Prince Andrew ‘prepares to testify’ over friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

Thursday - 21/11/2019 19:26
Prince Andrew is said to be preparing to testify. Picture: AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, FILE.Source:AP
Prince Andrew is said to be preparing to testify. Picture: AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, FILE.Source:AP
Prince Andrew is reportedly preparing to testify under oath, after he stepped down from royal duties and relinquished his $473,000 income.

Prince Andrew is preparing to give formal evidence to a US investigation into his former friend and disgraced paedophile Jeffrey Epstein according to British media reports.

The UK Telegraph reports Buckingham Palace is on alert for a subpoena to be issued to Prince Andrew to give evidence under oath.

The Duke of York, 59, stepped down from his public duties on Wednesday for the “foreseeable future” after direct consultation with his mother, the Queen.

He will no longer receive his GBP249,000 (A$473,000) Sovereign Grant allowance which funds public duties, but will receive income from the Queen’s private funds.

On Thursday, he was seen in public for the first time since stepping down, driving away from his home in Windsor.

Meanwhile, Virgina Giuffre took to Twitter in support of sexual assault victims, saying there is “no such thing as child prostitution”.

“The language needs to be changed so victims aren’t shamed into silence. Labels are a form of abuse, which is why so many survivors of abuse choose not to come forward,” she said.

There was no reference to Prince Andrew in her tweet.
 

Britain's Prince Andrew leaves his home in Windsor. Picture: AJM IMAGES / BACKGRID
Britain's Prince Andrew leaves his home in Windsor. Picture: AJM IMAGES / BACKGRIDSource:BackGrid

 

On Wednesday, the Queen’s second son released a public letter announcing his decision to step down after his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein was called into question.

“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure,” he said.

MORE: Fury over unaired Epstein interview

MORE: Unexpected architect of Andrew’s ousting

“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”

US lawyer Lisa Bloom, who is representing five of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers said he was “not credible” in the interview and urged him to hand over more documents.

“He and his staff must co-operate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents,” Bloom said. “We are just getting started.”

Royal commentator Peter Hunt said “Andrew’s humiliation is complete.”

“No more Cenotaph, Trooping the Colour or appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony. He won’t have embraced his fallen destiny. He’ll have clung to the balustrades. While the Queen handed him his P45, it will have been filled in by Charles.”
 

Prince Andrew, Duke of York has stepped back from official duties in what is thought to be a first for the royal family. Picture: Justin TALLIS / AFP.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York has stepped back from official duties in what is thought to be a first for the royal family.
Picture: Justin TALLIS / AFP.Source:AFP

 

 
'Jane Doe 15' who has accused the late financier Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing her when she was fifteen years old, has also called on Prince Andrew to testify. Picture: Robyn Beck / AFP.
'Jane Doe 15' who has accused the late financier Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing her when she was fifteen years old, has also called on Prince Andrew to testify.
Picture: Robyn Beck / AFP.Source:AFP

 

The shock announcement rocked the UK establishment and came after days of highly critical headlines following the Prince’s BBC interview in which he tried to explain his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, saying he visited him in New York to end their friendship.

But Prince Andrew’s claims that he was “too honourable” to not drop his friend after he had been charged with soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008 sparked outrage for failing to mention Epstein’s victims at all.

Instead, the Prince was adamant he never saw anything untoward at Epstein’s properties and defended his decision to stay there as “convenient”. He also described his friend’s conduct as “unbecoming” which sparked a baffled response from interviewer, Emily Maitlis.

“Unbecoming? He was a sex offender,” she said.

“I’m sorry, I’m being polite, I mean in the sense that he was a sex offender. But no, was I right in having him as a friend? At the time, bearing in mind this was some years before he was accused of being a sex offender. I don’t there was anything wrong then, the problem was the fact that once he had been convicted … I stayed with him,” he said.

“That’s the bit … I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”
 

The Prince had a reputation for partying in the 1990s and was known as Randy Andy. Picture: David Parker / POOL / AFP.
The Prince had a reputation for partying in the 1990s and was known as Randy Andy.
Picture: David Parker / POOL / AFP.Source:AFP

 

 
His ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, has remained loyal to him. Picture: AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File.
His ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, has remained loyal to him.
Picture: AP Photo/Dave Caulkin, File.Source:AP

 

 
Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleges she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and had sex with Prince Andrew three times. He denied it ever took place.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleges she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and had sex with Prince Andrew three times. He denied it ever took place.
Source:Supplied

 

The Duke said if “push came to shove” he would be “duty bound” to testify under oath and would be prepared to do so.

“Yes I would because I think there’s just as much closure for me as there is for everybody else and undoubtedly some very strange and unpleasant activities have been going on,” he said.

Prince Andrew also flatly denied allegations he slept with a then 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre, saying he was at a Pizza Express with his daughter the night in question in March 2001.

The extraordinary interview sparked a slew of outrage over the Prince’s failure to discuss victims and prompted organisations he is associated with to quickly distance themselves from his work.

Getting on with business. The Queen was seen in public less than 30 minutes after Prince Andrew’s statement. Picture: Eddie Mulholland, Pool via AP.
Getting on with business. The Queen was seen in public less than 30 minutes after Prince Andrew’s statement.
Picture: Eddie Mulholland, Pool via AP.Source:AP

 

The decision to withdraw from public life is said to be a first for the royal family and a strain on the Queen, 93, who is in the delicate process of handing over ever greater parts of her role to Prince Charles.

A friend of the Prince told The Sun the decision to step down was “a devastating moment” for both the Prince and the Queen.

“His reputation is in tatters. It is unlikely he will ever perform royal duties again. He is disgraced,” they said.

On Wednesday, just 24 minutes after Prince Andrew’s extraordinary statement was issued, the Queen gave a speech at Chatham House in which she showed no sign of the toll the torrid affair had taken on the family.

Speaking to Sir David Attenbrough and the Blue Planet Two team, she said: “Sir David, this award recognises your many talents and one can’t help but feel that, for those of us of a certain generation, we can take great pleasure in proving age is no barrier to being a positive influence.”

victoria.craw@news.com.au

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 Keywords: Jeffrey Epstein

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