US lawyer says UK might send Prince Andrew if US sent Anne Sacoolas

‘It works both ways’: Lawyer for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims suggests UK might send Prince Andrew over for ‘sex slave’ quiz if US extradited fugitive driver Anne Sacoolas after Harry Dunn death

  • Top US prosecutor Geoffrey Berman spoke outside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion
  • He said: ‘To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation’ 
  • He declined to say if Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell is cooperating 
  • Andrew insisted in November he was ‘willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations’ into Epstein   
  • Virginia Roberts claims she had sex with Andrew three times when she was 17 
  • Duke of York has denied any knowledge that Epstein sexually abused teen girls
  • Lawyers for Epstein’s alleged victims demand to know why he won’t speak to FBI 

Britain should only let the FBI speak to Prince Andrew about Jeffrey Epstein if the US finally hands over Harry Dunn’s alleged killer Anne Sacoolas in a tit-for-tat diplomatic deal, a lawyer for the billionaire financier’s victims suggested today. 

The Duke of York looked serious as he left his Windsor home in his green Bentley this morning as his failure to speak to the US agents emerged and was branded ‘outrageous’ and ‘unacceptable’ by those allegedly abused by his friend Epstein.

Lisa Bloom, an aggressive California-based lawyer who famously represented Harvey Weinstein and now represents five of Epstein’s alleged victims, today suggested that US secretary of state Mike Pompeo should reconsider his decision to reject Anne Sacoolas’ extradition to Britain. 

She has suggested that America’s hardline stance will hamper future ‘cooperation’ across the Atlantic in the future – including on Andrew – because so many believe Sacoolas should face justice for knocking down and killing Harry in a car accident last year.

After speaking to the BBC today and urging Andrew to ‘do the right thing’ and meet the FBI, Ms Bloom tweeted: ‘I understand diplomatic immunity but this is not a good look. An American, Anne Sacoolas, will not return to the UK to face questions regarding the death of Harry Dunn outside an American air base. This works both ways, “Maybe if you extradited her we might feel more that Prince Andrew should go to you”, say some Brits.’ 

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said to be ‘incandescent with rage’ over Mr Pompeo’s decision – and is expected to confront Donald Trump’s Secretary of State when he visits the UK this week. 

But today senior lawyer Mark Stephens, one of Britain’s experts in human rights and international law, said Andrew’s royal status is likely to protect him from being forced to speak to the FBI – or being extradited to the US.

He told talkRADIO that as a prince, Andrew had a ‘high level of immunity’ in all civil or criminal proceedings, and said that ‘any competent lawyer’ would advise the prince not to give evidence because ‘the only way for him to keep out of this [Epstein case] is not co-operating’.  

Prince Andrew (left) is seen driving from Windsor  today after being criticised by a US prosecutor for giving ‘zero co-operation’ during Epstein inquiry

Lisa Bloom, who represents five of Epstein’s alleged victims, told BBC News today that Andrew appeared to be ‘playing games’ and suggested that the US should review its decision over Anne Sacoolas if it wants to get anywhere near Andrew

Harry Dunn family spokesman Radd Seiger, pictured centre with Harry’s mother Charlotte (far left) and Tim Dunn, Harry’s father (right) said today Britain should not co-operate with the US on Andrew unless they sent Anne Sacoolas

Sacoolas (left) skipped the country and claimed diplomatic immunity after knocking down and killing 19-year-old Harry (right) while driving on the wrong side of the road outside a US base in Britain last year

With the Duke of York accused of offering ‘zero cooperation’ in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking investigation, what happens next?

– Who wants to interview him?

US prosecutors and the FBI have contacted Andrew’s lawyers requesting to interview him. Also lawyers for five alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein want the duke to provide testimony in their civil cases, claiming Andrew witnessed people being given massages at the disgraced financier’s homes. 

– What could happen next?

If Andrew decides not to give evidence voluntarily, the US authorities could make a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) request to the UK, a formal process that allows co-operation between states when evidence needs to be gathered in a prosecution or investigation of criminal offences.

