A leading member of Virginia Roberts’ legal team today blasted Prince Andrew for talking to the BBC and not to the police about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York’s ‘no holds barred’ interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis about his relationship with Epstein, along with claims the royal had sex with one of the billionaire paedophile’s young ‘slaves’, is due to be broadcast on BBC 2 at 9pm on Saturday.
‘Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal’ was filmed at Buckingham Palace last night – a sign it had Her Majesty’s approval – and is the first time the duke has been grilled on his friendship with the American sexual abuser found dead in his New York prison cell while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking.
Andrew will be faced with allegations made by Epstein’s ‘slave’ Virginia Roberts that she was flown to London on Epstein’s private jet, nicknamed the ‘Lolita Express’, for sex with the prince, who she has called ‘an abuser’.
But lawyer Jack Scarola told Mail Online he would like the duke to submit to an interview ‘under oath’ instead of giving statements to the media that carry ‘little weight’.
He said: ‘I believe there is an ongoing investigation in New York by the FBI under the supervision of the US Attorney’s office into those involved in facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse.
‘I would love to see Prince Andrew submit to an interview under oath with the investigating authorities. Talking to the media doesn’t quite cut it. Statements that are not under oath carry little weight.
The Queen gave her blessing to the Duke of York’s ‘no holds barred’ interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, it was revealed today
Virginia Roberts (pictured) alleges she was coerced by paedophile US businessman Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the Duke, into having sex with Andrew on three occasions
Prince Andrew is pictured with Epstein in Central Park in New York in February 2011. The Duke has been dragged deeper into the Epstein scandal following his apparent suicide in a New York jail
Lawyer Jack Scarola (pictured centre) told Mail Online he would like the duke to submit to an interview ‘under oath’ instead of giving statements to the media that carry ‘little weight’
‘Andrew would be considered at the least a key witness. I doubt that he is a target of the investigation but it is possible.’
Mr Scarola added that Andrew repeatedly has rejected invitations from his team to make a sworn statement about his alleged sexual encounters with Virginia.
Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson tweeted just after 8pm that the duke was ‘a true [and] real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness [and] goodness’.
‘It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty [and] pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs,’ she added.
Royal officials refused to discuss details of the monarch’s involvement today but a spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The Queen is aware of the interview’.
The BBC has not released any footage yet – but Emily Maitlis said it was a ‘no holds barred interview’ with ‘no questions vetted’ by Andrew or palace officials, who were pondering taking part since May.
The bombshell interview took place in the Queen’s grand South Drawing Room yesterday – also known as the Blue Drawing Room – where Queen Victoria held her first state ball in May 1838 just days before her coronation.
The Duke of York has been interviewed by Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis at Buckingham Palace and will be broadcast on BBC 2 at 9pm on Saturday
In an image released by Newsnight today (left) Andrew looked terse and sombre as he spoke for the first time in a TV interview about his relationship with Epstein, who was seen with after he was jailed in the US for prostituting minors. Right: Jeffrey’s Epstein’s police mugshot
Prince Andrew has ‘vehemently denied’ claims he slept with Virginia three times – including once during an orgy with nine women on Epstein’s private ‘paedo island’ in the US Virgin Islands – but only ever in pre-prepared statements released by Buckingham Palace’s press office, never in a TV interview.
Some critics said today that instead of talking to the BBC, Andrew should be helping the police with their inquiries into Epstein’s crimes.
Jeffrey Epstein was ‘found hanging in his jail cell using a paper bed sheet’ – authorities say it was suicide but his brother claims: ‘He didn’t kill himself’
The cell Epstein would have been held in have ‘paper level sheets’, a steel frame bed you cannot move, no light fixtures and no bars
Jeffrey Epstein was found ‘unresponsive’ at around 6.30am in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019 – a month after his arrest.
Prison staff were unable to revive him. He was then rushed to the infirmary inside the jail.
From there, he was placed in an ambulance and taken to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Since Epstein’s suicide, there has been widespread speculation as to how he managed to kill himself after an earlier failed attempt to take his own life weeks earlier.
Prison procedure dictates that an inmate goes through a screening process to determine if they are at risk of harming or killing themselves.
Critics, including his brother, have suggested he was ‘bumped off’.
Mark Epstein says he has seen no evidence to support the New York City Medical Examiner’s conclusion that his brother committed suicide.
He added: ‘Jeffrey knew a lot of stuff about a lot of people’.
Newsnight staff told the Guardian plans to set up the interview with Andrew began in May, when US prosecutors were trying to quash a 2008 plea deal that would allow them to put Epstein in court again.
BBC journalist Sam McAlister has been credited with securing the exclusive – but was clear that it would not be a cosy chat for the duke.
Epstein, who was released from prison in 2010 where he was sent for 18 months for prostituting minors, was then arrested on July 8 and was found dead in his cell on August 10.
The Duke of York was rocked by Jeffrey Epstein’s unexpected death in a New York prison in August – with questions raised about whether it was suicide or murder.
And in the chaos that followed, Victoria Roberts Giuffre appeared on American television this summer repeating her allegations against the Duke of York.
The 35-year-old alleges she was coerced by paedophile US businessman Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the Duke, into having sex with Andrew on three occasions, in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands.
She claimed in court documents that on the final occasion she also had ‘sex with Andy… in an orgy’ involving nine young women.
