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Bizarre new species of pterosaur discovered with a long, skinny beak like a Kiwi

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bizarre new species of pterosaur discovered with a long skinny beak like a kiwi

A turkey-sized species of pterosaur has been discovered with a bizarre beak similar to that of the modern-day kiwi. 

Dubbed Leptostomia begaaensis, it used its long and skinny beak to probe dirt and find hidden prey.

The discovery of the new species comes courtesy of fresh research which looked at what was previously assumed to be a fossilised fish bone. 

However, closer inspection revealed an unusual texture and realised it was a fragment of beak. 

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A turkey-sized species of pterosaur has been discovered with a bizarre beak similar to that of the modern-day kwi. Dubbed Leptostomia begaaensis, it used its long and skinny beak to probe dirt and find hidden prey

A turkey-sized species of pterosaur has been discovered with a bizarre beak similar to that of the modern-day kwi. Dubbed Leptostomia begaaensis, it used its long and skinny beak to probe dirt and find hidden prey

A turkey-sized species of pterosaur has been discovered with a bizarre beak similar to that of the modern-day kwi. Dubbed Leptostomia begaaensis, it used its long and skinny beak to probe dirt and find hidden prey

Many extant bird species have evolved elongated and slim beaks to find prey hidden in the soil underground, including the kiwi (pictured)

Many extant bird species have evolved elongated and slim beaks to find prey hidden in the soil underground, including the kiwi (pictured)

Many extant bird species have evolved elongated and slim beaks to find prey hidden in the soil underground, including the kiwi (pictured) 

Palaeontologists from the universities of Bath and Portsmouth were conducting field work in Morocco when they found the fossil from the Cretaceous period. 

Pterosaurs are the less well-known cousins of dinosaurs and more than 100 species of the long-winged reptile are known.

They range in size and shape from as large as a fighter jet to as small as a sparrow.  

Professor David Martill, of the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘We’ve never seen anything like this little pterosaur before.

‘The bizarre shape of the beak was so unique, at first the fossils weren’t recognised as a pterosaur.’

Additional searching of the Kem Kem beds in Morocco, where the original bone was found, revealed additional fossils of the animal.

The scientists used CT scans to reveal a network of internal canals in the beak that would have helped detect prey. 

This suggests that Leptostomia begaaensis used its beak to hunt like present-day sandpipers or kiwis to discover worms, crustaceans and hard-shelled clams. 

Pictured, another artist's impression of what the land-based pterosaur may have looked like, with its long, slim beak

Pictured, another artist's impression of what the land-based pterosaur may have looked like, with its long, slim beak

 Pictured, another artist’s impression of what the land-based pterosaur may have looked like, with its long, slim beak 

The researchers say the true variety of pterosaurs is distorted by the fossil record, leading to a perception that the large beasts which hunted in the seas (pictured, artist's impression) were dominant

The researchers say the true variety of pterosaurs is distorted by the fossil record, leading to a perception that the large beasts which hunted in the seas (pictured, artist's impression) were dominant

The researchers say the true variety of pterosaurs is distorted by the fossil record, leading to a perception that the large beasts which hunted in the seas (pictured, artist’s impression) were dominant

Pterosaurs were most likely bald, study finds

Pterosaurs — flying reptiles from the time of the dinosaurs — were most likely bald and did not have feathers as had been previously suggested, a study has claimed.

In 2018, researchers from China‘s Nanjing University reported having found evidence for branching ‘protofeathers’ in three fossil pterosaur specimens.

British palaeobiologists David Unwin and Dave Martill re-evaluated this evidence, however, and came to the conclusion that the flying reptiles had no feathers at all.

Instead, they say, the branching structures actually represent parts of the pterosaurs’ wing membranes that had begun to decay and unravel before being preserved. 

‘The idea of feathered pterosaurs goes back to the nineteenth century but the fossil evidence was then, and still is, very weak,’ said Dr Unwin, who is a pterosaur expert at the University of Leicester’s Centre for Palaeobiology Research.

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Professor Martill said: ‘The diets and hunting strategies of pterosaurs were diverse – they likely ate meat, fish and insects. 

‘The giant 500-pound pterosaurs probably ate whatever they wanted.

‘Some species hunted food on the wing, others stalked their prey on the ground. 

‘Now, the fragments of this remarkable little pterosaur show a lifestyle previously unknown for pterosaurs.’

