We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell enters the courtroom escorted by US Marshalls at the start of her trial, Monday. AP/PA Images
Ghislaine Maxwell

Maxwell trial: Pilot recalls flying Clinton, Prince Andrew, Trump on Epstein planes

Lawrence Visoski told the New York trial that he never saw any sexual activity on the planes.

LAST UPDATE | 30 Nov 2021

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S LONGTIME pilot has testified at the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell that he recalled flying Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump on the late financier’s private planes.

Lawrence Visoski, who worked for Epstein for nearly 30 years, said he was told when VIPs would be aboard because “you’d want to make sure the plane looked nice.”

Besides Clinton, Prince Andrew and Trump, Visoski said he also recalled flying the actor Kevin Spacey.

Maxwell, the 59-year-old daughter of the late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, is accused of procuring underage girls who were sexually exploited by Epstein.

Epstein died by suicide in a New York prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial.

The British jet-set socialite and heiress has pleaded not guilty to six counts of enticing and transporting minors for sex that could send her to prison for up to 80 years.

Epstein’s VIP passengers, including on flights to his luxury properties around the world, had been previously reported, but Visoski gave further details as the government’s first witness at the trial.

He said that he never saw any sexual activity on the planes, but that the cockpit door was always closed in flight.

“I certainly did not,” he said when asked if he witnessed sexual activity with minors.

‘Mature woman’

Visoski, who worked as a pilot for Epstein from 1991 to 2019, was also asked about a key witness who is being identified only as “Jane” and is testifying against Maxwell.

Jurors were shown Jane’s birth certificate but it was not made public. Prosecutors said she was underage during her contact with Epstein.

Visoski said he would sometimes see passengers boarding but he did not recall ever seeing anyone who looked younger than 18 to 20 years old with the exception of girls travelling with their families.

He said he recalled Jane as a “mature woman, with piercing powder blue eyes.”

The pilot said he considered Maxwell as Epstein’s “number two” and she would often call to schedule his flights. The line of questioning was in the context of her role in organizing Epstein’s life.


A woman, identified only as Jane, testified today that Maxwell was sometimes present when she was sexually abused as a teenager by Epstein.

The woman is the first of four women expected to take the witness stand during Maxwell’s trial in Manhattan.

Under questioning from prosecutors, Jane said she met Epstein and Maxwell at a summer arts camp in Michigan in 1994 when she was 14 years old.

She said Maxwell and a little terrier dog approached her while she was eating ice cream with friends.

Epstein joined them and they chatted, she said. Maxwell and Epstein told her they were camp benefactors.

“He seemed very interested to know what I thought about the camp,” Jane said.

Jane said her father, a music conductor, had died of leukaemia nine months earlier. The family was bankrupt and had lost their home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Epstein and Maxwell said they also lived in Palm Beach and asked for her phone number, she said. Jane gave them her mother’s landline.

Epstein invited her and her mother over for tea a few days after she started eighth grade and told her he likes to mentor young students, Jane said.

Jane said she started going over to Epstein’s home by herself and Maxwell was often present. “I assumed they were married,” she said, or “she works for him.”

She said her mother was not invited on these visits during which they would “hang out,” “chit chat,” shop and go to the movies.

She said Maxwell would ask her about boyfriends and talk about sex, and was sometimes topless by the pool. “She seemed a little bit odd and quirky… but she was nice.”

Epstein started giving her money to give to her mother and would buy her clothes and pay for voice lessons.
Jane, who wiped away tears with a tissue and whose voice cracked at times, said the first sexual contact was when she was 14.

Epstein took her to a pool house, pulled her on top of him and “proceeded to masturbate on me,” she said.

“I was frozen in fear. I’d never seen a penis before,” she said. “I was terrified and felt gross.”

Jane said she didn’t tell anyone because she “felt ashamed.”

She said sexual encounters became routine after that with Maxwell sometimes present.

Maxwell would instruct Jane on “how Jeffrey likes to be massaged,” she said.

Jane said other women were sometimes there along with Maxwell for what she described as an “orgy.”

Maxwell acted “very casual, like it was very normal, like it was not a big deal,” she said.

“It made me feel confused,” Jane said. “It was very embarrassing. You have all these mixed emotions when you’re 14, you don’t know what’s going on.”

Jane said she travelled with Epstein and Maxwell maybe 10 times when she was aged 14, 15 and 16

Maxwell appeared in court today masked and wearing a similar beige jumper and black slacks that she wore the previous day.

Her defence attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, said Monday that her client was a “target” being blamed for the late Epstein’s crimes.

Epstein was a multi-million-dollar money manager who befriended countless celebrities and was accused of providing them with women, including minors.

No one has been charged in the case with the exception of Maxwell.

Her trial is expected to stretch over six weeks.

© AFP 2021