– Would a Mutual Legal Assistance request be approved?

Not necessarily. The Home Office would have to decide whether or not to agree to the request – it is not automatic.

There are a large number of grounds it could be refused, such as if it is considered to impair sovereignty, security or other essential interests, or if it is contrary to important public policy.

Initial developments could happen behind the scenes because the UK’s policy is not to confirm nor deny that an MLA request has been made.

– What would an MLA mean for Andrew?

If the FBI is treating the duke as a witness, it could ask for him to be compelled to go to a UK court to give evidence under oath.

If he was being treated as a potential suspect, or received legal advice he might incriminate himself, he would have privilege against self-incrimination.

So Andrew would have to appear at court, but could not be compelled to give evidence.

– Would this be in open court?

It would be up to the judge in the UK to decide whether this would take place in open court.

In practical terms, when it is known an individual has been advised not to incriminate themselves, the MLA request will not be made.

The duke’s lawyers could challenge which evidence should be transmitted back to the US.

– Could Andrew be extradited to the US?

If US prosecutors wanted to extradite Andrew, they would have to either obtain an arrest warrant or a grand jury indictment together with an arrest warrant, and make a request to the UK.

The Home Office would have to decide whether it was a lawful request or whether an extradition should be refused, with the case going to a magistrates’ court if it proceeds.

Andrew would then have to decide whether to be extradited voluntarily or whether to challenge it.

– Can the duke travel to the US?

The US is most likely considered out of the question for the duke now.

Once he is on US soil, he is subject to US law and if an arrest warrant was issued, he would be liable for arrest.

– What happens if the duke now agrees to be interviewed voluntarily instead?

If the duke is willing to comply with the FBI’s request, it would arrange, through the duke’s lawyers, a date, time and place to speak to him, or he could request to answer written questions.

This voluntary arrangement means US investigators can travel to the UK without having to follow any formal procedures.

But as a courtesy they will notify the National Crime Agency that they will be conducting part of their investigation on UK soil.

– Where would the meeting take place?

The duke could make his statement at a number of venues, from the US embassy in London to a lawyer’s office and potentially even a royal residence like Buckingham Palace.

But he would be likely to pick somewhere he feels most comfortable.

– What would happen during the meeting when a statement is taken?

Andrew’s lawyers would be likely to advise him to take some control of the process.

So he could request the questions in advance, and ask whether he is being considered as a witness or potential suspect.

The duke would also need to clarify what his rights are under US law in relation to the statement he would be giving.

– Would the process end there?

No, the FBI could request further interviews to ask follow-up questions, if the investigation develops and new leads come to light.

But at some point, Andrew’s legal team will want what is known as a ‘letter of comfort’ from the US authorities, saying he is not a person of interest to the investigation and is a ‘witness of fact’ only.

– Why is the Metropolitan Police not investigating the allegations?

The Metropolitan Police said it reviewed its previous decision that it was ‘not the appropriate authority to conduct enquiries in these circumstances’ following Epstein’s death in August, and that its position remained unchanged. 

– Can the lawyers representing some of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims take part in the interview process?

No, as they are involved in a civil matter – claims for damages made against Epstein’s estate. But they could ask the FBI to share the results of any interview with Andrew. 

– Could the duke be made to provide testimony in the lawsuits against Epstein’s estate?

Pre-trial subpoenas for witnesses have already been prepared in each of the five cases, according to BBC Panorama, and these could be served on Andrew were he to return to the US, at which point they would have to be signed off by a judge.

The duke could challenge the subpoena in court if he wanted to decline to give evidence.

Mrs Sacoolas, the wife of an American intelligence official has been charged with causing teenager Mr Dunn’s death after driving on the wrong side of the road outside a US military base in Northamptonshire last year. She fled the country on a private jet after being given diplomatic immunity. 

Radd Seiger, the Dunn family’s spokesman, backed her intervention and said: ‘If Prince Andrew has committed crimes in the US then he should return to face their justice system. But only if the USA reverse their decision on Anne Sacoolas’. 

