EDDIE Irvine has spoken for the first time about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, declaring: "If the charges are true, it ain't good."
The former Formula 1 driver admitted he partied with the paedophile financier and his alleged fixer in New York and Miami.
Speaking exclusively to Sunday Life, he also told how he saw the pair surrounded by models and beautiful girls, including Virginia Giuffre, who claims the pair forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew.
Co Down-born Eddie said he bumped into them so often he was not surprised that his personal details were in Epstein's infamous little black book of contacts, alongside the likes of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Donald Trump and disgraced actor Bill Cosby.
The racer-turned-millionaire entrepreneur added he was stunned when Maxwell (58) was arrested and charged with sex trafficking earlier this month because he had always thought of her as "sweet and super-nice".
He described Epstein, however, as a "strange guy" and "socially awkward".
Speaking from his mansion in Milan, Eddie said: "I wouldn't be surprised if I'm in Epstein's black book.
"I'm in his book because I knew Ghislaine reasonably well. I spoke to her from time to time and I spoke to him from time to time, but my friend knew her a lot better than me.
"Ghislaine kind of had the hots for one of my friends - he was just someone in my circle - so she would come around to try and meet up with him.
"I would bump into them in Miami, but Ghislaine was always super-sweet and a super-nice lady."
Miami is one of the areas where Epstein and Maxwell, who were once lovers, are said to have preyed on vulnerable under-age girls.
The allegations featured in a major four-part Netflix documentary called Filthy Rich.
Epstein (right) died in a prison cell in Manhattan last year aged 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, leaving a fortune of nearly $600million. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.
Maxwell is alleged to have recruited teenagers into a sex trafficking ring said to have been used by some of the world's most powerful men.
Virginia Giuffre (35) claims she was groomed by Maxwell while working as a masseuse at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
She alleges she was subsequently forced to sleep with Prince Andrew three times, when she was aged 17 and 18, before fleeing Epstein's clutches aged 19. The Duke of York has strongly denied her claims.
Giuffre is one of up to 100 girls allegedly used as sex slaves by Epstein and his alleged fixer Maxwell.
Eddie insisted that even though he saw the pair constantly surrounded by models at dinners and parties, he never saw any vulnerable young girls in their company or any signs of sex trafficking.
"When I was around, it was just a normal dinner, just parties. There'd just be a party where some people would turn up and some people wouldn't. But about that other stuff, I have no idea," he said.
The dad-of-one, who has daughter Zoe (23) with ex-girlfriend Maria Drummond (52), added: "I had no idea about that, the providing of under-age girls.
"The only girl I ever saw was the blonde one that was the masseuse (Virginia.)
"I remember seeing her around a few times, but I would have said she was like 20 by that stage. I remember seeing her, but I never saw young girls.
"There were always a few models around, but they were always older girls."
Eddie's entry in Epstein's contacts book lists two mobile numbers - landlines in Ireland and America - a home address and an email address. It is on the same page as an entry for Mick Jagger, one of 310 Britons in the book.
Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, former world champion driver Jacques Villeneuve and race-fixing accused Flavio Briatore are among the other F1 contacts kept by Epstein. There is no suggestion that anyone whose name is in the book was involved in or had any knowledge of any wrongdoing.
Other names in the list of contacts, dubbed the "holy grail" and seized by the FBI in 2009, include Tony Blair, Richard Branson and Prince Andrew, who has 16 numbers against his name.
Epstein is said to have abused girls on a private jet nicknamed 'the Lolita express' and on his 'paedophile island', Little St James in the Caribbean. It is also alleged he abused hundreds more at his £60million townhouse in New York, found to be filled with pornography.
Epstein is said to have been social inept and to have suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
His oddness was obvious to Eddie. "He was always a strange guy," he said. "A lot of the finance guys tend to be a bit antisocial and socially awkward - that's why I think he had Ghislaine around.
"While I was quite friendly with Ghislaine, I was never on Epstein's island, I was never on his plane and I was never at his house, but I'd bump into him and her in New York."
Maxwell (58), the daughter of the disgraced newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, who died in mysterious circumstances in 1991, is facing trial on six charges of trafficking girls as young as 14 and perjury. If found guilty she could be handed up to 35 years in jail - at her age, an effective life sentence.
Eddie, worth an estimated £94million and nicknamed 'Fast Eddie' and 'Irv the Swerve' during his driving career, told Sunday Life: "She was sweet and very bubbly, just the ultimate socialite.
"She talked to everybody and she knew everybody. I don't have a bad word to say about her, apart from these accusations. If the charges are true, it ain't good."
Explosive documents detailing Maxwell's sex life and Epstein's flight logs will be unsealed within days after a court ruling last Thursday.
The 80 sets of papers, which Maxwell had sought to keep secret, include testimony from 2016 in which she complained involved "intrusive" questions regarding her sex life. The documents, which run to hundreds of pages, were ordered to be released by a judge in New York who said the public's right to know outweighed Maxwell's desire for privacy.
They will also expose who travelled on Epstein's private jet.
The unsealed documents include communications between Maxwell and Epstein in 2015, after Virginia Roberts Giuffre accused them of trafficking her.