NEWS
02/12/2019 2:53 PM IST

Everything We Know About Prince Andrew And Jeffrey Epstein So Far

The Prince and the Paedophile investigates links between the Duke of York and the deceased financier amid sexual exploitation claims.

The storm of controversy surrounding Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein is set to grow today as Panorama airs an interview with one the paedophile financier’s alleged victims. 

Virginia Giuffre claims she slept with the Duke of York when she was a teenager and in her first UK television interview, she will reveal new details about her time with Epstein.

In the 20-second clip, Giuffre, formerly Virginia Roberts, said: “I know what happened and there’s only one of us telling the truth”.

The BBC One investigative programme entitled The Prince And The Epstein Scandal airs at 9pm and has been extended to run for an hour.

Though Epstein took his own life in August in a New York prison cell, where he was detained on charges of sex trafficking teenage girls, the investigation into the charges continues.  

The Prince and the Paedophile, an episode of Channel 4′s Dispatches series, covers the extraordinary relationship between the pair. 

It claims that over the course of 12 years, from 1999, Epstein and Andrew met on at least 10 occasions, with the royal, who is fifth in line to the throne, reportedly staying with him on several occasions.

Private investigator Mike Fisten played a key role in exposing Epstein’s crimes and worked as a lawyer for some of the victims.

He told Dispatches: “When people tell me, I didn’t know what Jeffrey was about, I don’t want to say BS. I’ll just say hogwash. Because if you were around Jeffrey, you were around underage girls. He has no children. He has no nieces… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that something was going on there.”

Why is Prince Andrew involved? 

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Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre), aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Maxwell's townhouse in London, in 2001. 

One of the women caught up in the scandal alleges she was being trafficked for sex to a number of Epstein’s rich and powerful friends and has made allegations of impropriety against the Duke of York, which he continues to deny.

Virginia Giuffre is one of 16 women who say they were abused by Epstein and claims she was forced into three sexual encounters with the Duke of York, in London, Epstein’s New York mansion, and in the US Virgin Islands.

She says she was first forced to have sex with Andrew as a 17-year-old, which is below the age of consent in Florida, where she filed court papers alleging the incidents, but not in the locations of the three alleged encounters.

Her allegations, which Andrew strongly denies, were struck from US civil court records in 2015, after a judge said they were “immaterial and impertinent.”

In a legal declaration sworn on 5 February 2015 she wrote: “The third time I had sex with Andy was in an orgy on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. I was around 18 at the time. Epstein, Andy, approximately eight other girls, and I had sex together. The other girls all seemed and appeared to be under the age of 18 and didn’t really speak English. Epstein laughed about the fact they couldn’t really communicate, saying that they are the “easiest” girls to get along with.”

Scotland Yard had previously held an investigation after Giuffre’s allegations, but that probe was dropped in 2015.

Dai Davis, Operational Unit Commander in charge of Royal Protection for the Metropolitan Police in the 1990s, told Dispatches: “I’m mystified, if I’m honest, as to who at Scotland Yard decided, in their wisdom, not to pursue even a preliminary allegation. And if they said we have looked at it, who did they interview? Have they looked at any of the corroborating evidence as I have?”

He continued: “They should question anyone who has the appropriate knowledge and direction in respect of this matter… if we’re alleging this woman is a fantasist, and we’ve seen plenty of those, then fine, but let’s put it to bed once and for all.”

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Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has faced criticism over his friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

When asked if he believed there is “a nervousness” around such an investigation, Davis replied: “Oh, without a doubt. You don’t take on the Royal family lightly… but what I’m trying to say is irrespective of who you are, what you are, you should answer to the law.”

Dispatches has obtained medical records from the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, which support Giuffre’s claims of being abused by Epstein or others, confirming that she was admitted on 9 July 2001 after suffering three weeks of vaginal bleeding. There is no suggestion she was speaking about Andrew.

Epstein, who was said to have a net worth of $559million, with assets including his jet, four homes and two private islands, and Andrew were photographed walking through New York’s Central Park in 2010 following Epstein’s release from prison.

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Giuffre during an interview in New York on August 29, 2019

Despite attempts to publicly distance himself from Epstein, Andrew quit his role as UK trade envoy in 2011 after the fallout from the photos.

Footage filmed around the same time emerged in August this year showing Andrew inside Epstein’s $77m Manhattan mansion. Obtained by MailOnline, it shows the duke looking out from a large door of the mansion, waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get in a chauffer-driven car.

A Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.

“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”

That month the Mail also reported that Andrew had welcomed Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat Balmoral in Aberdeenshire in 1999. Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on the matter.

It is known that Epstein and his former girlfriend Maxwell together attended a party at Windsor Castle in June 2000 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.

The celebration was held on Prince William’s 18th birthday, but William did not attend as he was revising for his A-levels.