‘To the extent that the United States wishes to have anyone from the UK extradited to the US, including Prince Andrew, then they will absolutely have to send Anne Sacoolas back first’.

The Foreign Office is still looking at alternative options including a trial of Sacoolas in absentia in the UK, issuing an Interpol red notice, which would mean she would be arrested as soon as she left US soil.

America and Britain have traditional agreed to extradition of people between the two countries unless there are exceptional circumstances.  

The Government choose to reject more cases if it is unhappy with Mike Pompeo’s decision over Sacoolas.

The FBI, which investigates major cases on behalf of US attorneys who prosecute them in courts, has vowed to unravel Epstein’s network.

US attorney general William Barr has promised to bring charges against anyone who may have helped him.

Prince Andrew has always denied any impropriety, or having any knowledge Epstein was a paedophile, with the FBI treating the duke as a witness rather than a suspect.

If US prosecutors wanted to extradite Andrew, they would have to either obtain an arrest warrant or a grand jury indictment together with an arrest warrant, and make a request to the UK.

The Home Office would have to decide whether it was a lawful request or whether an extradition should be refused, with the case going to a magistrates’ court if it proceeds.

Andrew would then have to decide whether to be extradited voluntarily or whether to challenge it. An alternative is that he could speak to the FBI in London, if he invited agents to see him. 

The Duke of York was today threatened with a subpoena if he ever returns to the US  – which looks increasingly unlikely.

Two months ago the Duke of York pledged to ‘help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations’ into Epstein, his billionaire friend who killed himself last year. 

But speaking on the steps of Epstein’s New York mansion yesterday, state attorney Geoffrey Berman accused the Queen’s son of providing ‘zero co-operation’ and ignoring a request for an interview.   

Lisa Bloom’s mother Gloria Allred, another high-powered lawyer for five more of Epstein’s accusers, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We could, also, in our civil law suit, seek to subpoena Prince Andrew. Certainly, if he ever came back to the United States – that would be one of the first things that I’m sure a lot of lawyers, including me, would want to do’.

She added: ‘If he has done nothing wrong, which appears to be what he has claimed, then why won’t he talk to law enforcement? No response is the same as zero co-operation. This is ridiculous. It’s just not acceptable’.

Lisa Bloom told BBC News earlier: ‘Push has come to shove. There are dozens of women who allege they were the victims of sexual assault by this predator Jeffrey Epstein.

‘It is time for anyone with information to come forward and answer questions. Prince Andrew himself is accused of sexual misconduct and he also spent a great deal of time with Jeffrey Epstein. So, it’s time to stop playing games and to come forward to do the right thing and answer questions.’ 

She added the US authorities should help with the investigation into the death of Harry Dunn, who was knocked down by an American’s diplomat’s wife in Britain last year, if it wants cooperation in its bid to quiz the Duke of York.

Virginia Roberts, now known by her married name Virginia Giuffre, has also launched a fresh attack on Prince Andrew, warning him he is ‘not above the law’. 

A lawyer for Miss Roberts, who claims she had sex with Andrew three times, said: ‘Prince Andrew’s continued refusal to cooperate with the authorities after freely acknowledging that he would be prepared to answer enquiries raises even more questions about the role he played in the international sex trafficking ring Jeffrey Epstein and others operated.

‘Prince Andrew should take most seriously the deeply held belief in this country that no one is above the law.’  

During his Newsnight interview in November, Andrew said he did not recall meeting Miss Roberts.

On the occasion she said they first met in 2001 – when she claimed she was ‘trafficked’ to Britain by Epstein aged 17 – he said he spent the day with his daughter Beatrice and then took her to Pizza Express in Woking.  He also questioned his 36-year-old accuser’s account of them dancing together at the London nightclub Tramp, when she said he was sweating heavily.

The Duke of York said he had suffered from a medical condition at the time, caused by being shot at during the Falklands War, which meant he did not sweat. 

He also sought to cast doubt on the authenticity of a photograph that showed him with his arm around Miss Roberts’ waist, but conceded that it was difficult to prove whether it was a fake. 

