A newly-unearthed photo shows billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell being blessed by the Pope.
The image shows the former financier and his ex-partner holding a private audience with John Paul II at the Vatican almost 20 years ago.
According to the Sun on Sunday, which obtained the snap, the pair are believed to have flown to Rome on Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ jet for the meeting, said to have taken place in 2003.
It is the same aircraft federal prosecutors in the US believe was used by Epstein to shuttle young sex trafficking victims between his sprawling homes in New York, New Mexico, Paris, the US Virgin Islands and Palm Beach, where the dead pedophile owned a waterfront mansion.
A source told the paper: ‘Pictures like this show just how powerful Epstein’s connections were and his ability to open almost any door.
‘He managed to manipulate his way into royal palaces, the White House and the Vatican, all with Maxwell by his side.’
Epstein killed himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial for a string of sex trafficking offences in 2019, while Maxwell, 58, will stand trial later this month in New York, accused of procuring young girls for Epstein – as well as taking part in abuse herself.
Maxwell, daughter of disgraced British media and publishing Robert Maxwell, denies all charges against her.
Donning a dark suit, white shirt and red-patterned tie, Epstein can be seen in the photo kneeling at the Pope’s feet alongside his ex-partner Maxwell, who is wearing a dark striped suit jacket and open-collar blue shirt.
The influential duo have their hands clenched together as they stare into the eyes of John Paul II and sport beaming smiles.
The holy leader was head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until 2005, when he died of heart failure.
In the photo, the seated Pontiff, who was the second-longest serving pope in modern history, can be seen raising his arms.
According to flight records, Epstein used his ‘Lolita Express’ jet to fly himself and Maxwell from Rome to Madrid on May 20 2003.
They were joined by French model scout Jean-Luc Brunel, pilot Pete Rathgeb and two passengers listed only as ‘AM’ and ‘JK’, reports the Sun on Sunday.
Brunel, 75, was charged with rape and sexual assualt of minors last year.
There is no suggestion Rathgeb knew of or was party to illegal activity.
While there is no record of Epstein arriving in Rome, data from the flight records place the former financier in New York on May 12 and again by May 21.
The photo with the Pope can be added to the list of images which show how Epstein and Maxwell were able to hold court with some of the world’s most powerful figures.
A previously unearthed snap showed Epstein with Prince Andrew in New York’s Central Park, while another now-infamous image shows Andrew with his arm around the waist of his alleged sexual assault victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre – while Maxwell is seen grinning in the background.
This is an excerpt from Daily Mail.