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FBI agents at Little St. James Island, one of Epstein's properties, in August following his death 

In August, Andrew released a statement saying: “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.”

He added that he had “tremendous sympathy” for Epstein’s alleged victims, and reiterated that it was a “mistake” seeing the 66-year-old after his release from an 18-month prison term in 2010 for prostituting minors.

According to Fisten, Epstein’s address book contained 13 phone numbers with which he could contact the duke.

Virginia Giuffre (then Roberts) said she was introduced to Epstein, and later Andrew, by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of late publisher Robert Maxwell, in 1999. She was 17, which is under the age of consent in the US state of Florida, where she filed court papers, but over the age of consent in the UK, where it is 16. 

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Epstein and Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997

In an interview broadcast in September, Giuffre alleged meeting Andrew. She said: “The first time in London I was so young. Ghislaine woke me up in the morning and said:  ‘You’re going to meet a prince today’.

“I did not know at that point I was going to be trafficked to that prince, and then that night Prince Andrew came to her house in London.”

Giuffre said she spent a night in Mayfair’s exclusive Club Tramp with Andrew, Epstein and Maxwell.

She continued: “We leave Club Tramp and I hop in the car with Ghislaine and Jeffrey, and Ghislaine said ‘he’s coming back to the house and I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein’.

“I couldn’t believe it.”

Describing Andrew after the alleged incident, she said: “He wasn’t rude or anything about it, he said thank you and some kind of soft sentiments like that, and left.

“I couldn’t believe that even royalty were involved.

“He denies that it ever happened, and he is going to keep denying that it ever happened, but he knows the truth and I know the truth.”

In response, Buckingham Palace said it had nothing to add to its previous statement: “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virgina Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”

Friends in high places 

As well as once counting US President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton as friends, Epstein is also said to have had links in British politics.

In 2005, former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson was photographed shopping with Epstein in the US Virgin Islands.

A friend of Epstein’s, who asked to remain anonymous, told the programme he was visiting Epstein while he was serving his sentence for soliciting a prostitute and procuring an underage girl for prostitution when he received a call from Mandelson. Epstein served just 13 months and was allowed out to his office during the day while serving the sentence.

The friend said: “While I was there, he received a call and said, ‘hello Petie’. And he chatted away. And Petie wanted to meet Jamie Dimon, who was then the Chairman of JP Morgan. And by the time he put… He said, yes, I’ll sort it out. Put the phone down. And Petie had turned out to be none other than the Secretary of the Board of Trade, Peter Mandelson … I must say I was astonished that a British cabinet minister at that time, probably the most powerful man other than the Prime Minister, was calling Jeffrey in jail to make an appointment, to seek an appointment with a very powerful banker in New York.”  

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Lawyers for Peter Mandelson say he has no recollection of contacting Epstein by telephone in 2009 

When asked if he was aware of how well the two men knew each other, the source replied: “Well you clearly don’t call Peter Mandelson ‘Petie’ if you’re not a close friend.

In a statement to the programme, lawyers for Lord Mandelson said: “Our client has no recollection of a telephone conversation with Mr Epstein in January 2009, ... in which he allegedly requested that Mr Epstein set up a meeting with Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan .... Our client would have no need whatsoever to make such a request.… As Business Secretary ...he met or talked on the phone to bank CEOs on a regular basis, including Mr Dimon. These contacts were all arranged through his government office”

Epstein’s penchant for making friends in high places is explored in Dispatches.

Lady Victoria Hervey, an It Girl of the late 90s, was a friend of Epstein’s and went on a few dates with Andrew.

She told the programme: “Andrew was kind of like newly single. And he meets this, you know, charismatic man…. Jeffrey… collected people. He was almost addicted to collecting important people. He liked to impress people. So, the British royal family, can you imagine? This was his, you know, biggest kind of trophy he could get.”

Last month, the Sunday Times reported that the FBI had expanded its investigation to identify alleged human trafficking victims of Epstein, who could provide information on the Duke.

The paper said the US law enforcement agency expects to interview alleged trafficking victims over the next two months and that Scotland Yard is ready to assist.

Citing unidentified sources from the US Department of Justice, the paper said the FBI are looking to “several” potential victims in the hope they can provide more details about Prince Andrew and his involvement in the Epstein case.

Scotland Yard had previously held an investigation after one of the women caught up in the scandal, Virginia Giuffre, made allegations against the Duke of York, but that probe was dropped in 2015.

Her allegations, which Andrew strongly denies, were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were “immaterial and impertinent”.

The Sunday Times reports the claims by Giuffre that she was ordered to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 are not the only allegations against the royal being reviewed by the FBI.

Prince Andrew has denied all allegations against him as “false” and “without foundation”.

The paper said around 100 sex-trafficking victims are expected to form part of the FBI’s investigation into Epstein, most of whom were aged between 14 and 15 when allegedly trafficked.