The Epstein Cover-Up: Devastating book exposes how the US government hid the appalling scale of child abuse by Prince Andrew’s friend and piles pressure on Duke to reveal what he knows
- Astonishing account details how prosecutors ‘conspired’ with tycoon’s lawyers
- It has prompted some victims to demand Duke co-operates with investigators
- Cover-up means the billionaire’s wealthy friends have so far avoided scrutiny
- It also discloses how Ghislaine Maxwell was pivotal figure in Epstein’s ‘sex cult’
Prince Andrew is set to come under renewed pressure to tell the FBI what he knows about Jeffrey Epstein as an explosive new book reveals how the US government covered up the billionaire paedophile’s appalling crimes and protected his powerful friends.
The astonishing account – serialised in The Mail on Sunday – details how prosecutors ‘conspired’ with the tycoon’s lawyers to hide the industrial scale of his child sex abuse.
The news has prompted some victims to once again demand that the Duke co-operates with investigators probing Epstein’s trafficking network. Andrew, who has been accused of sleeping with one of Epstein’s former sex slaves, has so far refused to do so.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell pictured attending Batman Forever on June 13, 1995, in New York City. The book discloses how Maxwell was a pivotal figure in Epstein’s ‘sex cult’
The cover-up – exposed in forensic detail for the first time by Bradley Edwards, a lawyer for more than 20 of the victims – means that the billionaire’s wealthy and influential friends, including Andrew, have so far avoided scrutiny.
Crucially, the book also discloses how socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was a pivotal figure in Epstein’s ‘sex cult’ for more than a decade, allegedly helping him recruit and groom underage girls.
Edwards’s account of Maxwell’s alleged involvement raises serious questions about why she has never faced justice. The 58-year-old’s whereabouts remain a mystery.
The book also claims that:
- Epstein and Maxwell asked Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts to carry Epstein’s baby – and then hand the child over to them when it was born;
Paedophile ‘had links to the CIA’
Jeffrey Epstein appeared to have links with the CIA, according to claims by his former bodyguard in the bombshell new book.
The minder said he was sent to the spy agency’s HQ in Virginia to attend classes for a week where he was introduced as a ‘special operative’.
His other 44 classmates were from the CIA or ‘some other government unit with top secret clearance’. Afterwards the bodyguard, a Russian mixed martial arts fighter, was told to deliver a book with a personalised note ‘to Jeffrey’.
The disclosure will fuel speculation that Epstein may have secured his shockingly lenient plea deal in 2007 because of alleged links to intelligence agencies.
The book also claims that there were ‘whispers’ as far back as the 1980s that the financier ‘was associated with the CIA, Mossad or another intelligence agency’.
The bodyguard told Bradley Edwards that he was hired because Epstein feared ‘some girl’s dad would try and kill him’.
But the ‘real-life tough guy’ also made clear that he was frightened by his boss.
- Miss Roberts’s ex-boyfriend recalled how the then 17-year-old telephoned him from London and told him she had been lined up by Maxwell to have sex with the Duke – but did not want to;
- During formal legal proceedings, Epstein’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz refused to deny claims made by Miss Roberts that she was paid to have sex with Prince Andrew. Last night Mr Dershowitz said Edwards had ‘mischaracterised’ and ‘distorted’ what he had said;
- Andrew may have stayed at Epstein’s New York mansion at the same time as a woman who the book suggests became the billionaire’s ‘chief recruiter’ of girls;
- Maxwell allegedly groomed Epstein’s first underage victim in 1994, when she approached a 13-year-old outside a summer camp in the US. The girl was later molested and raped by Epstein.
- Epstein and Maxwell were dubbed ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ by victims; l At the height of his offending, Epstein was abusing at least three girls a day. One witness reported how his desire to have sex with underage girls was so overwhelming that he would ‘physically shake’.
- Maxwell would allegedly lure new recruits while being driven in a limousine – and sometimes she would approach girls in New York’s Central Park;
- A victim who reported Epstein and Maxwell to the FBI claimed that Maxwell threatened to have her killed. Maxwell has always vehemently denied allegations of wrongdoing.
Despite identifying 40 female victims, the US government secretly struck a deal in 2007 not to prosecute Epstein for sexually abusing underage girls at his Florida home. The book reveals how FBI agents had compiled a mountain of evidence against Epstein which would have seen him jailed for life. But instead he was allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges of soliciting for prostitution and procuring a minor for prostitution, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, although he served only 13.
Incredibly, the book reveals, Epstein was allowed to spend much of that time working at his Florida office, where he continued to arrange for women to be flown to him for sex. The book, entitled Relentless Pursuit, also details how victims were kept in the dark about the plea deal and were led to believe that police were still investigating Epstein’s crimes.
The deal meant the grotesque scale of his offending – and explosive claims that girls were forced to have sex with his powerful friends – were only revealed years later.
