Inside Ghislaine Maxwell's Friendship With Bill Clinton

In a pair of interviews conducted for the CBS-Paramount+ four-part documentary "Ghislaine: Partner in Crime," streaming now (the trailer is on YouTube), Ghislaine Maxwell, a convicted sex trafficker, former girlfriend, and long-time associate of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, opened up about her friendships with many high-profile individuals, such as former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his family, according to The U.S. Sun. Earlier in 2022, Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking a minor, among other charges. In 2019, Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail while awaiting his own trial on sex trafficking charges, as Reuters reports.

In the Epstein investigation, it was learned that many public figures had crossed paths with the late New York financier, many of whom flew on Epstein's so-called "Lolita Express" private jet, according to the plane's pilot. In addition to Clinton, that list included former U.S. President Donald Trump, Prince Andrew of the British royal family, and others. (No sexual activity was reported by the pilot, according to CNN.) Since Epstein's death and Maxwell's conviction, Clinton, and others, have distanced themselves from the case, taking steps to minimize their alleged connection.

Maxwell and Clinton reportedly grew close after his time in office

Shortly after his presidency ended in 2001, Clinton moved his offices to New York City, as The New York Times reports. At that point, Maxwell and Epstein mixed with the highest levels of New York society. It was around this same time that the friendship between Maxwell and Clinton began to flourish, according to Politico. Epstein had already visited the White House several times during the Clinton presidency. Maxwell was photographed alongside Epstein and the president on at least one occasion, as the New York Post reports. Evidence of the close relationship Maxwell maintained with the Clintons includes her vacationing with their daughter, Chelsea. Maxwell was also a guest at Chelsea's 2010 wedding ceremony. 

It was also in 2010 that Maxwell was subpoenaed in connection to the Epstein case at Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, according to The Daily Beast. Per Politico, Maxwell's connection to the Clinton family was primarily via Chelsea, though the Clinton family disputes that depiction, and her alleged connection to the Clintons continued even after Epstein's sex crimes came to light. Speaking with Politico, someone close to the Clinton family called Maxwell the point of contact between Epstein and Bill Clinton. "She ended up being close to the family because she and Chelsea ended up becoming close," the source said. It was also around this same time that Maxwell and Bill Clinton shared dinner privately in Los Angeles, as The Daily Beast goes on to report.

Maxwell was romantically linked to the founder of Gateway Inc.

At one time, Ghislaine Maxwell was Jeffrey Epstein's girlfriend but, as The Guardian reports, by the time that the Clinton family relocated to New York the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein had ended. Shortly after, Maxwell dated Ted Waitt, the highly successful founder of Gateway Inc. (pictured), a computer hardware company. Maxwell first met Chelsea through Waitt, according to Politico (despite earlier pictures of Maxwell at the White House with Epstein, per The Daily Beast) She also reportedly attended Chelsea's 2010 wedding as Waitt's date.

Waitt himself was also a close associate with the Clintons, as well as Chelsea's husband, Marc Mezvinsky. Waitt gave large financial donations to The Clinton Foundation. Maxwell's own TerraMar Project, an eco-charity, received support from the Clinton Global Initiative. After Waitt and Maxwell broke up around 2011, though, Chelsea and Maxwell reportedly drifted apart, according to a source close to the Clintons, via Politico. As Politico goes on to explain, the friendship between Maxwell and the Clinton's went beyond just Chelsea, though. That unnamed source said (per Politico) that Maxwell "had her own relationship with Bill Clinton and was very close to him."

Maxwell was arrested in 2021

Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in 2019 while disembarking a flight from Paris. Maxwell was arrested two years later, after Epstein died in prison, per the BBC. It was during Maxwell's trial when it was confirmed that Clinton himself had flown on Epstein's so-called "Lolita Express" private jet. The plane was reportedly used to fly underage girls to Epstein properties, including Epstein's Caribbean private island (via Independent). Maxwell herself flew on Epstein's plane on several occasions, as Independent elsewhere notes. It's unclear if Bill Clinton and Maxwell were ever on the plane together.

Clinton had previously admitted he flew with Epstein on his private jet, but denied knowledge of any wrongdoing on Epstein's part, according to CNN. In 2019, Clinton spokesman Angel Ureña said (via CNN), "In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein's airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation ... President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York."

Maxwell is heartbroken about the loss of her friendship with Clinton

Based on the U.S. Sun report by Daphne Barak, an executive producer of the CBS-Paramount+ documentary "Ghislaine: Partner in Crime," Maxwell had a special friendship with the former president and it lasted years. Maxwell similarly characterized her former friendships with Prince Andrew and Donald Trump. "We had lots in common," Maxwell added, referring to Clinton (via The U.S. Sun). "I feel bad that he is another victim, only because of his association with Jeffrey. I understand he, like others, can no longer consider me as a friend," she said.

On the links between Epstein, Maxwell, and Clinton, a Clinton spokesperson said in 2019 "[Clinton] had one meeting with Epstein in his Harlem office in 2002, and around the same time made one brief visit to Epstein's New York apartment with a staff member and his security detail. He's not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island," Epstein's private Caribbean property, "Epstein's ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida." Secret service and staff were with Clinton every time he flew on Epstein's plane, the statement said (via The Daily Beast).