Royal family worked to protect Prince Andrew in Jeffrey Epstein scandal, alleged victim’s attorney says
One theory going around Washington is that the U.S. government, to help its British ally, went easy on Jeffrey Epstein to protect Prince Andrew, a new report says.
'Jeffrey Epstein’s recent arrest for the alleged sex trafficking of underaged girls is expected to lead to more sordid revelations this summer that could involve any number of his rich and powerful friends in politics, business and entertainment. The revelations could be especially unpleasant for Prince Andrew and the royal family, according to new reports in Vanity Fair, the New York Post and the Sunday Times UK . “Nobody who was around Epstein a lot is going to have an easy time now. It’s all going to come out,” attorney David Boies told Vanity Fair. Boies is representing Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has claimed in a 2015 lawsuit and in a 2011 interview that she was one of Epstein’s alleged “sex slaves.” She has alleged that Epstein directed her to have sex with the Duke of York on three separate occasions in the early 2000s when she was 17. Boies told Vanity Fair that the royal family actively worked to “discredit” the allegations against Andrew, 59, who is said to be the queen’s favorite son. Andrew’s situation also could be a factor in the lenient plea deal and 13-month jail sentence Epstein received in 2008, when he originally was charged with sexual abuse of minors, Vanity Fair added. There is speculation that the deal, crafted by former federal prosecutor Alex Acosta (who just resigned as Donald Trump’s labor secretary) was at least in part designed to help protect Andrew, Vanity Fair said. According to one theory, George W. Bush’s White House directed Acosta not to prosecute Epstein to protect Andrew on behalf of the British government, then the U.S.’s closest ally in the Iraq war. “The royal family did everything they could to try and discredit the Prince Andrew stuff,” Boies told Vanity Fair. “When we tried to follow up with anything, we were stonewalled. We wanted to interview him, they were unwilling to do anything.” Vanity Fair said Prince Andrew could not be reached for comment about Boies’ comments. Buckingham Palace has never denied that Andrew was friends with Epstein, but it has repeatedly denied that he engaged in any sexual impropriety with minors. Buckingham Palace reiterated this position in a statement issued last week to the Daily Beast , saying, “The Duke of York has not visited any home of Mr Epstein or met with him since November 2010. … As we have repeatedly said, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.” But if Andrew’s friendship with Epstein continued through the end of 2010, this would be after Epstein was first investigated for sex crimes in Florida, after he served his 13-month sentence for solicitation and after he had registered as a sex offender. The New York Post and other publications have reported that Andrew stayed at Epstein’s New York mansion in late 2010. Epstein also hosted a dinner party for Andrew attended by Katie Couric, George Stephanopoulos and other members of New York’s media elite, and the two men were photographed together walking in Central Park. Further details about Andrew’s friendship with Epstein could come in 2,000 pages of documents that are expected to be released in coming weeks, under an order from the U.S. Appeals Court for the Second Circuit. The documents were filed as part of a 2015 defamation suit filed by Giuffree and had been under seal. According to the court’s ruling , the documents are said to contain information about “prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister and other world leaders.” These people may be implicated in Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation, New York Post columnist Maureen Callahan wrote. “Prince Andrew will almost certainly be named and his behavior highly detailed,” Callahan added. Callahan described Andrew as “useless at best, a liability at worst.” She said he is “boorish, piggish, entitled, greedy and often quite stupid, consorting with oligarchs and strongmen for personal profit.” Very soon, the British public could get an even clearer picture of Andrew’s “most dangerous entanglement,” his “rancid loyalty” to convicted pedophile Epstein, she said. Andrew and Epstein’s friendship goes back to the 1990s, various reports have said. Epstein was tight enough with Andrew that he was invited to the queen’s birthday party in 2000 and was a guest at Sandringham, Balmoral and Windsor Castle, the Sunday Times reported. One reason Andrew sought and maintained a friendship with Epstein is that he needed the money, the Daily Beast wrote. Unlike his older brother Prince Charles, who will one day become king and draws income from a vast royal estate, Andrew mostly relies on his mother to maintain his royal lifestyle. He “benefited from Epstein’s largesse,” the Daily Beast said. But in the years after Andrew’s 1996 divorce from Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, he also was drawn to Epstein’s extravagant homes and travel and shared his “insatiable appetite for young women,” the Daily Beast added. One of those young women allegedly was Guiffre, who claimed in her 2015 defamation lawsuit that she was “forced” have sex with Andrew in London, in Epstein’s New York mansion and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands, the Sunday Times and other publications have reported. The Sunday Times added that flight and public records put Giuffre and Andrew in those locations at the same time. The Daily Beast further reported that Andrew also became friendly with Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s high-society ex-girlfriend and alleged “madam.” Maxwell is alleged to have played a critical role in recruiting young women to attend Epstein’s parties and in grooming underage girls to be part of his sex-trafficking operation, reports have said. Sources told the Daily Beast that Andrew, “taking a leaf from Epstein’s playbook,” used the Oxford-educated Maxwell — daughter of publisher Robert Maxwell — to gain access to “smart women” in London. The Daily Beast shared a story from an unnamed woman who said Maxwell invited her to an “intimate” dinner with Andrew at his private apartment at Buckingham Palace. “Ghislaine was there, and it was clear immediately that I had been brought to the dinner as a sex object,” the friend told the Daily Beast. “Andrew sat next to me on the sofa and kept reaching over to hold my hand.” The woman told the Daily Beast that “Ghislaine procured women like me for Andrew.”'