Andrew admitted he had ‘let the side down’ when he had failed to cut ties with Epstein immediately after the American was jailed in 2008 for soliciting prostitution from a minor, and registered as a sex offender.

Two months ago Andrew pledged to ‘help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations’ into Epstein, the paedophile financier who killed himself last year.

Speaking on the steps of Epstein’s New York mansion, Mr Berman suggested the prince had rebuffed all attempts by federal prosecutors to interview him over the affair despite a high-profile investigation into Epstein’s ‘co-conspirators’. 

Prince Andrew, pictured with the Queen heading to church at Sandringham on January 19, has been urged to ‘do the right thing’ and speak to the FBI about what he knew about Epstein

Prince Andrew is pictured with Epstein in Central Park in New York in 2010 after he was released from prison for prostituting minors. The Duke of York has pledged to help the authorities but has not responded to a request to an interview, it is claimed

Speaking to reporters outside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion yesterday, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said that prosecutors have contacted Prince Andrew’s legal team but have not received a response

Virginia Roberts, who claims that Prince Andrew had sex with her after Epstein trafficked her to London, is pictured with the Duke of York in 2001 

A lawyer for Virginia Roberts (pictured), who claims she had sex with Andrew three times, said: ‘Prince Andrew should take most seriously the deeply held belief in this country that no one is above the law.’

Ghislaine Maxwell visited Prince Andrew up to four times a day at Buckingham Palace

Ghislaine Maxwell would visit Prince Andrew up to four times a day at Buckingham Palace, it has been claimed. The pair are pictured together in 2000

A former police protection officer has claimed that Ghislaine Maxwell would visit Prince Andrew up to four times a day at Buckingham Palace and that the pair would enjoy picnics together on the grounds on the estate in London.

Maxwell was a close friend of Prince Andrew’s and is alleged to have recruited girls for US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was also friends with the Prince.

The British socialite is said to have enjoyed afternoons at the palace with the Prince, in view of the Queen’s bedroom window.

Met Police officer Paul Page had previously served as a protection officer for Prince Andrew and claimed the first time he had been made aware of Maxwell was in 2001.

Speaking to The Mirror, Mr Page, who worked with the Royals from 1998-2004 said he was first alerted to Maxwell when the privy purse called, informing him that a guest was coming to see Andrew but that the name was not to be entered into the book.

‘She turned up in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover and we let her in. Half an hour after that me and my colleague walked through the garden to go back to the police lodge and he was having a picnic with her by the summer house, opposite the Queen’s ­bedroom window.

‘One of my colleagues saw her come in and out the Palace four times in one day.’

Berman made his latest remarks about the Epstein case during a joint appearance with members of Safe Horizon, a nonprofit victim services agency, to discuss a new New York law that makes it easier for people to sue over childhood sexual abuse.

The attorney wouldn’t discuss the investigation in detail, but did confirm that prosecutors are looking at possible ‘conspirators’ who worked with Epstein.  

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

The attorney declined to comment when asked if Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s accused madam, is cooperating with investigators. 

Before responding to a reporter’s question about Andrew’s involvement in the investigation, Berman acknowledged that his office typically doesn’t comment on whether a particular individual is cooperating. 

‘However, in Prince Andrew’s case, he publicly offered, indeed in a press release, offered to cooperate with law enforcement investigating the crimes committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators,’ Berman said.  

Buckingham Palace is not commenting on the matter.  

A source told ‘This issue is being dealt with by the Duke of York’s legal team.’ 

Andrew has categorically denied having any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls.      

The prince was effectively sacked from his royal duties late last year amid renewed attention over his friendship with Epstein, and Miss Robert’s claim that she had several sexual encounters with the prince, starting when she was just 17.

Miss Roberts gave her own interview to Panorama in which she insisted the prince was lying when he denied meeting her. She said that she had felt ‘ashamed and dirty’ after they had sex. 

She says that after meeting her in Florida in 2000, Epstein flew her around the world and pressured her into having sex with numerous older men, including Andrew, two senior US politicians, a noted academic, wealthy financiers and the attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is now part of President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team.

All of those men have denied the allegations.

