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Democrat Running For Toss-Up Seat Was Mentored By Billionaire Allegedly Linked To Jeffrey Epstein, Sex Slave Cult

George Whitesides, a Democratic congressional candidate vying for a seat in the highly contested 27th district of California, received guidance from billionaire Richard Branson during his tenure as CEO of Virgin Galactic.

However, concerns have been raised regarding Branson’s alleged connections to the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his association with the infamous NXIVM cult, which reportedly engaged in coercing women into becoming sex slaves.

“I would say Richard’s had quite an influence on me. He’s a really amazing person and an amazing leader, and I’ve learned a lot from him,” Whitesides said in a March 2013 interview. “I think what he’s done with his career, from starting with very little resources at the front of his career to creating a mobile empire with the Virgin brand is incredible and it’s a testament to the guy.”


Whitesides, the former CEO of Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company founded by Branson, is utilizing his personal fortune accumulated from the company to fund his congressional campaign. He held various advisory roles for the firm until he decided to run for congress in February 2023.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Whitesides served as Virgin Galactic’s first CEO from May 2010 to July 2020.

In California’s non-partisan primary, Republican Rep. Mike Garcia emerged victorious with a 53.2% majority against Democratic challenger Christy Smith who secured 46.8% of the votes.

In this primary race, Whitesides and another Democratic candidate are also vying for the seat. Several prominent Democratic California Representatives such as Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Ro Khanna, Zoe Lofgren, Judy Chu and Josh Harder have endorsed Whitesides’ campaign.

As per Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, Whitesides raised $3 million in funds during 2023 and contributed $270,000 of his own money to support his campaign.

Corporate financial documents reveal that Virgin Galactic paid him $8.3 million in compensation during his tenure at the company spanning over a decade.

Despite these figures and details disclosed by FEC records and corporate documents respectively, there has been no response from Whitesides’ campaign team when asked for comment on this matter.

According to the Seattle Times, Branson’s name is listed in Epstein’s “little black book” as one of his influential contacts. Epstein had recorded three phone numbers for Branson.

Notably, Branson’s island in the British Virgin Islands is located approximately 34 miles away from Epstein’s notorious former estate, Little St. James island, situated in the U.S. Virgin Islands territory.

According to a court document from litigation between the U.S. Virgin Islands and JP Morgan Chase, it was alleged that three years after Epstein served time in jail for child prostitution, he and Branson had breakfast together.

This information was reported by the Daily Mail in July. In September 2013, an email obtained by the Daily Mail mentioned Branson’s name regarding his potential attendance at a dinner organized by Epstein. However, a source from Branson’s team informed the Daily Beast that Branson did not attend the said dinner.

Epstein, who was awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges, died in August 2019. Meanwhile, his partner Ghislaine Maxwell is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for her involvement with Epstein.

Recently, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York released a collection of court documents from Virginia Giuffre’s defamation lawsuit against Maxwell.

These documents name various notable individuals including former President Bill Clinton, disgraced British royal Prince Andrew, deceased former Democratic New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, deceased model scout Jean-Luc Brunel, business mogul Thomas Pritzker, deceased physicist Stephen Hawking, and billionaire Les Wexner.

In one court filing containing discredited allegations, Branson’s name appears alongside claims that Epstein recorded sex tapes involving trafficked girls and prominent figures like Clinton, Prince Andrew, Branson himself, and even former President Donald Trump (whose name also shows up in the court filings).

However, it should be noted that Epstein accuser Sarah Ransome admitted to fabricating these sex tape allegations in order to bring attention to Epstein’s behavior.

When asked about Branson’s relationship with Whitesides (presumably another person involved), a spokesperson for Virgin Group declined to comment directly but referred back to previously publicized statements regarding the Epstein and NXIVM allegations against Branson.

The spokesperson stated that they categorically reject all allegations made by Sarah Ransome and emphasized that she had retracted her claims in 2016 and later admitted to inventing the “tapes” after settling her claims with Epstein and Maxwell in 2019.

They concluded by dismissing the allegations as baseless and unfounded.

“The actions of Jeffrey Epstein were abhorrent and we support the right to justice for the many victims impacted by his abuse.”

It has been claimed that Branson played host to parties for members of the NXIVM cult on his personal island and even attended NXIVM classes.

A former publicist for the cult alleged that they organized seminars with the intention of recruiting Branson, and it is believed that some members of the organization visited Branson’s private island in 2007 and 2010 for these seminars.

“Smallville” actress Allison Mack was accused by NXIVM’s former publicist of recruiting 25 women into the cult and ordering the sex “slaves” to sleep with NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, the Sun reported.

Mack was convicted of racketeering charges linked to her involvement with NXIVM and was sentenced to three years in prison. She served 21 months and was released in 2023.

In October 2020, Raniere, the leader of NXIVM, received a lengthy prison sentence of 120 years for his participation in various racketeering and sex trafficking crimes. Branson has consistently denied any association with NXIVM or Raniere.

“There is no association between Keith Raniere and Sir Richard Branson and Sir Richard did not take part in a NXIVM seminar. Clare and Sara Bronfman did hire Necker Island many years ago and we understand they hosted a gathering for team members of NXIVM. The island is available for hire by the public and this was one of many gatherings held on the island over the years by various groups from across the world. Sir Richard was not aware of any of the allegations against NXIVM or its leader whatsoever,” the Virgin Group spokesperson said.

Branson has not been accused of criminal activity.

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Joe Messina

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