Prince Andrew is subjecting Jeffrey Epstein’s victims to a “torture test” by not telling prosecutors what he knows, a US lawyer has said.
Gloria Allred said the Duke of York is “avoiding and evading” US law authorities by not providing a statement after his friend Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in court. Maxwell has been accused of facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual exploitation of underage girls.
British socialite Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on Thursday 2 July. There are allegations she helped Epstein, her former boyfriend, “identify, befriend and groom” girls, including one as young as 14.
Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the southern district of New York, told a press conference that authorities would “welcome” a statement from the duke in relation to the investigation.
Strauss claimed Maxwell had helped Epstein to exploit underage girls and “in some cases” would participate in the abuse herself. She told reporters:
Maxwell was among Epstein’s closest associates and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old,
Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein to identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse.
Allegations against the duke
At a brief hearing on 2 July, a magistrate judge ordered Maxwell to remain in custody while she’s transferred to New York for a detention hearing. The court papers claim that Maxwell “developed a rapport” with the alleged victims, before encouraging them to give massages to Epstein, which often resulted in him sexually abusing the girls.
One of his alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, claims she had sex with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s London townhouse in 2001. Maxwell, who has known Andrew since university and introduced him to Epstein, features in the background of a picture apparently showing the duke with his arm around Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts.
Giuffre has claimed she was trafficked by Epstein and alleges the duke had sex with her on three separate occasions, including when she was 17.
Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Giuffre. His lawyers have insisted the duke has repeatedly offered to provide a witness statement to the investigation.
Pressure from victims
On 3 July, lawyers for some of Epstein’s alleged victims added pressure on the duke to speak about his friendship with Epstein. The disgraced financier took his own life in prison last year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Allred told ITV’s Good Morning Britain:
The question is, Prince Andrew when is he going to tell what he knows?
He needs to do that. He needs to do it without delay. It is so traumatising and difficult for the victims not to know the truth.
And this kind of torture test that Prince Andrew is subjecting the victims to, like will he or won’t he give a statement, if he will, when?
More excuses, more delays, it really is painful for many of the victims. It’s just not fair.
Spencer Coogan said his clients were “relieved” that Maxwell had finally been arrested. He urged Andrew to speak up about what he witnessed while visiting Epstein’s properties in New York, Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme:
I certainly think Prince Andrew has a story to tell. On behalf of the victims we have continuously asked him to step forward, step up, be a man and tell us what he knows.
He has been hiding behind not only the royal family but his attorneys.