An archived newspaper clipping indicates that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were guests of honour on a Sydney Harbour Christmas cruise hosted by Australian billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox in 1995—along with media mogul James Packer and musician Deni Hines.
The article, published in The Sydney Morning Herald on December 24 of that year, tells of how Ghislaine Maxwell—“the beautiful, feisty, 34-year-old daughter of the late disgraced media baron Robert Maxwell”—and her “millionaire American beau” Jeffrey Epstein—“a property developer who is given to zipping around Manhattan in a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit”—were hosted at an exclusive party on board Fox’s 100-foot yacht on the harbour.
Packer and his then-girlfriend Hines were also at the party, along with Rodney Adler, former director of FAI Insurances group, and his wife Lindy. Maxwell and Epstein had reportedly been spending time in Melbourne with the Fox family before travelling to Sydney for a “brief visit”.
The cruise was described in the SMH article as “one of the most coveted Christmas invitations in Sydney”.
Lindsay Fox, who founded logistics and supply company Linfox in 1956 and is now non-executive chairman, has remained one of Australia’s wealthiest people for more than 30 years. In 2019, Forbes ranked him the 10th richest person in Australia and The Australian Financial Review assessed his net worth at $3.31 billion AUD. He is one of only thirteen living individuals to have been listed on every Financial Review Rich List since the first in 1984.
In 1995, the top position on that list was held by Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer—broadly considered to be one of the most powerful Australian media proprietors of the twentieth century—whose son James was reportedly on the cruise with Maxwell and Epstein.
James, who would later go on to helm worldwide gambling empire Crown Resorts, has himself held the title of richest person in Australia at various points over the years. Following a number of poor investment decisions and financial losses—including a multi-million dollar settlement in his divorce with Mariah Carey—he currently sits at number nine, according to Forbes.
News that Fox hosted Maxwell and Epstein on Sydney Harbour started trending on Reddit after the newspaper clipping resurfaced, with a post referencing the newspaper article garnering close to 1,000 upvotes in a matter of days.
It was just five years prior to the events mentioned in the story that Epstein purchased a secluded mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, where he has since been accused of allegedly sexually abusing underage girls.
In July of this year, 12 months after Epstein was arrested and indicted on sex trafficking charges—and 11 months after he was found dead in his prison cell—Maxwell was accused of helping recruit and sexually abuse young girls on his behalf. She pleaded not guilty and her lawyers said she “vigorously denies the charges.”
VICE approached Lindsay Fox for comment on the article, and received the following response via text message from his senior executive Ari Suss:
“Despite the contents of the story (of 24/12/95), Lindsay has never met Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell—neither in Sydney, nor Melbourne. Indeed, at the time of the ‘harbour cruise’ in Sydney as suggested by the article, Lindsay’s diary records confirm that he was in Hawaii celebrating Christmas with family.”
When VICE contacted and questioned the reporter who wrote the article, Rosalind Reines, she replied via email stating: “Fox has now denied connecting with the couple in Sydney. But the article was never questioned by the Fox fam [sic] post print. If it had been untrue something would have been said.”
Reines went on to suggest that she has never been accused of fabricating stories or details, and has “never been sued for [defamation] in 18 years as a gossip columnist.” She also added that she “wasn’t on the boat” on the night in question, as she wasn’t invited.
Neither James Packer’s, Rodney Adler’s nor Deni Hynes’ representatives responded to a request for a comment by the time of publication.
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