Scientists say Leptostomia begaaensis may have been a fairly common pterosaur but its identity has not been known until now.

Dr Nick Longrich, from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, saiid: ‘It’s so strange – people have probably been finding bits of this beast for years, but we didn’t know what they were until now.’

The researchers say the true variety of pterosaurs is distorted by the fossil record, leading to a perception that the large beasts which hunted in the seas were dominant.    

Dr Longrich explains: ‘Pterosaur fossils typically preserve in watery settings – seas, lakes, and lagoons – because water carries sediments to bury bones.

‘Pterosaurs flying over water to hunt for fish tend to fall in and die, so they’re common as fossils.

‘Pterosaurs hunting along the margins of the water will preserve more rarely, and many from inland habitats may never preserve as fossils at all.’

Dr Longrich said there was a similar pattern in birds, with aquatic species such as penguins, puffins and ducks more likely to be found as fossils than land birds such as hummingbirds, hawks and ostriches.

As a result, terrestrial species may not become fossilised and therefore are underrepresented in the fossil record.   

The paper is published in Cretaceous Research.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Postman will pick up your parcels for 72p during regular delivery rounds under new mail scheme

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postman will pick up your parcels for 72p during regular delivery rounds under new mail scheme

Postmen will soon be picking up parcels from our doorsteps at the same time as they deliver letters.

Households will be charged 72p per item on top of postage costs when they use Royal Mail‘s new Parcel Collect service.

It means online sellers and shoppers will be able to send or return items by post without leaving their home.

Royal Mail describes the service as ‘one of the biggest changes to the daily delivery since the launch of the post box in 1852’.

Royal Mail's Parcel Collect service will see postmen pick up parcels from households at the same time as they deliver letters and will mean sellers can return items without leaving their homes. (Stock image)

Royal Mail's Parcel Collect service will see postmen pick up parcels from households at the same time as they deliver letters and will mean sellers can return items without leaving their homes. (Stock image)

Royal Mail’s Parcel Collect service will see postmen pick up parcels from households at the same time as they deliver letters and will mean sellers can return items without leaving their homes. (Stock image)

It comes as the company tries to grab a bigger share of the booming parcels market.

But critics warn that the move could threaten the future of the local post office.

Customers can pay online or on the Royal Mail mobile phone app. They must print out a pre-paid label and stick it to the package, before leaving it on the doorstep or in a safe place.

Packages with a pre-paid return label can be collected for 60p per item.

The parcels can weigh up to 20kg (3st 2lb) and can be a little over twice the size of most aircraft hand luggage.

Customers will be able to get their parcels collected every day apart from Sundays. Bookings can be made up to midnight the night before so postmen know where to stop off before their delivery round.

Royal Mail had been testing its system in the west of England, but today announced that it will be extended across the country. 

Online shopping is booming, with sales in August 47 per cent up on pre-lockdown levels, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Royal Mail has been forced to rely increasingly on parcels, as letters drop in importance with the dominance of email. Since 2004 the number of letters it delivers has halved. This year has been particularly harsh, with the pandemic increasing the rate of the fall.

In the three months to the end of June, the company delivered 788 million fewer letters than in the same period of 2019, a 33 per cent fall. 

Meanwhile, parcel volumes have soared. The company has already tried to maximise its presence in the booming parcel market, launching parcel post boxes last year.

But consumer experts fear the new service will harm prospects for the Post Office, which is a separate company owned by the Government.

The 11,500-strong branch network is under immense financial pressure already, with more customers going online to buy stamps, send parcels and pay their bills.

The service means online sellers and shoppers will be able to send or return items by post without leaving their home.(Stock image)

The service means online sellers and shoppers will be able to send or return items by post without leaving their home.(Stock image)

The service means online sellers and shoppers will be able to send or return items by post without leaving their home.(Stock image)

James Daley, from campaign group Fairer Finance, said: ‘If this idea takes off, then in some areas, it probably will be the end of the local post office.’

Royal Mail said the initiative is designed to complement the Post Office’s service and give customers more flexibility. 

Nick Landon, its chief commercial officer, said: ‘Whether you’re up against time and working from home, making a return, selling online or sending a gift, Parcel Collect is here to help.’

But Peter Hall, from the National Federation of Sub-postmasters, said: ‘Sub-postmasters act as a salesforce for Royal Mail services, providing expert advice and guidance to customers, as well as a trusted and safe environment to send letters and parcels.

