Thu, Dec 12, 2019 - Page 9 News List

What you need to know about Andrew and Epstein

Queen Elizabeth II’s son faces being subpoenaed if he sets foot in the US again. Here are answers to some of the key questions about the allegations against Prince Andrew

By Lucy Osborne  /  The Guardian

Illustration: Mountain People

Analysis of legal papers, 20 years of newspaper reports and Jeffrey Epstein’s flight logs has shown that the deceased financier and convicted sex offender’s friendship with Britain’s Prince Andrew might have been closer than formerly realized.

Here, the Guardian answers some of the key questions about the allegations against Andrew and his relationship with Epstein, while important but lesser-known details from accusers and witnesses are considered.

How did Epstein meet the Duke of York?

Andrew last month said in an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight that he met Epstein in 1999, through Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Maxwell, the socialite daughter of disgraced press baron Robert Maxwell, has been accused by a number of women of being complicit with Epstein in sex trafficking and abuse, and in some cases, partaking in it.

She has denied all allegations against her.

While it is not disputed that Andrew met Epstein through Maxwell, some have said that they met earlier than 1999.

A 2011 letter to the Times from the prince’s then-private secretary, Alastair Watson, suggested that the pair knew each other from the early 1990s.

How close were Andrew and Epstein?

Andrew said he and Epstein were “not that close.”

However, the pair attended several private dinners, parties and fundraisers together, including a birthday party the prince threw in 2000 for Maxwell at Sandringham House, the private residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

The same year, Epstein and the prince partied with now-US President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, his residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

The following year, Andrew and Epstein went on holiday together and were pictured on a yacht in Phuket, Thailand, surrounded by topless young women.

The Times reported that the prince’s holiday was paid for by Epstein.

A Channel 4 Dispatches program discovered that over 12 years, from 1999, Epstein and Andrew met on at least 10 occasions, the prince staying for several days at a time at Epstein’s residences in New York, Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands.

Epstein even attended an 18th birthday party for Andrew’s daughter, Princess Beatrice, at Windsor Castle in 2006, two months after he had been issued an arrest warrant for sexual assault of a minor. The prince said that he was unaware of the warrant and that Epstein attended as Maxwell’s guest.

The prince told the BBC that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, because “the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him, or because of him, were actually very useful.”

How significant is Andrew’s relationship with Maxwell?

Andrew is alleged to have had sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre for the first time at Maxwell’s London home.

The prince and Maxwell are known to have been together at least a dozen times between 1999 and 2001. For instance, they were pictured at Heidi Klum’s “hookers and pimps” fancy dress party in October 2000, a month after being pictured at the wedding of a mutual friend.

There was speculation that the pair were dating.

Maxwell is reported to have introduced the prince to at least one person he dated.

An e-mail exchange between Andrew and Maxwell, days after the prince was named in US court documents submitted by Roberts Giuffre, suggested that he was asking for help in responding to the allegations.

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