Federal investigators have formally requested the British government to let them speak with Prince Andrew in connection with a criminal probe into Jeffrey Epstein’s disturbing life and even more disturbing death. Prince Andrew, a.k.a. the Duke of York, a.k.a. the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, was only expecting to have to deal with civil lawsuits by Epstein’s victims in US courts, but now he is requested to submit to an interrogation as witness in UK courts, and perhaps by US prosecutors, regarding his ties to Epstein’s sex trafficking network.
Ah, the Royal Family, the gift that keeps on giving. The Sun reported on Sunday that the US Justice Department bypassed Buckingham Palace—which would have been the polite thing to do, and instead filed a “mutual legal assistance” (MLA) request to the British Home Office, which is used in criminal cases involving US and UK citizens.
A source in the British government told The Sun: “It’s a huge statement of intent from the US and it moves Andrew into the realms of a criminal investigation. It’s also frankly a diplomatic nightmare.”
On December 30, 2014, attorneys Bradley Edwards and Paul Cassell filed with a Florida court allegations that Prince Andrew was one of a group celebrities, including “a former prime minister” and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, who participated in sexual activities with a minor, Virginia Roberts (a.k.a. Giuffre), who had allegedly been trafficked by Epstein.
In January 2015, Buckingham Palace stated that “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue,” but consequent requests from Giuffre’s lawyers for a statement from the Duke under oath about her allegations were ignored.
Dershowitz denied Giuffre’s allegations and sought to disbar her lawyers, who then sued Dershowitz for defamation and he counter-sued. They settled in 2016 for an undisclosed amount of money. Epstein sued attorney Edwards for civil racketeering but dropped the suit; Edwards counter-sued for malicious prosecution, forcing Epstein to issue a public apology.
Giuffre (a.k.a. Virginia Roberts) said she had sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions, including a trip to London in 2001 when she was 17, and later in New York and on Little Saint James. She alleged that Epstein had paid her $15,000 to have sex with the Duke in London. Her team provided flight logs showing the Duke and Giuffre were in the same places where she alleged the meetings took place. Prince Andrew and Giuffre were photographed together with his arm round her waist, but Andrew’s side claimed it was a Photoshop job. Giuffre stated that she feared for her life had she not cooperated with Epstein and the prince.
On November 20, 2019, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew was suspending his public duties “for the foreseeable future,” a decision he made with the consent of the Queen. On November 21, the Duke resigned from his role as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, followed by his resignations from all of his 230 official posts.
According to The Times, senior personnel in the navy and army consider Andrew to be an embarrassment for the military and believe he should be stripped of his military roles.
Of course, should push come to shove and the prince is made to face a US court, he could always hire Alan Dershowitz.