‘So this move to circumvent post offices is a worry for sub-postmasters. Royal Mail have said that this service is ‘designed to complement post office services’ – we simply cannot see how that is the case.’

A Post Office spokesman said: ‘We are working with Royal Mail to secure a new agreement that will continue our long-standing relationship and that will provide customers with continued convenience when it comes to sending letters and parcels.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Britain’s Top Woodworker is AXED by Sky after viewers spotted ‘Nazi’ tattoos on contestant’s face

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britains top woodworker is axed by sky after viewers spotted nazi tattoos on contestants face

Sky History has axed its new show The Chop after viewers spotted that a contestant appeared to have various ‘Nazi tattoos’ on his face. 

The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker, featuring comedian Lee Mack, invites carpenters to test out their skills to be crowned Britain’s best. 

The channel yesterday tweeted a trailer in which Mack introduces contestant Darren Lumsden, with the title: ‘Meet the Woodman, the Bloke-With-All-The-Tattoos or Darren as we like to call him’.

Some viewers were quick to single out one of his tattoos – a prominent ’88’ on his cheek – which they took as a right-wing symbol.

They said the number 88 in white nationalist or neo-Nazi circles can be used as a code to represent ‘Heil Hitler’, because ‘H’ is the 8th letter of the alphabet.

Father-of-two Darren Lumsden from Bristol, pictured, is competing on Sky History's new show The Chop: Britain's Top Woodworker. However, a trailer for the show featuring Darren sparked protests when some viewers suggested the '88' on his face was a 'neo Nazi tattoo'

Father-of-two Darren Lumsden from Bristol, pictured, is competing on Sky History's new show The Chop: Britain's Top Woodworker. However, a trailer for the show featuring Darren sparked protests when some viewers suggested the '88' on his face was a 'neo Nazi tattoo'

Father-of-two Darren Lumsden from Bristol, pictured, is competing on Sky History’s new show The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker. However, a trailer for the show featuring Darren sparked protests when some viewers suggested the ’88’ on his face was a ‘neo Nazi tattoo’

Viewers also spotted a number of other potential white supremacy symbols on Darren’s skin, including 23 and 16 inked at his temples, allegedly representing the numerical equivalent of ‘white power’. 

He was also accused of having a sig rune symbol – used by Nazis to symbolise victory and often mistaken as a lightning bolt – on the right side of his nose, and a number 14 on his scalp which can represent ’14 words’, a slogan coined by white supremacist terrorist David Lane.

However before announcing that they would not be broadcasting the show, the channel defended Darren’s tattoos, claiming that ‘1988 is the year of his father’s death’ and that the tattoos ‘have no political or ideological meaning’. 

The father-of-two, from Bristol is one of ten contestants on the now axed show, which was due to start on Thursday, and is filmed in Epping Forest. 

Darren Lumsden is seen with a prominent 88 on his cheek (circled bottom) and 23 and 16 allegedly inked at his temples representing the numerical equivalent of 'white power' (top)

Darren Lumsden is seen with a prominent 88 on his cheek (circled bottom) and 23 and 16 allegedly inked at his temples representing the numerical equivalent of 'white power' (top)

Darren Lumsden is seen with a prominent 88 on his cheek (circled bottom) and 23 and 16 allegedly inked at his temples representing the numerical equivalent of ‘white power’ (top)

Here the '16' can be seen, allegedly representing 'white power when combined with the '23' on his other temple. And the number 14 is seen (circled top) representing '14 words' a popular white supremacist slogan

Here the '16' can be seen, allegedly representing 'white power when combined with the '23' on his other temple. And the number 14 is seen (circled top) representing '14 words' a popular white supremacist slogan

Here the ’16’ can be seen, allegedly representing ‘white power when combined with the ’23’ on his other temple. And the number 14 is seen (circled top) representing ’14 words’ a popular white supremacist slogan

British geneticist and author of How To Argue With A Racist, Dr Adam Rutherford, confirmed that he had spotted several other numerical tattoos that were likely to be white supremacy symbols.

He tweeted: ‘I spend a lot of time on white supremacy forums online, and they have dozens of really idiotic numerical codes, most of which are substitution ciphers that a 7 year old would come up with.

‘Darren appears to have these two on his face 88 = HH = Heil Hitler 23/16 = WP = White Supremacy There’s also: 18 = AH = Adolf Hitler 1488: a reference to the so-called 14 words, coined by white supremacist terrorist David Lane.’

