Wall Street Journal that he had met Epstein, but “didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him”.

“Gates regrets ever meeting with Epstein and recognises it was an error in judgment to do so,” The New York Times had also quoted a spokesperson for Gates as saying.

Epstein died in prison in August 2019 as he awaited, without the chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges.

He was arrested in New York following allegations that he was running a network of underage girls, some as young as 14, for sex.

His death was determined to be suicide.

Prosecutors alleged that between 1994 and 1997, Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently in custody, helped him groom the young girls.

In the CNN interview, when asked if he had any regrets about an affair with a Microsoft employee, Gates said that everyone has regrets but that he needed to “go forward” with his work.

Some of the Microsoft board members last year wanted Gates to step down amid an internal investigation into his alleged affair with an employee.

Gates finally resigned from the Microsoft board in March 2020 before the investigation had been completed, according to reports.

In May, the mega-billionaire couple Bill and Melinda Gates announced they were divorcing because their 27-year marriage has “irretrievably broken”.

Melinda will resign from her position as co-chair and trustee at Gates Foundation after two years, if either she or Bill Gates find they are unable to continue to work constructively together.

3. Prince Andrew ‘lobbied US govt to get better plea deal for Epstein’

Britain’s Prince Andrew.(File Photo: IANS)

London – The UK’s Prince Andrew lobbied the US government for a favourable plea deal for late American financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in relation to the latter’s 2008 underage prostitution cases, unsealed court documents have claimed.

The documents are from a now-settled 2015 defamation lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, who has has claimed that she was trafficked when she was 17 and was forced into sexual encounters with the Prince in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein, the Metro newspaper reported on Saturday.

The Prince has repeatedly denied the allegations.

In the documents, unnamed Epstein victims have claimed that he relied on the Duke of York and other powerful friends to get a reduction in his sentence.

Epstein served only 18 months in prison after striking a deal with federal authorities in 2008 admitting soliciting a minor for prostitution.

US district judge Loretta A. Preska had ordered the papers released but two depositions given by Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently in custody, in the civil lawsuit in 2016 were not produced after her lawyers appealed against the ruling.

When asked if Prince Andrew lobbied the US government, an unnamed friend told the Metro newspaper: “This allegation is a straightforward untruth. No ifs, no buts.”

On broader claims made in papers, the friend asked: “The US Federal Appeals court said 2019, these allegations should be treated with ‘extreme caution’. ‘Allegations are not the same as facts, which is the essential premise on which justice works. Let’s see if these allegations stand-up, because precious few about the Duke do – where’s the proof?'”

Andrew stepped down from public royal life following a TV interview in which he failed to show remorse over his friendship with Epstein, and little empathy with the sex offender’s alleged victims.

He has also been urged to come forward and be interviewed about his friendship with the disgraced financier, who took killed himself last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

 

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