Epstein: Prince Andrew Yet To Grant FBI’s Request For Interview – US Prosecutor

FILES) Britain’s Prince Andrew has said on August 18, 2019 he was “appalled” by allegations of sexual abuse surrounding Jeffrey Epstein after a video was released purporting to show him at the home of the convicted paedophile in 2010.  LEON NEAL / AFP

 

Prince Andrew has provided “zero cooperation” regarding late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and has yet to respond to an FBI request for an interview, a US prosecutor said Monday.

Andrew denies claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured by Epstein and said in November he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required.”

But New York attorney Geoffrey Berman, who is leading an investigation into possible co-conspirators of Epstein’s, said his office and the FBI had not heard from Andrew despite his offer to cooperate.

“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman told reporters during a news conference outside Epstein’s former New York home where Andrew has admitted staying at in the past.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to request for comment when contacted by AFP.

Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, 59, was forced to step back from royal duties after he faced outrage over an interview with the BBC late last year in which he defended his friendship with disgraced US financier Epstein.

Epstein, 66 committed suicide in a New York jail last summer while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

He was a multi-millionaire hedge fund manager who befriended countless celebrities over the years, including US President Donald Trump.

Epstein was charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and another of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

He denied the charges but was facing up to 45 years in jail if found guilty. His death also deprived countless alleged victims of justice.

Dozens of women who say they were abused by Epstein have sued his estate and prosecutors have pledged to pursue any accomplices.

“Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did without the assistance of others and I can assure you that our investigation is moving forward,” Berman said Monday.

Epstein’s death fueled several conspiracy theories, mostly speculating that he was murdered to stop him revealing compromising information about some of his wealthy acquaintances.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal struck with the then state prosecutor.

Prince Andrew’s Accuser Slams ‘Ridiculous Excuses’

Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves after speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Bangkok, on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

 

An American woman who claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew criticised the “ridiculous excuses” from the royal’s side in an interview aired on Monday.

The interview was recorded before Andrew’s own BBC interview, which prompted him to stand down from public duties because of a backlash at his defence of his friendship with Epstein.

But Virginia Giuffre called on the British public to support her as she dismissed claims initially made by the prince’s backers that a photograph apparently showing him with his arm around her might not be genuine.

“The people on the inside are going to keep coming up with these ridiculous excuses like his arm was elongated or the photo was doctored,” she told the BBC’s Panorama programme.

“I’m calling BS (bullshit) on this. He knows what happened, I know what happened. And there’s only one of us telling the truth,” she said.

“It’s a real photo. I’ve given it to the FBI for their investigation.”

Andrew himself doubted the authenticity of the photograph during his badly received interview, saying “nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored.”

Giuffre has alleged she was trafficked to have sex with friends of Epstein when she was 17. Epstein was found dead in a New York prison in August awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

She described how Epstein preyed on her once he knew she came from a vulnerable background, having already suffered sexual abuse.

The financier initially lured her with an offer of a job as a masseuse, but soon began abusing her, according to Giuffre.

She accused Epstein of bringing her to London in 2001, where she was introduced to Andrew and Epstein’s socialite girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.

The prince asked her for a dance at a nightclub, she recalled, telling Panorama he was “the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life”.

“His sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere,” she added.

“I was just like grossed out from it but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine would have expected from me.”

 ‘Ill-judged’ friendship 

The prince told the BBC he was unable to sweat at the time due to a medical condition he developed after serving as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War in 1982.

After the nightclub, Giuffre — then known as Roberts — said that Maxwell told her: “I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that just made me sick.”

She and Queen Elizabeth II’s second son later had sex at Maxwell’s house in central London, she alleged.

“It was disgusting,” she said. “He said ‘thanks’ and walked out.”

Andrew, 59, said he did not remember meeting Giuffre and that he “absolutely and categorically” did not have sex with her.

But an email discovered by Panorama appeared to show Andrew writing to Maxwell in 2015 with “specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts”.

She replied “have some info — call me when you have a moment”, according to the BBC investigation.

Giuffre admitted to having a “foggy memory” over dates and places when she was asked about inconsistencies in her story.

“I might be wrong on dates, I might be wrong on places sometimes, but one thing I can tell you is you never forget the face of someone who has heaved over you.”

She added: “I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK.

“This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, This is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guy’s royalty.”

Panorama reported that Andrew could be served with subpoenas if he returns to the US, with lawyers for five of Epstein’s victims demanding that the prince testify in their court cases abut how he witnessed people being given massages.

After his BBC interview, Andrew issued a statement in which he said “I… unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein” and “deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure”.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said they “emphatically denied that The Duke of York (Andrew) had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts.”

Panorama also interviewed another of Epstein’s victims, who made further allegations against Maxwell.

Sarah Ransome told the programme that she “controlled the girls… like the madam”.

