JEFFREY Epstein was "emboldened" to commit his crimes after seeing Bill Clinton "get away with" the Monica Lewinsky affair, a friend has said.
The friend said the fact a "powerful guy" like Clinton faced few consequences from the scandal left Epstein feeling he could do "whatever he wanted".Jeffrey Epstein was accused of abuse by dozens of womenCredit: Getty Images - Getty President Clinton was impeached after it emerged he had had an affair with 22-year-old White House intern Monica LewinskyCredit: Handout - Getty
Financier Epstein, accused by dozens of women of abusing them as minors, killed himself last year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Prior to his arrest, he was known for his association with some of the world's most rich and powerful people, including Clinton.
Speaking to Mother Jones, an unnamed actress who became friends with Epstein in the 1980s, before his rise to prominence, said: “Seeing a powerful guy like Clinton get away with what he got away with.
“I think it just emboldened him to think he could do whatever he wanted.”
In 1998, then-president Clinton was impeached after it emerged he had had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year-old intern at the White House.
He was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, but subsequently acquitted following a 21-day Senate trial.
Epstein has been accused of sex crimes beginning at latest in the early 1990s and spanning a period of decades.
Most were allegedly committed at his numerous luxurious residences, including his Manhattan mansion, his compound in Palm Beach, Florida, and the private Caribbean island of Little St James.
The friend described how Epstein's behaviour change after he began amassing his wealth.
“When he was younger and living in New York there weren’t a lot of young girls," she said.
"I could see it progressing as he got older, more powerful, more money.”
'MAXWELL KEY FOR EPSTEIN'
She also described as "key" Epstein's relationship with British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, his one-time girlfriend and alleged madam.
Maxwell is currently being held in New York awaiting trial on charges of enticement of minors, sex trafficking, and perjury over her alleged involvement in Epstein's crimes, though denies any wrongdoing.
The friend said Maxwell initially shunned Epstein's romantic advances, but became emotionally dependent on him following the sudden death of her father, newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.
“He resented her for rejecting him when she didn’t need him, and now that she did, he was going to exploit it," the friend said.
"She used him and he used her, and that’s where this whole sexual production line came in.
“She needed to be essential for him. [Recruiting girls] is how she kept her place."
Maxwell is also known to have been friends with Clinton, and has been pictured with him on board Epstein's private jet.
Recent reports detailed how Maxwell attended a dinner with Clinton in 2014, after allegations about her role in Epstein's crimes had emerged.Epstein was known for his association with some of the world's most rich and powerful people, including Clinton