Bill Richardson, who pushed through the construction of the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport as governor of New Mexico, has been accused of involvement in a sex trafficking ring run by the deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
The Daily Beast reports on court documents that were unsealed last week in a defamation suit against Maxwell by a woman who claimed she was forced to have sex with Richardson and other prominent figures:
Virginia Giuffre, who says that Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her to powerful people for erotic massages and sex, claimed in depositions in 2016 that Maxwell directed her to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Britain’s Prince Andrew (whom she has accused before), wealthy financier Glenn Dubin, former senator George Mitchell, now-deceased MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, and modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, as well as “another prince,” a “foreign president,” a well-known prime minsiter” and the owner of a “large hotel chain” in France….
None of the men named in the deposition have been charged with a crime or even sued in civil court in connection with the Epstein case. The deposition represents accuser Giuffre’s allegations, and the court documents unsealed on Friday did not contain any corroboration or further details, though many documents remain sealed….
A spokesperson for former Gov. Bill Richardson, Madeleine Mahony, told The Daily Beast on Friday, “These allegations and inferences are completely false. Governor Richardson has never even been contacted by any party regarding this lawsuit. To be clear, in Governor Richardson’s limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of young or underage girls. Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein’s residence in the Virgin Islands. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre.”
Other figures named in the lawsuit have also denied involvement in the alleged underage sex ring. Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in New York City on Saturday from a possible suicide.
Giuffre’s defamation suit against Maxwell was settled in 2017 under confidential terms.
As New Mexico’s Democratic governor from 2003-2011, Richardson was instrumental in pushing through the development of the taxpayer-funded Spaceport America where Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant. The company expects to begin commercial suborbital spaceflights from the facility next year.
Spaceport America has cost New Mexico taxpayers about $225 million. Residents of Sierra and Dona Ana counties voted to increase use taxes in order to help pay for construction.
During a dedication ceremony in 2010, New Mexico named Spaceport America’s runway the “Governor Bill Richardson Spaceway.”