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Prince Andrew is considered a person of interest in the ongoing investigation into the late, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged cohorts, including Ghislaine Maxwell.
A source familiar with the probe in the United States claims to Reuters that investigators are interested in interviewing Andrew, who is known as the brother of Prince Charles and second son born to Queen Elizabeth and the late Prince Philip.
Specifically, U.S. prosecutors want to grill Andrew about his friendship with Epstein, who died in August 2019.
The insider familiar with the investigation claims Andrew is being viewed as a potential witness.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.
(Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Prosecutors in New York have wanted to speak with Andrew for months as part of their examination of allegations, made by several women, that some of Epstein’s staff helped recruit him underage sex partners.
Last year, prosecutors claimed Andrew “falsely” portrayed himself to the public as being “willing to cooperate” but had not repeatedly declined requests to speak with investigators. The source claimed prosecutors worry they will never be able to interview the British royal family member.
“He doesn’t seem to want to talk to us,” the source insisted.
Representatives for the Duke of York did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
On Aug. 9, Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by the Duke of York. The 38-year-old’s attorneys filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, where Epstein was charged with sex trafficking just a month before he killed himself at the age of 66. The American financier was in jail awaiting trial.
Giuffre previously alleged Epstein abused her when she was 18 years old at his home in Manhattan.
Andrew has denied the allegations brought by Giuffre. Meanwhile, sources in the United Kingdom claim the royal family is growing tired of the bombshell claims against the Queen’s son.
Prince Andrew is at Balmoral Castle where his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, is residing for the rest of the summer.
(Reuters/Neil Hall )
“The family also has serious and growing doubts about the way such serious allegations have been dealt with by Andrew and his legal team, who seem to be at complete odds with one another on how to respond,” a source recently alleged to the Mirror.
Andrew was recently photographed heading to Balmoral Castle where Queen Elizabeth II is residing for the rest of the summer. The U.K. Times reported that the royal, who was joined by his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, is “locked in long-distance talks” with his attorneys “as they draw up their strategy for fighting the suit.”
The case alleges that Andrew engaged in sexual acts without her consent, knowing how old she was and “that she was a sex-trafficking victim,” the BBC reported. The case noted that the “extreme and outrageous conduct” continues to cause Giuffre “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.”
In a statement sent to Fox News, Giuffre said she wanted to hold Andrew “accountable.”
“Today my attorney filed suit against Prince Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act,” wrote Giuffre. “As the suit lays out in detail, I was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him.”
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she shared. “The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
“I did not come to this decision lightly,” Giuffre continued. “As a mother and a wife, my family comes first – and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates – but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”
Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
(U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
Buckingham Palace has previously denied the allegations.
“It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts,” they have told Fox News. “Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
In late 2019, Andrew told BBC Newsnight that he never had sex with Giuffre, who was known as Virginia Roberts at the time.
“It didn’t happen,” he stressed.
Andrew also alleged he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her and told an interviewer there are “a number of things that are wrong” about Giuffre’s account, which alleges the encounter occurred in 2001.
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” Andrew said.
The interview was widely panned by critics who said Andrew seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims. Afterward, the prince stepped back from royal duties and has attempted to keep a low profile.
Giuffre has long said Maxwell, 59, recruited her at age 17 to be sexually abused by Epstein and Maxwell from 1999 to 2002.
According to the lawsuit, which sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, the prince abused Giuffre on multiple occasions when she was under the age of 18. During each of the alleged acts, Giuffre was given “express or implied threats” by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Andrew to engage in sexual acts with the prince, the lawsuit said.
It also said that on one occasion, the prince sexually abused her in Maxwell’s London home when Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced her to have sexual intercourse with the prince against her will.
On another occasion, the prince sexually abused Giuffre in Epstein’s New York mansion when Maxwell forced Giuffre and another victim to sit on Andrew’s lap as he touched her, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleged that Andrew sexually abused Giuffre on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Andrew knew her age at the time based on communications with Epstein and Maxwell, the lawsuit added. It said he went ahead anyway “for the purpose of gratifying his sexual desires.”
The lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act, a 2019 New York state law that allows victims to temporarily make legal claims of abuse that occurred when they were children regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court, where she faces trial in November. She is held without bail.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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