Berman declined comment when asked if Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s accused madam, is cooperating with investigators. Epstein and Maxwell are pictured in 2005

How Duke of York’s annual meetings with Epstein including after he was sent to jail caused Prince Andrew decades of trouble

Here is a timeline of the duke’s relationship with Epstein.

– 1999

Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.

Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.

– 2000

Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.

– 2001

Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.

– 2008

Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.

– 2010

Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.

Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.

– 2011

The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.

– 2015

Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.

‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’

In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.

– 2019

Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.

Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.

Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.

The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.

Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.

Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.

Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’ 

On November 16, the prince gave a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he spoke about his friendship with Epstein and addressed allegations of his own sexual conduct.

He faced a barrage of criticism following his television appearance, with the royal accused of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims. 

During the interview, Andrew, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated his relationship with Epstein, who died in jail while facing sex trafficking charges, had some “seriously beneficial outcomes”, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.

The duke denied he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when a teenager.

Geoffrey Berman’s revelation threatens to blow open the furore over Andrew’s links to Epstein once again. The 59-year-old has been under scrutiny since Epstein committed suicide in his cell last August while awaiting trial on child sex charges. 

Buckingham Palace appeared blindsided by the US prosecutor’s claims. Suggesting an air of panic, a spokesman refused even to say which law firm Andrew was being represented by or pass on any requests for comment. 

A spokesman later said there would be no comment.

Mr Berman, state attorney for the Southern District of New York and the leader of the Epstein inquiry, made his shock intervention yesterday during a press conference about a new law to help child sex abuse victims.

Asked for an update on the Epstein case, he said the investigation was continuing, adding: ‘The original charges against Jeffrey Epstein contained a conspiracy charge and we allege there were conspirators involved. 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.’

Asked if Andrew had been contacted, he replied: ‘The Southern District of New York and the FBI have contacted Prince Andrew’s attorneys and requested to interview Prince Andrew, and to date, Prince Andrew has provided zero co-operation.

‘He publicly offered, indeed in a press release, to co-operate with law enforcement investigating the crimes committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators.’

It was reported last night that Mr Berman had said it was ‘fair for people to know’ whether Andrew had ‘followed through’ with his public commitment to assist the inquiry. 

It was claimed that the FBI had been trying to interview Andrew since he made his pledge to help in November. When further questioned by the Mail last night, royal aides re-emphasised no further statements regarding the Epstein case would come from them, a sign the Queen’s son is starting to be cast further adrift. 

Until now any statement on the issue has come from the Queen’s official residence, via its press office.

Yesterday’s development dramatically raises the prospect of the prince facing a potential transatlantic legal battle over how and where he might be questioned.

US prosecutors denied deliberately ambushing the palace. But observers noted that Mr Berman, the state prosecutor who charged Epstein with multiple counts of sex trafficking, was eager to answer the Andrew question while saying ‘no comment’ on another matter.

The attorneys’ office in the southern district of Manhattan is regarded as one of the most aggressive in the United States.

Andrew has categorically denied having any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls. He has also strenuously denied claims made by Miss Roberts that she was forced to have sex with him on three occasions. Andrew had to withdraw from royal duties last year after the long-running Epstein scandal burst back into the open.

In August, when the financier killed himself following the announcement of fresh charges against him, there was renewed scrutiny on the prince, who used to visit Epstein’s New York mansion.

This is the building in which schoolgirls claim Epstein molested them. Andrew decided to explain his association with Epstein in an interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis. But the resulting grilling, in which he failed to express any regret and claimed he had been trying to end their friendship when he spent four days at his New York home, was a PR disaster.

As his royal patronages deserted him, the prince issued a grovelling statement saying: ‘I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.’

The FBI, which investigates major cases on behalf of US attorneys who prosecute them in courts, has vowed to unravel Epstein’s network. US attorney general William Barr has promised to bring charges against anyone who may have helped the multi-millionaire. 

Questioned about the photo of him and Miss Roberts together, which friends of the Duke have said could have been faked, Andrew said that public displays of affection are ‘not something he would do’ but refused to reveal whether he thought the image was doctored.

