|Britain’s Prince Andrew delivers the keynote speech of the Japan-UK security cooperation conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)|
Allegations that Andrew lobbied for Jeffrey Epstein in his first sex trafficking case appear to challenge the royal’s assertion that he and Epstein were never good friends.
Newly released documents in a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein’s associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, sheds new light on the late accused sex trafficker’s friendship with Prince Andrew, including the claim that the British royal worked to help Epstein secure a reduced sentence in a child prostitution case in Florida in 2008.
Andrew’s reputation has already been tarnished by his long association with Epstein and by allegations that he had sex multiple times with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of the teenage girls Epstein allegedly pimped out to his powerful friends.
Andrew, who was asked to step down from his royal duties last year, has repeatedly denied having sex with Giuffre, but the new documents appear to challenge his assertion that he wasn’t good friends with Epstein and only saw him infrequently through the 2000s before he claims he ended their friendship.
The documents are part of a 2015 defamation lawsuit brought by Giuffre against Maxwell, who was arrested July 2 on federal charges that she helped procure under-aged girls for Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation. The documents were made public Thursday following a years-long public records battle in the New York-based Second Circuit court, Courthouse News reported.
Two unnamed victims of Epstein, identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, allege in the documents that the late financier relied on help from Andrew and other high-profile friends, including Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, to secure a reduced sentence from the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida, according to summaries of the documents from Courthouse News, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
Epstein was first investigated for sex trafficking charges in 2005, but managed to win a “sweetheart deal” from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was allowed to plead guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution and given an 18-month jail sentence. He was in turn allowed to serve out his time on a work-release program, in which he was able to leave the jail 12 hours a day, six days a week.
The Miami Herald and others, including some of Epstein’s victims, had sought release of the documents. Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 alleged in the documents that Queen Elizabeth’s son was among the powerful friends Epstein relied on to win special favors from U.S. authorities.
“(They are) seeking documents regarding Epstein’s lobbying efforts to persuade the government to give him a favorable plea arrangement, including efforts on his behalf by Prince Andrew and former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz,” they claim.
“They have alleged these materials are needed to prove their allegations that, after Epstein signed the non-prosecution agreement his performance (sic) was delayed while he used his significant social and political connections to lobby the justice department to obtain a more favorable plea deal,” they claim.
The newly-released documents include a transcript of a deposition given by Giuffre, in which she also describes Andrew’s involvement in Epstein’s activities, Courthouse News reported.
Asked by her own lawyers whether Andrew would have “relevant information” in the case, Giuffre answered: “Yes, he would know a lot of the truth.”
“I don’t know how much he’d be able to help you with, but seeing as he’s in a lot of trouble himself these days I think he might, so I think he might be valuable,” Giuffre said.
Giuffre has alleged in her lawsuit and in interviews that she had sex with Andrew three times in 2001, when she was 17. She first met Andrew in London in March 2001 and had sex with him in Maxwell’s townhouse. She also said she had sex with him at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion and on his Caribbean island.
Giuffre has claimed that Maxwell recruited her when she was working as a locker room attendant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. Guiffre alleged she was introduced to Epstein, Trump’s Palm Beach neighbor, and forced to have sex with him before Epstein trafficked her to Andrew and his other friends.
“Epstein instructed (Giuffre) to give Prince Andrew whatever he demanded and required her to report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse,” lawyers in Giuffre’s case said. “Maxwell facilitated Epstein’s acts of sexual abuse by acting as a madam.”
Giuffre also recounted “continuous” orgies that Maxwell was involved in on Epstein’s private island with underage girls, the documents show.
The documents also contain Giuffre’s allegations that Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz “on numerous occasions” and that Dershowitz “was an eye-witness to the sexual abuse of many other minors by Epstein and several of Epstein’s co-conspirators,” Courthouse News reported.
Dershowitz has repeatedly denied Guiffre’s claims, including in a tweet Friday morning saying he was one of the parties suing to have the documents released because they actually prove his innocence.
There are no new accusations against me in the documents I got unsealed. All her accusations were made in suits she filed years ago. They were false then and now, as shown by her emails and manuscript that prove I never met her.— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) July 31, 2020
The documents also contain Giuffre’s claims that former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore and supermodels Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum were among the high-profile guests on Epstein’s island, Courthouse News reported.
Giuffre did not allege that Clinton engaged in misconduct, Courthouse News reported, but she said that Clinton visited the island after his presidency ended because he “owed Epstein a favor.”
“He never told me what favors they were. I didn’t know if he was serious,” she said.
Intrigue has continued to churn around Epstein and his alleged sex trafficking operation since his death last August. Epstein died by reported suicide in a Manhattan jail, where he was awaiting trial on new sex-trafficking charges.
Andrew, meanwhile, continues to face pressure to speak to the FBI to help in its ongoing investigation of Epstein, Maxwell and others in Epstein’s inner circle. According to the Daily Mail, Andrew’s legal team says that he is willing to cooperate but that U.S. prosecutors have ignored his efforts to reach out. Prosecutors, however, tell a different story, saying he hasn’t been cooperative, with U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr saying earlier this year that the FBI “definitely” wants to interview him.
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