Prince Andrew previously said in a statement, and on television, that he would cooperate with law … [+]
Topline: Britain’s Prince Andrew has angered alleged victims of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein after failing to cooperate with the FBI’s probe into Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking, despite publicly saying he would do so.
- “To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” said prosecutor Geoffrey Berman at a press conference outside Epstein’s mansion on Monday.
- Last year, Andrew issued a statement saying he would be willing to assist law enforcement agencies in the investigation. He also said he would do so in a disastrous interview with the BBC last year, in which he defended his friendship with Epstein.
- Following Andrew’s statement, FBI agents reached out to him but did not receive a response from his lawyers, Berman revealed yesterday.
- Andrew has been under pressure from Epstein’s alleged victims to reveal what he knows, including from Virginia Roberts Giuffre. She claims that she was trafficked to have sex with Andrew when she was 17. Andrew has denied ever meeting her.
- Lawyer Lisa Bloom, representing five women who say they were abused by Epstein, told Sky News: “You would think Prince Andrew would want to do the right thing, step forward, show some leadership here and answer questions so that we can get to the bottom of not only what happened with [Epstein], but with [Epstein associate] Ghislaine Maxwell.”
- Gloria Allred, another high profile lawyer representing alleged victims of Epstein, said she had sent a letter to Andrew calling him to assist in the investigation, but received no response, she told the BBC on Tuesday.
Crucial quote: In a separate interview with BBC Newsnight, Bloom said: “The five Epstein victims who I represent are outraged and disappointed at Prince Andrew’s behaviour here.”
News peg: Andrew stepped down as a senior royal in November over the furore surrounding his friendship with Epstein. In an interview with the BBC, he said he would testify “if push comes to shove.” He also defended his friendship with Epstein, which allegedly ended in 2010 after the financier was convicted of sex offences, saying he felt it was the “honourable thing to do.” Andrew also denied knowing that Epstein was abusing minors. Meanwhile the Queen’s second son has denied being photographed with Giuffre, despite an infamous photograph showing the royal with his arm around the then-teenager’s waist.
Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein had a friendship spanning years, and even went to racing event Ascot … [+]
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Epstein killed himself in prison last year
Corbis via Getty Images
Key background: Epstein killed himself in prison last August as he awaited trial for allegedly trafficking girls as young as 14 between 2002 and 2005. His death opened up a trove of questions about who else in his network knew about his alleged crimes, with prosecutors vowing to go after his co-conspirators. A number of Epstein’s alleged victims and their lawyers have since appealed to Andrew to assist in the investigation.
Tangent: Epstein was convicted in 2008 of soliciting prostitution from a minor, but received a shockingly lenient prison term of 13 months as part of a plea deal.