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Epstein's closest friends laugh and play-fight in newly-uncovered photos taken on 'pedophile island'

Laughing and play-fighting in the early-evening sun – these photos could easily be mistaken for holiday snaps of a pair of close friends, perhaps even a couple. 

But their sunny exterior hides a darker truth. What they actually show are Jeffrey Epstein’s two closest confidantes relaxing on his private Caribbean island – otherwise known as ‘pedophile island’.  

It was here that the billionaire is believed to have abused scores of young women, allegedly with Maxwell and Jean-Luc by his side, and participating in the abuse.

The photos were taken by an island visitor in 2003, at a time when Epstein was at the height of his financial powers and had not yet been publicly accused of sex abuse. 

Ghislaine Maxwell and Jean-Luc Brunel laugh and play-fight in newly-uncovered photos taken on 'pedophile island'

Ghislaine Maxwell and Jean-Luc Brunel laugh and play-fight in newly-uncovered photos taken on ‘pedophile island’

Ghislaine Maxwell and Jean-Luc Brunel laugh and play-fight

The pair are two of Jeffrey Epstein's closest confidantes

The pair, two of Jeffrey Epstein’s closest confidantes, clearly enjoyed each other’s company

Brunel laughs as he grapples with Maxwell

He then appears to whisper something in her ear

Brunel laughs as he grapples with Maxwell, pictured left, and appears to whisper something in her ear, pictured right

The pair take a breather after wrestling with each other on Epstein's private Caribbean island

The pair take a breather after wrestling with each other on Epstein’s private Caribbean island

Jean-Luc, despite already facing a slew of sex assault allegations, was the head of prestigious modelling agency MC2, and Maxwell was enjoying the high-life as the billionaire financier’s ‘best friend’ and ‘aggressive assistant’.

Epstein is now dead, found unconscious in his Manhattan jail cell last year at the age of 66 while awaiting trial for sex crimes in what was ruled a suicide.

Maxwell, 58, is in jail in Brooklyn, accused of procuring young girls for Epstein to abuse. She is under constant surveillance in case she tries to harm herself before the case can come to trial.

Jean-Luc, 74, is believed to be hiding somewhere in South America, having vanished shortly after Epstein died.

But there is no hint of their fates in the photographs, which show Maxwell eating dinner from a platter while Jean-Luc smokes a cigarette nearby.

A person who witnessed the photos being taken told The Sun: ‘Ghislaine and Jean-Luc were very close friends.

‘On this occasion, she had just returned from the gym and was eating when Jean-Luc suddenly grabbed her.

‘I used to call Ghislaine the Wicked Witch of the West. She’s a bad, bad lady.’

The new photographs show Maxwell eating dinner from a platter while Jean-Luc smokes a cigarette nearby

The new photographs show Maxwell eating dinner from a platter while Jean-Luc smokes a cigarette nearby

Jean-Luc, 74, is believed to be hiding somewhere in South America, having vanished shortly after Epstein died

Jean-Luc, 74, is believed to be hiding somewhere in South America, having vanished shortly after Epstein died

Maxwell, 58, is in jail in Brooklyn, accused of procuring young girls for Epstein to abuse

Maxwell, 58, is in jail in Brooklyn, accused of procuring young girls for Epstein to abuse

She is under constant surveillance in case she tries to harm herself before the case can come to trial

She is under constant surveillance in case she tries to harm herself before the case can come to trial

Ghislaine Maxwell was all smiles as she tucked into a meal

Brunel also appeared in a good mood

The pair both appeared to be in a good mood in the photographs, which were taken in 2003

Jean-Luc, who faces allegations of sex assault separate to Epstein that date back until 1988, was once described as Epstein's closest male friend

Jean-Luc, who faces allegations of sex assault separate to Epstein that date back until 1988, was once described as Epstein’s closest male friend

Epstein bankrolled Jean-Luc's modelling agency, and in return the scout allegedly supplied him with a string of young women to abuse

Epstein bankrolled Jean-Luc’s modelling agency, and in return the scout allegedly supplied him with a string of young women to abuse

Jean-Luc, who is also facing an investigation in France, strongly denied the claims before vanishing last year, shortly after Epstein died

Jean-Luc, who is also facing an investigation in France, strongly denied the claims before vanishing last year, shortly after Epstein died

According to La Parisien he has since be traced to South America, though it is unclear exactly where he is hiding

According to La Parisien he has since be traced to South America, though it is unclear exactly where he is hiding

According to newly-unsealed court documents in Maxwell’s trial, the island was the scene of orgies with young girls who were flown in to take part in the parties.

Virginia Roberts, Epstein’s main accuser, told lawyers that many young girls – too many to count – participated in sex sessions with both Maxwell and Epstein all over the island.

She also alleges that high-profile visitors, including Bill Clinton, came to the island, where he spent time with ‘two young girls from New York’.

Clinton, who by the time of his alleged visit had left his post as president, denies ever being there.

Meanwhile Jean-Luc, who faces allegations of sex assault separate to Epstein that date back until 1988, was once described as Epstein’s closest male friend.

Epstein bankrolled Jean-Luc’s modelling agency, and in return the scout allegedly supplied him with a string of young women to abuse.

Jean-Luc, who is also facing an investigation in France, strongly denied the claims before vanishing last year, shortly after Epstein died.

According to La Parisien he has since be traced to South America, though it is unclear exactly where he is hiding.

It was on Little St James that Epstein is believed to have abused scores of young women, allegedly with Maxwell and Jean-Luc by his side, and participating in the abuse

It was on Little St James that Epstein is believed to have abused scores of young women, allegedly with Maxwell and Jean-Luc by his side, and participating in the abuse

The photos were taken by an island visitor in 2003, at a time when Epstein was at the height of his financial powers and had not yet been publicly accused of sex abuse

The photos were taken by an island visitor in 2003, at a time when Epstein was at the height of his financial powers and had not yet been publicly accused of sex abuse

According to newly-unsealed court documents in Maxwell's trial, the island was the scene of orgies with young girls who were flown in to take part in the parties

According to newly-unsealed court documents in Maxwell’s trial, the island was the scene of orgies with young girls who were flown in to take part in the parties

Maxwell, pictured with Epstein in 2005, is facing up to 35 years in jail if she is found guilty of sex crimes charges and perjury, for allegedly lying under oath in depositions she gave to a previous case

Maxwell, pictured with Epstein in 2005, is facing up to 35 years in jail if she is found guilty of sex crimes charges and perjury, for allegedly lying under oath in depositions she gave to a previous case 

Maxwell is facing up to 35 years in jail if she is found guilty of sex crimes charges and perjury, for allegedly lying under oath in depositions she gave to a previous case.

She has pleaded not guilty, and her trial is set to take place next year.

In the meantime she is being held in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, described as one of America’s most-troubled prisons by a former warden.

Maxwell, daughter of disgraced press baron Robert Maxwell, was being kept on suicide watch for a time but has now been taken off it.

However, her lawyers say she is being kept under constant surveillance and is woken every few hours during the night to make sure she doesn’t harm herself.

Her lawyers have requested that the searches and surveillance be stopped, and that she be be taken out of solitary confinement and placed in with other prisoners.

Her legal team say she is only being subjected to the ‘onerous’ conditions because of what happened to Epstein, and not because of any genuine risk she poses.

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