He said: ‘Oh it’s definitely me, I mean that’s a picture of me. I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I go out in London I wear a suit and a tie. 

‘That’s what I would describe as my travelling clothes if I’m going to go overseas. There’s plenty of photographs of me dressed in that sort of kit but not there.’ 

The case brought renewed scrutiny to Epstein’s many high-profile associates, including Andrew, who says he met the financier in 1999. 

The pair maintained their friendship even after Epstein served 13 months in a Florida county jail after pleading guilty to charges of soliciting prostitution in 2008. 

Andrew came under fire in 2010 after it was revealed that he stayed at Epstein’s Manhattan home following his release from jail and they were photographed strolling through Central park together.

Asked during the November interview whether he regretted continuing his friendship with Epstein, Andrew said: ‘Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.’ 

The BBC interviewer replied: ‘Unbecoming? He was a sex offender.’

Andrew then apologized, saying: ‘I’m being polite, I mean in the sense that he was a sex offender. 

‘But no, was I right in having him as a friend? At the time, bearing in mind this was some years before he was accused of being a sex offender. 

‘I don’t there was anything wrong then, the problem was the fact that once he had been convicted I stayed with him and that’s the bit that, as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.’ 

In a November TV interview, Andrew maintained that he does not recall meeting Virginia Roberts, claiming he was in Pizza Express in Woking for a children’s party

Andrew was also friends with Maxwell, the British socialite accused in several civil lawsuits of recruiting girls and young women for Epstein to sexually abuse.

Andrew (pictured at Sandringham) has not returned federal prosecutors’ interview requests despite offering to cooperate with their ongoing investigation of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Last week, a former police protection officer for Andrew came forward to claim that Maxwell would visit the prince at Buckingham Palace up to four times a day and that the pair would enjoy picnics together on the grounds of the estate in London. 

Met Police officer Paul Page, who worked for the Royals from 1998 to 2004, told The Mirror he first became aware of who Maxwell was in 2001 when the privy purse – the office that handles the Queen’s private income – called to inform him that a guest was coming to see Andrew but that the name was not to be entered into the book. 

‘She turned up in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover and we let her in. Half an hour after that me and my colleague walked through the garden to go back to the police lodge and he was having a picnic with her by the summer house, opposite the Queen’s ­bedroom window,’ Page said.

‘One of my colleagues saw her come in and out the Palace four times in one day.’ 

Andrew claimed in the BBC interview that he last saw Maxwell in the early spring of last year, months before he was arrested on sex trafficking charges.  

Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing related to Epstein but is believed to be one of the key figures in the US government’s probe. 

Two guards who were supposed to be monitoring Epstein the night he was found dead have already been charged with falsifying the jail’s log books to indicate they were performing checks on prisoners, when they were actually sleeping or browsing the internet.



What Andrew claims: Prince Andrew claimed in his disastrous BBC interview that he met Epstein through Ghislaine Maxwell in 1999. 

What others say: In a 2011 letter about his friendship with the pedophile, one of the Duke’s aides said they met in the early 1990s. The aide’s timeline corresponds with when Epstein and Maxwell met, following the death of her father in 1991. In a 2007 letter that was sent to prosecutors in Florida to try to lessen Epstein’s sentence for his first sex trafficking case, he was praised with helping her overcome her grief. 


Roberts, now known by her married name Virginia Giuffre, claims that in 2001, she had sex with the Duke when she was 17 inside Ghislaine Maxwell’s London townhouse. She says it was the first of three encounters; the others taking place in New York and on Epstein’s Caribbean island. 

To support her allegations, which she first shared in a 2011, she released a photograph 

What Andrew claims: He never had sex with Roberts and does not even remember ever meeting her. 

What others say: No one but Roberts has gone on the record to verify her claims about Andrew specifically but she is among a group of Epstein victims  now demanding apologies and answers from anyone who was associated with his lifestyle. Her ex-boyfriend from Tony Figueroa has said he knew of the photograph of them. 