He continued: ‘There’s also: 1/11 = AK = Aryan Knights 3/11 = 3 K = KKK 109 = the claim that Jews have been expelled from 109 nations throughout history, sometimes coupled with 110 = in the hope that the US will be the next one.’ 

During Lee Mack’s interview Mr Lumsden he commented on the amount of ink on the carpenter’s face after he introduced himself as ‘The Woodman’. 

34642110 8861849 image a 68 1603242070017

34642110 8861849 image a 68 1603242070017

British geneticist and author of How To Argue With A Racist, Dr Adam Rutherford, confirmed that he had spotted several other numerical tattoos on Darren

British geneticist and author of How To Argue With A Racist, Dr Adam Rutherford, confirmed that he had spotted several other numerical tattoos on Darren

British geneticist and author of How To Argue With A Racist, Dr Adam Rutherford, confirmed that he had spotted several other numerical tattoos on Darren

The comedian said: ‘If you were in my town, you wouldn’t be known as the woodman, you’d be known as the man with all the tattoos, surely they would take precedence.’ 

The interview was met with negative tweets, including one from Luke O’Riordan calling the channel ‘morons’ and asking: ‘Are you for real. The bloke has Nazi tattoos on his face ffs.’ 

Sky History said there was an innocent explanation for the number, but axed the show hours later.

Sky History tweeted: ‘Darren’s tattoos denote significant events in his life and have no political or ideological meaning whatsoever. Amongst the various numerical tattoos on his body, 1988 is the year of his father’s death. 

Sky History released a short video featuring an interview between Mr Lumsden and show host Lee Mack where viewers noticed the tattoo

Sky History released a short video featuring an interview between Mr Lumsden and show host Lee Mack where viewers noticed the tattoo

Sky History released a short video featuring an interview between Mr Lumsden and show host Lee Mack where viewers noticed the tattoo

Mr Lumsden also has the figures 23 and 16 on his temples. These figures are also often used by the far right as a coded reference to White Power

Mr Lumsden also has the figures 23 and 16 on his temples. These figures are also often used by the far right as a coded reference to White Power

Mr Lumsden also has the figures 23 and 16 on his temples. These figures are also often used by the far right as a coded reference to White Power 

‘The production team carried out extensive background checks on all the woodworkers taking part in the show, that confirmed Darren has no affiliations or links to racist groups, views or comments.

 ‘Sky HISTORY is intolerant of racism and all forms of hatred and any use of symbols or numbers is entirely incidental and not meant to cause harm or offence. ‘

They later added: ‘While we investigate the nature & meaning of Darren’s tattoos we have removed the video featuring him from our social media, & will not be broadcasting any eps of The Chop until we have concluded that investigation. Sky HISTORY stands against racism & hate speech of all kinds.’

Many people on Twitter expressed concern about Mr Lumsden's facial tattoos, including the 88 figure

Many people on Twitter expressed concern about Mr Lumsden's facial tattoos, including the 88 figure

Many people on Twitter expressed concern about Mr Lumsden’s facial tattoos, including the 88 figure

Many people noticed the link between the figure 88 and white supremacist terminology though Sky History claim there is an innocent explanation

Many people noticed the link between the figure 88 and white supremacist terminology though Sky History claim there is an innocent explanation

Many people noticed the link between the figure 88 and white supremacist terminology though Sky History claim there is an innocent explanation 

Sky History defended Mr Lumsden on Twitter claiming they have carried out extensive background checks and have found nothing to link him to any racist groups, views or comments

Sky History defended Mr Lumsden on Twitter claiming they have carried out extensive background checks and have found nothing to link him to any racist groups, views or comments

Sky History defended Mr Lumsden on Twitter claiming they have carried out extensive background checks and have found nothing to link him to any racist groups, views or comments

Sky History regularly features documentaries on the Second World War, such as Hitler’s Gold and Hitler’s Last Secrets. 

Speaking to The Bristol Post on October 15, Mr Lumsden said: ‘About 10 years ago I saw someone with facial tattoos and started to work with my tattooist on my look.

‘I have my daughter on the back of my head and my son on my cheek.

‘When some people first meet me they are a bit shocked, admittedly.

‘But they soon warm to me after a few minutes.

‘Some people ask for selfies with me. I’ve never had a negative reaction to my tattoos. They are just me.  I’ve already been stopped by people who have seen the adverts. No one went on the show to become famous.

‘But hopefully it will come across on the show that I’m a bit of a character.’ 

