(Newsweek) Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has clarified the nature of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, after it was revealed that the presidential hopeful had flown on the convicted sex offender’s private jet.

The independent 2024 presidential candidate was among a number of high-profile people who in 2021 were named as passengers on Epstein’s jet, which was often used to transport guests to the financier’s private Caribbean island, Little Saint James.

Epstein’s luxury Boeing 727 was derisively referred to as the “Lolita Express” by a number of media outlets following allegations that it was used to fly underage girls to some of the multi-millionaire’s properties.

Following Epstein’s death in jail in 2019, which was ruled a suicide, lists have been shared on social media purporting to show the public figures who had visited the island, which is located east of Puerto Rico in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Epstein scandal also continues to be a talking point in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election. In recent years, several high-profile names have been added to the list of Epstein’s guests by social media users who have falsely targeted celebrities and politicians as part of an apparent campaign to link them to Epstein’s crimes. There is no suggestion that those who did fly on the jet were involved in any illegal activity.

Amid mounting curiosity over Kennedy being listed as one of the passengers, a spokesperson for the former Democrat exclusively told Newsweek that he had “flown one time on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane. It was in 1993 from [New York City] to Palm Beach [Florida] to visit RFK Jr.’s mom for Easter.”

The spokesperson added that the private jet trip was made possible by Kennedy’s then-wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, who was friendly with Epstein’s partner at the time, Ghislaine Maxwell. Richardson Kennedy passed away in 2012. Kennedy has been married to Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines since 2014.

“Mary, Kennedy’s wife, and two of their kids were on the flight,” the representative said. “Mary knew Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who learned that they were going to Palm Beach for Easter and offered their family a ride.”

While there has been no evidence to suggest that Epstein’s listed plane passengers were involved in any of his crimes, a number of social media users have falsely pushed the suggestion that all those who knew him were in some way complicit.

Epstein’s former personal pilot of almost 30 years gave testimony during the New York City trial of Epstein’s former partner Maxwell, who in June 2022 received a 20-year jail sentence for trafficking girls for the financier to abuse.

Larry Visoski testified that he never saw evidence of sexual activity on planes as he flew Epstein and his passengers aboard the two jets he piloted for roughly 1,000 trips between 1991 and 2019.

He told the court that he recalled Prince Andrew being a passenger on the jet as well as actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker. He also recalled violinist Itzhak Perlman and named tech mogul Bill Gates, as well as politician and former astronaut John Glenn and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

During Maxwell’s trial, the pilot was asked if he ever saw sex acts with underage females, to which he replied: “Absolutely not.”

In June 2022, Maxwell received a 20-year jail sentence for trafficking girls for Epstein to abuse.

Who Flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ Plane?

  • Donald J. Trump
  • Bill Clinton
  • Kevin Spacey
  • Chris Tucker
  • Bill Gates
  • Prince Andrew
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
  • Itzhak Perlman
  • John Glenn
  • George Mitchell

All of the above names were reported by the Associated Press and CNN. There is no suggestion that those who flew on the jet were involved in any illegal activity.

Virginia Giuffre alleged that she was abused by Prince Andrew and claimed that Maxwell flew her around the world when she was 17 and 18 for sexual encounters with billionaires, politicians, royals and heads of state. Andrew, who settled out of court with Giuffre in 2022, has denied all of the claims made against him.

Supporters of Donald Trump, one of Kennedy’s likely 2024 opponents, have also sought to highlight the Epstein scandal to contrast it with the former president’s current legal predicament. In August, for example, MAGA loyalist Kari Lake posted on X, formerly Twitter: “It’s been 3 years, almost to the day, since Jeffrey Epstein ‘killed himself.’ Not a single one of his clients has been indicted for heinous crimes against children. Yet, President Trump was just indicted for the 4th time. Justice is dead in America.”

Moreover, Roger Stone, a longtime ally of Donald Trump, sought in February to distance the former president from statements that he had flown on Epstein’s jet.

While making an appearance on Lindell TV, Stone said Trump only once visited Epstein’s residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and added that he “told the traveling security guard, ‘Wow, what a nice guy Jeffrey Epstein is, letting all the kids in the neighborhood swim in his pool.”

“Reportedly, Trump left the Epstein residence after only 15 minutes because he was uncomfortable with the mix of younger women and the limited number of men,” Stone said.

He dismissed any other assertions about their relationship as a “smear.”

“But now I see these smears being recycled all over the internet,” Stone said. “And I hate to say this, but they are courtesy of supporters of Governor Ron DeSantis.”

Newsweek has contacted Trump’s office for comment.

Although Stone tried to downplay the ties between the two, for years they ran in similar social circles. Newsweek previously reported that records show Trump boarded Epstein’s plane, which allegedly flew underage girls to his properties, seven times, though no evidence of wrongdoing has been presented.

Over the years, Trump has distanced himself from Epstein. After Epstein’s 2019 arrest, the then-president said he knew Epstein only because “everybody in Palm Beach” did.

“I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his, that I can tell you,” he said.

But earlier on, he offered more complimentary words toward his former friend.

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Trump told New York magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

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