Prince Andrew has not responded to interview requests from the FBI and federal prosecutors in the government’s continuing investigation into accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, Manhattan’s chief federal prosecutor said Monday.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said the embattled Duke of York, who indicated last year that he would assist law enforcement authorities with inquires into his former friend’s activities, has provided “zero” cooperation.
Berman declined to elaborate while answering questions at an event hosted by advocates for victims of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. The prosecutor did not say when U.S. authorities had sought to contact Andrew.
Facing allegations that Epstein once forced a 17-year-old girl to have sex with the prince, Andrew announced in November that he was stepping away from his public duties as a royal. The prince and Buckingham Palace have cast the allegations as “false and without any foundation.”
Prince Andrew (R), Duke of York arrives for a church service with Queen Elizabeth II at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington, Norfolk, Britain on Jan. 19, 2020. (Photo: WILL OLIVER, EPA-EFE)
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In a statement announcing the change in his public role, the prince said that he continued to “unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein…”
“I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
Federal authorities are continuing their investigation into the disgraced financier, despite Epstein’s August suicide in a Manhattan detention center where he was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges
Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, now 36, has asserted that she was forced by Espstein to have sex with Andrew three times when she was just a teenager. On those occasions, Giuffre said she met the prince in New York, the U.S. Virgin Islands and in London.
In an interview with the BBC last year, the prince said he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
Lawyers representing some of Epstein’s other accusers have issued statements, urging him to fully cooperate with American investigators as they continue to probe Epstein’s alleged trafficking network and his possible associates.
“I urge Prince Andrew to contact the investigators for the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Southern District of New York and volunteer to be interviewed by them without conditions and without delay,” said Gloria Allred, who represents five accusers who are suing Epstein’s estate.
Spencer Kuvin, who has represented Epstein accusers in the past, has said Andrew should waive diplomatic immunity and subject himself to the jurisdiction of U.S. authorities.
“He should meet with federal investigators as soon as possible, under oath, and answer for his actions while he spent time with Epstein,” Kuvin said.
“The fact that he used the phrase ‘if required’ shows that he and counsel for the royal family are providing themselves a possible window to argue that compelling the prince’s attendance at a sworn interview could be argued is not ‘required,’ ” Kuvin said. “This is just another way to avoid his moral duty to place the victims first, over any personal relationships he may have.”
Contributing: Leora Arnowitz and Maria Puente
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