The Campaign Against Antisemitism expressed concern about the tattoos. 

A spokesperson for the group said: ‘Sky HISTORY has made a terrible mistake by including in ‘The Chop’ an individual adorned with what appear to be neo-Nazi tattoos without providing serious evidence to show that the tattoos mean something other than how they appear. 

‘These tattoos will be plainly visible to viewers on the show, including younger viewers, which is unacceptable. 

‘If Sky HISTORY is indeed ‘intolerant of racism’ as it claims, then it must urgently provide a credible clarification or remove the contestant from the programme.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew and a ‘topless photoshoot’ on sleazy island

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jeffrey epstein prince andrew and a topless photoshoot on sleazy island

The Caribbean house party included at least seven Russian models flown out specially, a multi-millionaire financier and a British prince. ‘Jeffrey was so excited. He said: ‘We’re going to do a big photoshoot with you and the girls,’ ‘ Virginia Roberts, his teenage ‘sex slave’, recalls Jeffrey Epstein telling her.

‘We were topless, and he had us in sexual positions. Then we’re told to assemble in a big cabana. When I walked in, Andrew and Jeffrey were seated in chairs,’ she claims in a bombshell new book about Epstein and alleged fellow sex abuser Ghislaine Maxwell. She alleges that Epstein then said: ‘ ‘Why don’t you girls start kissing and having some fun!’ Jeffrey and the Prince were just sitting back, laughing.’

Ms Roberts, who would elsewhere describe the events that evening nearly 20 years ago as an ‘orgy’, says Prince Andrew was gone the next day, ‘whisked away’ by his Scotland Yard bodyguards who had spent the night aboard a small boat moored off Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Andrew has denied he had any sexual contact or relationship with Ms Roberts, telling the BBC he didn’t recollect meeting her.

Depraved love nest: Jeffrey Epstein¿s private island

Depraved love nest: Jeffrey Epstein¿s private island

Depraved love nest: Jeffrey Epstein’s private island

Now, a new book — The Spider: Inside The Criminal Web Of Jeffrey Epstein And Ghislaine Maxwell, by Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter Barry Levine — provides disturbing new allegations about the Prince’s alleged relationship with Ms Roberts.

She has long insisted she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times — once in London in 2001 when she was 17, a second time two months later in New York and a third time on the island.

Levine’s book, published yesterday, also reveals new details of the alleged encounter in New York.

According to Ms Roberts, she arrived at Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion to find Prince Andrew sitting in a leather armchair in Epstein’s library. Behind him, on a desk, were nude photos of girls and young women, including one of her. ‘I don’t think Andrew could have missed seeing it when he walked in,’ she now recalls.

Maxwell, daughter of disgraced tycoon Robert, was there and had given the Prince a blow-up toy based on his Spitting Image puppet that had left Andrew ‘smiling from ear to ear — it was like a kid going to Disney World’.

She believes Andrew recognised her but couldn’t remember her name, adding that Johanna Sjoberg, a college student working as Epstein’s assistant, was sitting on his lap.

‘We kissed each other on the cheek and Ghislaine placed me on his other knee,’ she is quoted as saying in Levine’s book. ‘Ghislaine told me I should take him upstairs for a massage.’

The billionaire with Prince Andrew

The billionaire with Prince Andrew

The billionaire with Prince Andrew 

The massage room was dark and classical music was playing. Ms Roberts says she noticed a 6ft-long oil painting of her in a sexual position with another girl that hung on the wall. The Prince couldn’t have missed it and ‘I was so embarrassed,’ she says.

She gave the Prince a massage and then, ‘just as she had been taught by Epstein and Maxwell’, engaged in oral sex with him.

According to Levine, Epstein regularly made introductions on his royal friend’s behalf, including in 1999 phoning Donald Trump — a neighbour in Florida’s Palm Beach — and asking him to let Andrew play at his golf club there.

The following February, the three of them reportedly flew back to Palm Beach for a house party.

The Prince was later famously photographed, surrounded by topless women, on Epstein’s yacht in Thailand in 2001. Levine reports that Epstein once arranged for the Prince to make a midnight visit to a Miami club ‘notorious for its theme evenings that featured sadomasochistic scenes and performers in cages’.

According to the club’s ‘greeter’, Epstein phoned to warn them he was ‘sending over a friend, Andrew York, Prince Charles’s brother’.

