'Two middle-aged holidaymakers walk into a fashion boutique in one of those exotic millionaire’s playgrounds where the sun always shines and endless palm trees sway in the afternoon breeze.
One is Jeffrey Epstein, a mysterious financier fond of very young girls, many of whom have for years been systematically exploited and sexually abused in his various luxury homes.
The other is Peter Mandelson, the former British Cabinet minister and long-term friend of Epstein’s closest chum Ghislaine Maxwell, who was staying on the luxury resort island of St Barts.
His journey through public life has already twice been interrupted by scandals involving stupendously wealthy men.
The year is 2005 and Mandelson is taking time off from his work as the European Union’s Trade Commissioner, for which taxpayers are paying him a salary in excess of £200,000 a year.
Epstein (unbeknownst to the world at this point) is under police investigation for numerous ghastly sex offences. Meanwhile, he is doing what he does best: pursuing a Gatsby-esque friendship with a famous and powerful man.
Guests who have spent time on his nearby private island Little St James, a stunning, 72-acre patch of the U.S. Virgin Islands, have included a virtual Who’s Who of celebrities — from Bill Clinton to Naomi Campbell, Stephen Hawking and, perhaps most notoriously, our very own Prince Andrew. On various trips to Chateau Epstein, they’ve spent days or even weeks sunbathing on his private beaches, swimming in his pools or playing tennis on his personal court.
When things start to feel claustrophobic, Epstein’s guests enjoy still more of the high life, taking one of his yachts or helicopters for island-hopping jaunts where they dine in upscale restaurants, or indulge in a bit of retail therapy in a Caribbean tax haven’s smart if somewhat overpriced shopping mall.'
Read more: Peter Mandelson pictured with Jeffrey Epstein: Labour ex-minister who's friends with Prince Andrew shops with paedophile financier in 2005 after being introduced by Ghislane Maxwell
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