AFP

Prince Andrew Urged To Cooperate With US Over Epstein

In this file photo taken on November 03, 2019, Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves after speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Bangkok, on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

 

Prince Andrew was urged Thursday to speak to lawyers representing victims of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, after the royal announced he was quitting public life because of the scandal.

Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, 59, has faced days of outrage since a television interview in which he defended his friendship with the disgraced US financier.

Andrew denies claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured by Epstein, who was found dead in a New York prison in August while awaiting charges of trafficking minors.

As a growing number of organisations distanced themselves from the royal and his pet projects, he said he was cancelling public engagements because of the backlash.

He said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required”.

US lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents five women allegedly assaulted by Epstein, told the BBC the royal should speak to everyone probing the allegations — including her.

“All of the staff who work for Prince Andrew should come and give information and evidence and the documents should be turned over — emails, texts, calendars, phone logs, travel logs — so we can get to the bottom of this,” she said.

She did not rule out approaching the prince directly to secure a sworn statement.

Later, lawyer Gloria Allred, who also represents alleged victims and is Bloom’s mother, urged Andrew to speak to investigators “without delay.”

“The best way for him to begin to repair his damaged reputation would be to sit for an interview as soon as possible,” she told reporters in New York.

‘Much Worse To Come’?

Andrew’s announcement, which he said was approved by his mother and in which he belatedly expressed sympathy for Epstein’s victims, dominated British media for a fifth day.

Several newspapers said the former Royal Navy officer’s reputation was in tatters and speculated about whether he could ever return to formal royal duties.

Tabloid daily The Sun called the statement “a desperate attempt to fix the appalling failures of his TV interview over the Epstein scandal”.

“But if Andrew thinks this will draw a line under it all, he is delusional. His woes, we fear are just beginning,” it added in an editorial.

The Daily Mail said the claims, which have long cast a shadow over his duties, including as a special government trade representative, could do “serious damage” to the royal family.

“As it unravels, there may be much worse to come,” it added.

Andrew’s decision to step down was taken after “crisis talks” between the monarch herself and her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, several newspapers reported.

But as well as potentially having to be quizzed by US investigators, some cast doubt on some of Andrew’s claims.

They include that he had stayed at the residence of Britain’s consul-general to New York on one of the three occasions when he had allegedly had sex with his accuser.

Another is whether he actually met Epstein several years earlier than he claimed.

Torrid Year

The Epstein affair shows no sign of going away, as the BBC is expected to air more revelations from one of his victims in the coming days.

The scandal tops a torrid year for the royal family marked by strained relations with the media and an apparent lack of direction in terms of control of its public image.

In October, Andrew’s nephew Prince Harry was criticised for giving an interview in which he complained about media coverage of his wife, Meghan.

He then announced legal action against several tabloids for breach of privacy and phone-hacking, setting up a potentially explosive court confrontation.

The queen, now 93, described 1992 as her “annus horribilis” after heir to the throne Charles and Andrew separated from their respective wives, and her only daughter, Anne, got divorced.

Her favourite Windsor Castle residence was also partially destroyed by fire.

Commentators said the latest scandal could see a repeat, and that the withdrawal of a senior royal from public life had no precedent since king Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936.

Britain’s Prince Andrew Under Fire Over Relationship With Epstein

Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, leaves following the Royal family Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, in the east of England, on December 25, 2012. LEON NEAL / AFP

 

Britain’s Prince Andrew insisted on Saturday that “at no stage” during his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein did he “witness… any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest”.

The prince, Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, is under heavy fire over his relationship with the disgraced US financier, and admitted in a statement on Saturday that “it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010”.

“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”

READ ALSO: ‘I’m Very Concerned’, Johnson Reacts To US Tariffs On China

Epstein was found dead in his cell earlier this month, and the prince was once more drawn into the story after a video was released purporting to show him at the criminal’s home in 2010.

Epstein had pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring for prostitution a girl under the age of 18 and served 13 months in prison before being released on probation.

“I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know,” said Andrew.

“This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr Epstein’s lifestyle,” he added.

The video was the latest in a string of revelations about Prince Andrew’s friendship with Epstein in British tabloids.

The Mail on Monday said the prince had hosted Epstein at Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth II’s home in Scotland, in 1999 at a time when the monarch may have been in residence.

He also reportedly hosted Epstein at Sandringham, another royal residence in eastern England, a year later.

Epstein died in a federal jail in Manhattan on August 10 as he awaited trial charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

A coroner ruled that he committed suicide by hanging.

Over the years, the financier hobnobbed with politicians, socialites and celebrities, including Donald Trump before he was president, and Bill Clinton.

Virginia Giuffre — previously Virginia Roberts — one of Epstein’s alleged victims, has testified that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew in London when she was 17. She said she had sex with him again in New York and on Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.

But the allegations were struck from the record by a US judge in 2015, who said the “lurid details” were not needed to decide a civil case concerning Epstein.

Buckingham Palace has repeatedly and strenuously denied the claims, calling them “false and without foundation”.

The prince said he deplored “the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour.”

AFP