The Duke of York’s personal friendship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has seen him dragged into an alleged sex-slave scandal
Prince Andrew first met Jeffrey Epstein through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, in the 1990s.
By 2000, the Prince and Miss Maxwell were holidaying with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar a Largo Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
In return, Prince Andrew invited Epstein, a wealthy investment banker, to stay at Sandringham, Balmoral and Windsor Castle.
In 2001, Virginia Roberts, a 17-year-old who now claims to have been held as Epstein’s “sex slave”, was introduced to Prince Andrew while staying at Miss Maxwell’s London home.
Miss Roberts claims she was paid £10,000 as a “reward” for having sex with Prince Andrew by Epstein. The Prince categorically denies any sexual contact.
Miss Roberts claims to have been “sexually abused” by the Prince on two more occasions – at Epstein’s New York home and at an “orgy” on his private island in the Caribbean.
In 2008 Epstein was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after agreeing a plea bargain over child prostitution charges.
Epstein’s victims now claim Prince Andrew was among powerful individuals who lobbied the US government for a favourable deal for Epstein.
In 2011, after Epstein had been released from jail, Prince Andrew was photographed visiting him in New York. He quit his role as UK trade envoy as a result.
Epstein’s victims are now trying to overturn the decision to allow him a plea deal, and as part of that legal process Virginia Roberts has filed a witness statement in which she makes her claims of sex with the Prince.
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