In 2007, Epstein was charged with sexually trafficking minors in Florida. He negotiated a sweetheart deal for himself which involved pleading guilty in exchange for just one year of prison time, during which he was allowed to leave to go to work everyday. 

He was released in 2010 and Andrew then went to visit him in New York. The infamous Central Park photograph was taken during his trip. 

What Andrew claims: Andrew said in his BBC interview that he went to visit Epstein to end their friendship. 

‘I took the judgement call that because this was serious, and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it, I had to go and see him and talk to him,’ he said. He previously described the trip as ‘a mistake.’ 

What others say: In 2011, a Daily Beast article described a party which Epstein threw in the Duke’s honor during the trip. It listed Woody Allen and Katie Couric among guests. Literary agent Max Brockman also described seeing Andrew receiving a foot massage from a Russian woman inside Epstein’s home during the trip. 

He claimed, in an email, that Andrew complained about the treatment he received publicly, saying: ‘In Monaco, Albert works 12 hours a day but at 9pm, when he goes out, he does whatever he wants, and nobody cares. But, if I do it, I’m in big trouble.’ 


Andrew said nothing of Epstein’s arrest in July at the time. It was only until after he had killed himself and questions had resurfaced about the Duke’s friendship with him that he issued a statement. In it he said he knew nothing of the allegations against him and that he sympathized with the victims. 

What Andrew says: Andrew said he saw Ghislaine Maxwell ‘this year’ but that they did not discuss Epstein’s case and that it ‘wasn’t in the news’ at the time. He said he had no knowledge of the allegations against his friend.

What others say: Prosecutors started looking into Epstein’s sweetheart deal with Alex Acosta as far back as February.

Prince Andrew is his mother’s favourite. But this time the Palace’s silence over the Jeffrey Epstein case is deafening, writes RICHARD KAY

Never in her long reign can the Throne have felt quite so lonely. Never have the blows come quite so hard and quite so fast.

The scandal over Prince Andrew barely two months ago. Then the double crisis of the declining health of Prince Philip and Prince Harry’s decision to quit royal life.

And now, with the focus once again swinging back on to Andrew, the Queen’s remarkable ability to face whatever adversity throws at her will surely be severely tested.

But last night, as the impact of the claims from New York that the Duke of York had provided ‘zero co-operation’ over sex offender Jeffrey Epstein threatened to engulf Buckingham Palace with the sordid case all over again, royal aides acted ruthlessly to protect the Queen.

The palace declined to offer any response to the comments from US prosecutors that Andrew had not responded to interview requests. This appears to be in sharp contrast to the support offered to the duke in the aftermath of his disastrous Newsnight broadcast last November.

With focus once again swinging back to Andrew, pictured during BBC interview, the Queen’s remarkable ability to face whatever adversity throws at her will surely be severely tested

What makes this all the more extraordinary is that in recent times Andrew had put his own problems to one side to be a reassuring presence for his mother. He is thought to have spent more time with the Queen at Sandringham than any of his other siblings.

He accompanied her to church last Sunday and has been with his father as Philip battles to overcome the illness that saw him admitted to hospital just before Christmas.

He was also permitted to hold his annual January shooting weekend for friends on the Norfolk estate.

Nevertheless, the impact of these latest developments on the Queen will be immense. Andrew has always been her favourite. When he took command of rescuing so many of Windsor Castle’s treasures from the fire in 1992, she thanked God he was there to organise things.

It wasn’t the first time the Queen had felt a surge of maternal pride in her second son. She has always regarded him as a ‘hero’ for his bravery in the Falklands War, when he served as a ‘decoy’ helicopter pilot with the dangerous role of distracting deadly Argentine Exocet missiles away from British ships.

There have been claims from New York that the Duke of York had provided ‘zero co-operation’ over sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke is pictured at Epstein’s New York home 

Invariably when the royal going gets tough and with Philip increasingly frail, it is Andrew whom the Queen likes to have around her. It is why when the upheaval over Harry and Meghan was at its height this month, he was a welcome and distracting presence at Sandringham.

Far from driving him out of her close circle because of the fallout over his inept TV interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, the Queen sought to keep him near. While his public life as a working royal was being dismantled, domestically things could not be closer.

