A Manchester-born publisher has been identified as the alleged former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein named in legal papers relating to Ghislaine Maxwell that were unsealed by a Manhattan court last week.
A woman named as “Shelley” was allegedly named by Ms Maxwell as Epstein’s girlfriend between 1999 and 2002, according to an email contained in papers released by US District Judge Loretta Preska.
It has now been claimed that the woman is Shelley Ann Lewis, 43, a “wellness entrepreneur”, who runs a company called The Equanimity Expert.
There is no suggestion that Ms Lewis was aware of any criminal behaviour by Epstein during the time of their alleged relationship.
It coincided with the time when Virginia Giuffre alleges she was coerced into having sex with the Duke of York – an allegation that Prince Andrew has repeatedly and vehemently denied.
Ms Lewis could, lawyers believe, be approached by prosecutors and attorneys in the United States acting for Epstein’s victims to ask what she knew about the alleged behaviour of Ms Maxwell and Epstein.
The tranche of papers was compiled during a defamation case brought against Ms Maxwell by Ms Giuffre. They were released despite fierce opposition from Ms Maxwell’s legal team.
In a January 2015 email to Epstein, Ms Maxwell wrote: “I would appreciate it if Shelley would come out and say she was your g’friend – I think she was from end 99 to 2002.”
Epstein replied: “OK with me.”
Ms Lewis’ name appears repeatedly on the flight logs of Epstein’s private planes, on occasion travelling alone with the disgraced financier, who was found dead in a jail cell a year ago.
Destinations included New York and Little St James – the financier’s private island in the Caribbean where many of the offences are alleged to have taken place.
It is believed they met in 1999 when Ms Lewis, then 22, was working for Christie’s auction house in New York. Epstein was 46 at the time.
The company Ms Lewis now runs says it offers a six-week course hosted by “some of the leading thinkers in the fields of big picture decision making, neuroscience and psychology”.
The company’s website adds: “After an experience of direct awakening at age seventeen, Shelley has been on the path of inner transformation ever since.”
Her meditation centre, called Sacred Space, is intended to help New Yorkers find respite from the city’s frantic pace and “cultivate practices for Inner Peace”.
Ms Lewis is understood to divide her time between New York and west London, where she owns a flat. She was also the author of A Key to the Heart, a bestselling children’s book, which has reportedly been praised by Laura Bush, the former First Lady and author J K Rowling.
Ms Lewis’ father, Brian, a retired businessman told The Mail on Sunday: “I’ve not seen my daughter for ages. I have no idea what she would want to say.”
Ms Lewis deleted all her social media profiles a short time after the release of the court documents on Friday.
Ms Maxwell, the daughter of the late Robert Maxwell, a Labour MP and owner of the Mirror Group of newspapers, is in custody in New York awaiting trial.
Charged with six counts of child abuse allegedly committed between 1994 and 1997, Ms Maxwell, who has denied the allegations, is due to stand trial next July.
Other documents remain sealed and Ms Maxwell’s legal team are seeking to prevent their release.
Some papers, which were due to be released on Monday, will be kept under wraps, including Ms Maxwell’s own deposition in which she has denied knowledge of Epstein’s activities.
Judges in the US Court of Appeals agreed to delay their publication in a two-page order published on Saturday. A further hearing has been listed for September.
The Telegraph has approached Ms Lewis for comment.