Fri, Jan 23, 2015 - Page 7 News List

Lawyers ask UK prince to answer on oath in sex case

STRENUOUS DENIALS:Prince Andrew denies having a sexual relationship with his accuser, then 17, who worked for billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

The Guardian, WASHINGTON and NEW YORK

Lawyers acting for the woman who alleges she was forced by a billionaire financier to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew when she was 17 are formally requesting that he respond to her accusations under oath.

A letter addressed to the prince at Buckingham Palace asking him to take part in a two-hour interview was filed with a court in Florida on Wednesday.

It features a photograph of Andrew with his arm around Virginia Roberts, referred to in court as Jane Doe No 3, who last month alleged that she was made to have sexual relations with Andrew by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, a former hedge fund tycoon and convicted sex offender.

“This letter is a formal request ... to interview you, under oath, regarding interactions that you had with Jane Doe No 3 beginning in approximately early 2001,” the letter states.

The letter was part of a legal submission from Roberts that contains new details about her alleged encounters with Andrew that she said occurred when she was 17.

In a sworn affidavit to the court, contained in the same legal bundle, Roberts also states she has asked her lawyers to “pursue all reasonable and legitimate means” to have criminal charges brought against “powerful people” whom she claimed Epstein made her have sex with.

The new documents were filed in a Florida court 24 hours before Andrew was expected to deliver his first public remarks about his controversial relationship with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and the accusations leveled by Roberts.

Buckingham Palace has repeatedly and forcefully denied Andrew had sex with Roberts but so far declined to respond to any specific questions about his friendship with Epstein, or comment directly on alleged specific encounters with Roberts when she was a teenager.

The prince was scheduled to speak at a reception at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday evening — his first public appearance since Roberts’ allegations resurfaced in court papers on Dec. 30 last year.

Buckingham Palace previously described Roberts’ allegations as “categorically untrue” and forcefully denied “any form of sexual contact or relationship” between Andrew and Roberts, adding: “The allegations made are false and without any foundation.”

Palace aides have said Andrew plans to use the appearance at Davos to publicly deny the allegations.

Shortly after the court documents were filed on Wednesday, a palace spokesperson said: “We have nothing to add to our earlier comments.”

In her sworn affidavit, Roberts said: “I have seen Buckingham Palace’s recent ‘emphatic’ denial that Prince Andrew had sexual contact with me. That denial is false and hurtful to me. I did have sexual contact with him as I have described here — under oath. Given what he knows and has seen, I was hoping that he would simply voluntarily tell the truth about everything. I hope my attorneys can interview Prince Andrew under oath about the contacts and that he will tell the truth.”

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