Former US president Bill Clinton did visit Jeffrey Epstein's infamous private island despite his claims to the contrary, his former associate has claimed.
Doug Band, who worked for Mr Clinton for around two decades, claimed the former president flew on Epstein's jet dozens of times and visited the convicted sex offender's private Carribean island in January 2003.
Although ignorant of Epstein's crimes at the time, Mr Band claimed in an interview with Vanity Fair that he attempted to keep his boss away from the financier after a 2002 trip to Africa.
Mr Band told the magazine the trip had left him with a bad impression of Epstein and he advised Mr Clinton to end his relationship with the multimillionaire financier.
The two men were friends in the 2000s, with Mr Clinton taking several trips on Epstein’s private jet, which has come to be known as the "Lolita express" after it was alleged that the financier used the jet to traffic underage girls between his various properties.
Despite his warning, Mr Band claims Mr Clinton continued to associate with Epstein, visiting his private island and accepting a $25,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2006.
The private island, Little St James, has been named in various lawsuits by women who claim Epstein took them to the island and sexually abused them.
Mr Clinton, 74, has always insisted he has never set foot on the private island. A representative for the former president provided The Telegraph with a detailed account of Mr Clinton's travel in January 2003, adding unequivocally: "President Clinton has never been to Little St. James island".
A spokesperson for Mr Clinton has previously said his friendship with Epstein came to an end before the financier was convicted of soliciting a minor for sex in 2008.
Epstein hanged himself in 2019 while awaiting trial on further sex trafficking charges. Mr Clinton's spokesperson insisted the former president knew nothing of Epstein's "terrible crimes".
In his interview with Vanity Fair, Mr Band claimed that the Clinton family's relationship with Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell continued for several years after his crimes came to light.
The British socialite is currently in jail awaiting trial for allegedly helping Epstein in the sex trafficking operation. She denies the allegations.
Mr Band claimed that Mr Clinton's daughter Chelsea remained friends with Maxwell long after Epstein's conviction, inviting to her 2010 wedding in New York.
“Ghislaine had access to yachts and nice homes. Chelsea needed that,” Mr Band told Vanity Fair.
A Clinton spokesperson hit back at the claims, insisting that “It wasn’t until 2015 that Chelsea became aware of the horrific allegations against Ghislaine Maxwell and she hopes that all the victims find justice.
It comes as it emerged that Ms Maxwell has requested a closed-door hearing with a judge in a second attempt to be granted bail.
The 58-year-old was denied bail in July after prosecutors claimed she was an extreme flight risk, with multiple passports and considerable funds at her disposal.
Prosecutors have objected to the request. “The Government sees no reason for an entire hearing to be conducted without the opportunity for the public or the victims in this case to observe,” they wrote in a letter to Manhattan federal Judge Alison Nathan on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the Clintons has suggested Mr Band's allegations stem from personal grievances. Mr Band worked for Mr Clinton first in the White House and then helping his business and philanthropic interests once he left office, but the aide fell out with the Clinton family in 2012.
“No staffer has ever used their role to serve their interests as much as Doug Band,” the Clinton spokesperson told Vanity Fair.
“For many years he was a valuable member of President Clinton’s team and supportive of Clinton Foundation programs. Until he wasn’t. He put the foundation at risk by leveraging a world-class philanthropy for his own financial gain.
“It’s as disappointing a story as it is a sad one and ultimately why Doug Band and the Clintons parted ways.”