Levine says a former friend of Epstein and Maxwell recalled a dinner party at the financier’s Manhattan house, attended by Andrew, that was packed with women ‘clearly there to be their playthings’. The same friend said Andrew and Epstein shared an ‘arrogance and lack of charm’ and ‘came across as bored billionaires trying to amuse themselves’.

The friend added: ‘I’ve been around royals enough to know how you should behave around them and how most people do, this was the opposite.

‘It was like [Epstein] wanted to prove he could do what he wanted and was so friendly with the Prince that he could speak in this way. He was like, ‘Oh, Andy, Andy.’ He kept calling him Andy. It made me really uneasy.’

A source close to the Prince was quoted as saying that the fresh claims were an ‘unsubstantiated and lurid’ attempt to sell books. Andrew has always denied knowing Roberts or having any sex with her.

The new book also sheds light on Epstein’s odd relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, who is in jail awaiting trial on criminal charges that she lured girls as young as 14 for Epstein to abuse. She denies the claims.

Her lawyers are expected to say at her trial that she was more of a victim of Epstein than an accomplice, although some of the women he abused insist she was the chief instigator. She faces further humiliation after a New York appeals court ruled on Monday that a 418-page deposition she gave in 2016 can be released. Her lawyers say it contains ‘intimate, sensitive, and personal details’ about her, including her sex life, that could prejudice her trial.

A string of women who say they were sexually abused by the late Epstein (who killed himself in jail as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges) claim Maxwell enthusiastically joined in the assaults.

Levine’s book says that, far from the long-held assumption that Epstein and Maxwell were once lovers, friends believe that was never true and that she is either bisexual or gay.

‘I never thought she liked guys. I don’t think she ever dated a guy,’ a former friend of Maxwell told the author. ‘I thought she was all about control.’ Epstein and Maxwell are believed to have first met in the late 1980s but became close friends after she moved to New York after her father’s death in 1991.

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, who was aged 17 at the time, pictured together in 2001

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, who was aged 17 at the time, pictured together in 2001

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, who was aged 17 at the time, pictured together in 2001 

According to Levine, Epstein filled the gulf left by her father, a similarly deeply controlling man. Maxwell made herself indispensable to the nerdy, shy and agoraphobic Epstein by organising his social life and transforming his personal style.

An entrepreneur in the same social circles said Maxwell was on first-name terms with media moguls and bankers in New York: ‘She was the best-connected person in the city. And she was an easy friend to have,’ said the source. ‘At cocktail parties, she would invariably be speaking with the most interesting people in the room. [So] you wanted to be where she was. We all did.’

Although Maxwell liked to boast she was Epstein’s girlfriend, many were struck by the asexuality of their body language, says Levine.

‘He’d put his arm around Ghislaine’s neck. It was collegial, affectionate, not a sexual act,’ a friend recalled. Another insider was never convinced that they dated. ‘It was more of a partnership,’ said the source. ‘They didn’t touch like a couple. He’d have his arm around her shoulders, not her waist.’

Yet it still paints a portrait of a relationship that was far from healthy. Christina Oxenberg, sister of Dynasty actress Catherine and a friend of Maxwell, told the writer: ‘Ghislaine was starving herself, I asked her about it. She said it’s because Jeffrey likes women thin.’

Christina went on: ‘And I could see the delusion, because she was his employee, albeit being paid very well. The more she tried to push it that she was having an affair with Jeffrey, I could see with my own eyes that that just wasn’t the case. There was no romance.’

The book provides insights, too, into Epstein’s final days in jail.

34640268 0 image a 8 1603236981401

34640268 0 image a 8 1603236981401

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and heiress, who has been arrested by the FBI accused of being sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘pimp’, pictured here with Epstein

Inmates said Epstein, perhaps anxious not to be labelled a paedophile, told them he was only motivated by ‘p***y’. The financier confided to inmate Michael Tisdale: ‘You know how p***y acts, how her mood will be next month and maybe in two months — that’s the same way to look at currency.’

He also told Tisdale that although he was accused of having sex with very young girls, they were in reality ’15, 16, 17, 18 years old — not eight or nine years old!’.

He also boasted of his connections. Bill Clinton was once a ‘lothario’ but ‘can’t do anything like that now because he’s had a couple of heart surgeries’.

As for Trump, he recounted how a French girl flying with them both had said she didn’t understand the meaning of ‘white trash’. Trump reportedly told her: ‘That would be me without the money.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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