Ghislaine Maxwell wanted to recruit Paris Hilton for Jeffrey Epstein after seeing her for the first time, a former friend of the British socialite has claimed.
Christopher Mason said Maxwell stopped in her tracks and said ‘oh my god’ when she saw a young Hilton at a party.
Maxwell said she would be ‘perfect for Jeffrey’ and told a friend: ‘Can you introduce us?’
Mason, a British journalist based in New York who has known Maxwell since the 1980s, did not give a date for the encounter.
But it appears to have been around the year 2000 when Hilton signed up to Donald Trump’s modeling agency, T management, and began her ascent to celebrity.
At that point she would have been 19 years old and on the cusp of becoming a star.
Mason recounted the episode for a new docuseries called Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, which is due to air on Lifetime on Sunday night.
Mason said: ‘A friend of mine was at a party and Ghislaine said: ”Oh my god, who is that?” and was looking at this pretty, younger teenage girl.
‘She said: ”Do you know her?”
‘My friend said: ”Yeah, she’s called Paris Hilton” and Ghislaine said: ”Ohhhh she’d be perfect for Jeffrey. Can you introduce us?”
In the documentary, a photograph is flashed on the screen from the Anand Jon Fashion Show in New York on September 18, 2000.
On the left is Trump, Hilton is in the middle and on her left is Maxwell wearing sunglasses and smiling broadly.
Maxwell, 58, is accused of being Epstein’s chief recruiter and procuring teenage girls for his sex trafficking operation.
She met Epstein in the early 1990s when she moved to New York after the death of her father, the disgraced newspaper baron Robert Maxwell.
Mason tells the documentary that people were ‘puzzled’ by the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein, who dated for a time in the 1990s.
Mason said: ‘The rumours were Ghislaine was scouring New York finding younger girls to go on dates with Jeffrey. At the time it seemed a bit naughty’.
Another time Mason said he ran into Maxwell and Prince Andrew walking up Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
Mason, who did not say when it happened, said: ‘She introduced me to him. He told me he was staying at Jeffrey’s townhouse.
‘That fascinated me. It seems like a perfect instance of the kind of people Jeffrey was hanging out with’.
Also appearing in the documentary is Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychiatrist and expert in sexual assault who gave evidence for the prosecutions of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein.
She says Maxwell and Epstein ‘may have been a mutually parasitic relationship’.
Dr Ziv says: ‘I don’t think there’s any evidence Jeffrey Epstein was capable of having any deep feelings for anyone but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know a good exchange relationship where he finds one’.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who claims Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17, describes how being around Maxwell and Epstein was a ‘really effed up family’.
The Duke of York has strongly denied her claims.
Roberts says: ‘One minute we’re watching Sex & The City and the next minute Ghislaine is telling us to strip down and perform sexual acts on Jeffrey Epstein or Ghislaine or both.
‘She was just as exhausting as he was’.
Chauntaue Davies, an Epstein victim who flew with former US President Bill Clinton on Epstein’s jet on a trip to Africa, harshly criticizes Maxwell for her alleged role in the operation.
In tears she says: ‘The only thing I would ask is why? As a woman and as a sister why you could allow this to happen? Some of these girls were 14 years old, it’s disgusting. There’s no punishment that’s going to make this right.
‘Being a woman and being betrayed by another woman so deeply, there’s an element of cruelty.
‘Was she more cruel than he was? I don’t know’.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all six counts against her.