Miss Giufre said that Andrew was a ‘participant’, adding that even though the duke may deny it ‘he knows the truth and I know the truth’.
She said: ‘I know their faces and I know what they’ve done to me.’
Miss Giuffre claimed that she once had sex with the prince in a bathroom — and that he had said ‘thank you’ afterwards.
The 35-year-old was a teenager when she appeared in a now notorious photograph with Andrew’s arm around her waist, alongside Epstein’s friend, the British socialite and daughter of Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell, now 57.
She also alleged that beforehand she was told by Miss Maxwell: ‘I want you to do for him what you do for [Jeffrey] Epstein.’
The prince has always denied any inappropriate behaviour or being aware of any such behaviour from Epstein, and in 2015 her allegations about Andrew were thrown out by a US judge who ordered them struck out as ‘immaterial and impertinent’.
She repeated her claim that she was loaned out to Andrew for sex in March 2001 when she was 17 after Epstein flew her to the London townhouse owned by Miss Maxwell.
At the time, Miss Roberts had been in Epstein’s orbit for months and was being paid to have sex with him at his command. She claimed in court documents that she was loaned out to his friends.
Virginia Roberts photographed with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in early 2001. Maxwell has been accused of being Epstein’s pimp
Prince Andrew has previously denied being aware of any of Epstein’s illegal activities. He is pictured above in 2010 answering the door of Epstein’s New York mansion
A view of Jeffrey Epstein’s stone mansion on Little St. James Island (pictured above) – where Andrew was accused of taking part in an orgy in 2015 court documents
Now a 35-year-old married mother-of-three she said: ‘That first time in London I was so young. Ghislaine woke me up in the morning and said you’re going to meet a prince today. I didn’t know at that point I was going to be trafficked to that prince.
‘That night Prince Andrew came to her house and we went out to Club Tramp. Prince Andrew got me alcohol, it was in the VIP section, I’m pretty sure it was vodka. Prince Andrew was like let’s dance together, I was like OK.
‘We leave Club Tramp and Ghislaine said he’s coming back to the house and I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein. I couldn’t believe it’. Miss Roberts, who wiped away tears during the interview, said that after sex in the bathroom ‘he wasn’t rude or anything, he said thank you and some kind of soft sentiments like that and left’.
She said: ‘I just couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe that even royalty were involved.’ Miss Roberts has also claimed that Andrew had sex with her in New York and on Epstein’s private island in the Carribean. She said: ‘He denies that it ever happened but he knows the truth and I know the truth’.
Separately, a woman called Johanna Sjoberg alleged that the duke touched her breast while they sat on a couch in Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001 in documents from a defamation case.
Prince Andrew has strenuously denied the allegations of ‘impropriety with underage minors’ as ‘categorically untrue’ and the allegations naming him were struck out of the earlier proceedings.
Miss Maxwell also denies any wrongdoing.
Asked if the Duke of York would respond to the news of his former friend’s death, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said recently: ‘This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which The Duke of York is not a party.
‘Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.’
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell pictured together in New York in 2005
FBI agents were seen raiding Jeffrey Epstein’s US Virgin Island Little St James in August – it earned the nickname ‘paedo island’
How Duke of York’s annual meetings with Epstein including after he was sent to jail caused Prince Andrew decades of trouble
Here is a timeline of the duke’s relationship with Epstein.
Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.
Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.
Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.
Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.
Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.
Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.
The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.
Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.
‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’
In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.
Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.
Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.
Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.
The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.
Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.
Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.
Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’
Mark Epstein fears that he and his children will be murdered like he claims his brother Jeffrey was after ‘sham suicide probe’
A defiant Mark Epstein is lashing out at federal officials in the wake of his brother Jeffrey’s death.
In a rare interview with Julie Brown of the Miami Herald, Mark says that the investigation into his brother’s suicide was both incomplete and inconclusive, making it impossible to determine his cause of death.
Mark also reveals that even he has seen no evidence to support the New York City Medical Examiner’s conclusion that his brother committed suicide, and cannot think of a single reason why the pedophile would have taken his own life.
He now says that he fears he or his family members could be targeted by the same individuals who may have wanted Jeffrey dead, and implores those who so quickly labeled the death a suicide to take another look at the case.
‘It’s all very suspicious, too much to be a coincidence,’ says Mark.
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Mark Epstein (above in August) says that his life and the life of his family members could be at risk in an interview with Julie Brown for the Miami Herald
In the interview, Mark makes it clear that he cannot accept the idea that his brother would want to take his own life.
‘I could see if he got a life sentence, I could then see him taking himself out, but he had a bail hearing coming up,’ explains Mark.
He later goes into more detail, arguing: ‘He had a bail hearing in two days. He agreed to be on house arrest. He was going to hire armed guards to keep an eye on him at his own expense.’
Mark then adds: ‘He was the most recognizable person on the planet. Where is he going to run and hide?’
At the same time, it is unclear how he would be able to make that determination given his own description of the relationship he had with Jeffrey prior to his death.
‘Jeffrey and I were not that close, we shared brother stuff, but I was not involved in what he was doing,’ reveals Mark.
‘When he first got in trouble he called me. We were very straight with each other. I wasn’t going to lecture him.’
Three months after his death, officials have still not released any details at all about the case.
This has left Mark concerned that he and his children could suffer a fate similar to Jeffrey’s at the hands of a person or persons that officials have no interest in trying to identify.
‘Jeffrey knew a lot of stuff about a lot of people,’ notes Mark.