Which makes the palace silence over the claims from US attorney Geoffrey Berman that the prince had been unco-operative in their sex-trafficking investigation all the more baffling. Aides said the matter was being dealt with by the duke’s legal team.

So what is going on? Technically the palace is sticking to the letter of Andrew’s new life. After standing down from all royal duties last year because, as he put it, the Epstein scandal had become a ‘major disruption’ to the Royal Family, he is no longer a ‘working royal’ and therefore the palace no longer speaks for him.

All the same, it was clear that last night’s development from New York had clearly caught the duke’s team unawares. In his ‘car crash’ interview, Andrew had said he was ‘willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency’. One figure familiar with the case suggested the announcement issued at a news conference outside Epstein’s New York mansion was an attempt to call the duke’s bluff.

The choice of the backdrop of his friend’s infamous home cannot have been lost on Andrew. It was the scene of the sensational video footage of the duke waving goodbye to a young woman during his ill-judged trip to New York which he claimed he made to break off his friendship with the convicted paedophile.

For the Queen this marks another embarrassing low point just as the royals are trying to heal the wounds over the Harry crisis by getting back to work. Coming on a day when the Duchess of Cornwall was on a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp and William and Kate were at Holocaust anniversary occasions, it is another major distraction.

Far from disappearing from public view since quitting his royal role, Andrew has remained visible. Many thought he might choose to spend time out of sight at his skiing lodge in the Swiss resort of Verbier. Instead he has remained in the country.

Yesterday he was understood to be at his office at Buckingham Palace where his remaining staff are due to leave at the end of the week. His private secretary Amanda Thirsk, who will take over his Pitch at Palace charity, is already thought to have left.

But whatever the dramas that have come and gone, in the Queen’s eyes, he remains the son who can do no wrong.

Unlike Charles and Anne, both of whom were born when she was still Princess Elizabeth, Andrew was the son who came along when she had reigned for the best part of a decade. He was named after his paternal grandfather, the dissolute gambler Prince Andrew of Greece, who saw little of his son Prince Philip and died penniless on the French Riviera.

‘The Queen knew the ropes by then and was able to give him all the quality time that Charles says he didn’t get,’ says a former courtier. ‘She so loved looking after him she even curtailed her foreign travel.’

At bath time, she put on an apron and bathed him, and she would rock him to sleep. At Windsor Castle he was allowed to race his bicycle down its wide corridors and play skittles along them while his mother dealt with her red boxes of government papers in the late afternoon.

On Saturdays at teatime, he would routinely sit with his parents – Charles and Anne were away at boarding school – watching the BBC’s Grandstand sports programme on TV. On Sundays he would watch cricket with them, also on TV. Despite this early exposure to our national games, his passion became golf.

The fact is, such maternal closeness with her third child – and with Edward, born four years later – has never changed. ‘They are just as close today,’ says a former lady-in-waiting.

Perhaps that hasn’t entirely worked in Andrew’s favour. Rarely chastised as a child, he grew up, says a courtier, ‘with a pompous level of self-importance based on being second in line to the throne’. The Queen has always tried to help him in this respect by making sure he has a ‘role’ – though not always, it must be said, with success.

Jeffrey Epstein’s $50million in New York City. The palace declined to offer any response to the comments from US prosecutors that Andrew had not responded to interview requests

Of course, the arrival of his nephews William and Harry pushed him down the line of succession, and he felt it. And when William and then Harry started families, Andrew and his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie were pushed further to the margins.

It is ironic that, in the vacuum that has emerged as a result of Harry and Meghan’s decision to give up their royal life for a new existence in Canada, Beatrice and Eugenie will almost certainly be called upon more often to help their grandmother. Already I understand there are plans for them to attend this summer’s palace garden parties at her side.

But then, as Andrew is fond of reminding people, they are the only ‘blood princesses’ of the younger royal generation.

The question now is whether a rehabilitated Andrew’s own hopes of being with them come to pass. The omens suggest it looks extremely unlikely. 

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