Large sections of the book focus on Miss Roberts, who spent three years as Epstein’s sex slave. She claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions.
Four years ago, at the height of his investigation into Epstein, Edwards took a formal statement about Miss Roberts’s allegations from Alan Dershowitz, the tycoon’s high-profile lawyer.
Edwards claims that Mr Dershowitz refused to deny the specific claim that Miss Roberts had been paid to have sex with the Prince and instead attacked her character, saying: ‘If she was paid $15,000 to have sex with Prince Andrew at the age of 17 in England, she would be guilty of prostitution.’
Edwards adds in his book: ‘I didn’t let him off the hook. “My question is, was she lying when she says she was paid to have sex with Prince Andrew?”
Edwards’s account of Maxwell’s alleged involvement raises serious questions about why she has never faced justice (pictured: Epstein and Maxwell)
‘Trapped with nowhere to go, he responded, “I have no idea.”’
Mr Dershowitz last night said he had never seen the Duke act inappropriately and that he does not believe Miss Roberts’s accusations against Andrew. He added: ‘Edwards mischaracterised my testimony. I hope you will report that he distorted it. I have learned since then that nothing she [Miss Roberts] says should be credited.’
The book raises fresh questions about Andrew’s controversial stay at Epstein’s New York mansion in December 2010. The news that he had visited Epstein – by then a convicted sex offender – has plagued the Queen’s second son ever since. Last year, The Mail on Sunday revealed astonishing video footage of the Duke peering from the mansion’s grand front door and waving to a pretty brunette during his stay of at least six days.
In May 2016, according to the book, Jean-Luc Brunel, who ran a model agency and has been accused of procuring girls for Epstein, told Edwards that ‘Epstein’s new chief recruiter was a Russian-born twentysomething-year-old woman’.
‘According to Brunel, she was using her connections to import young girls to the United States under the pretence that they were models,’ Edwards writes.
She is believed to have been pictured leaving Epstein’s mansion during Andrew’s stay in December 2010 and she was snapped outside the home again in 2016.
Fateful image: Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, with Virginia Roberts in 2001. Mr Dershowitz last night said he had never seen the Duke act inappropriately
Andrew has said that during the time he spent with Epstein he did not witness any suspicious behaviour but the suggestion that he may have stayed at the mansion at the same time as a recruiter will further fuel demands for the Duke to co-operate with the FBI.
Earlier this month, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman claimed the Duke had ‘completely shut the door’ on the investigation.
Miss Roberts, now 36 and going by her married surname Giuffre, claims she was coerced into having sex with Andrew at Maxwell’s London home in March 2001. In 2016, Edwards quizzed Miss Roberts’s ex-boyfriend Tony Figueroa, who supported her allegation.
‘Tony even remembered Virginia calling him when Ghislaine fixed her up with Prince Andrew in London and explaining over the phone how she did not want to have sex with him, but it was part of what she needed to do to continue their lifestyle,’ Edwards writes.
The Duke has repeatedly and strenuously denied Miss Roberts’s claims. Last November he told Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in an interview: ‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.’
The book charts for the first time the scale of the alleged involvement of Ghislaine Maxwell, one of Andrew’s closest friends, in Epstein’s offending. Both Epstein and Maxwell were invited by the Prince to Windsor Castle to help celebrate his daughter Beatrice’s 18th birthday in 2006.
Incredibly, a year earlier, police in Florida discovered that Epstein was abusing three girls a day at his property in Palm Beach and had identified 23 underage victims. According to the book, Maxwell kept the names of girls who were being abused by Epstein on her computer.
New York visit: Prince Andrew waves to a mystery brunette from Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2010. The book raises fresh questions about Andrew’s controversial stay at Epstein’s mansion
Edwards writes how ‘Epstein had an unquenchable appetite for young girls, and Ghislaine had a knack for finding them.’
The pair had started a relationship in the early 1990s. Epstein’s former housekeeper Juan Alessi told Edwards that Maxwell ordered staff at the Palm Beach mansion to treat the billionaire like royalty and never look him in the eye. As soon as Maxwell moved in, female ‘masseuses’ began visiting ‘who did not look professional and appeared too young’, Mr Alessi claimed.
As well as grooming Miss Roberts, Maxwell allegedly recruited Epstein’s earliest known victim in 1994, a 13-year-old talented singer who Edwards calls ‘Kat’.
‘As part of their grooming process, Ghislaine and Jeffrey would talk about sex with her frequently,’ Edwards writes.
‘By the time Kat was 14, Epstein was regularly molesting her and Maxwell was continuing to remind her of all Epstein was doing for her career. When Kat was 17 years old, Jeffrey Epstein forcibly raped her, taking her virginity.’
Another victim, Maria Farmer, who claims she was groped by Epstein and Maxwell in 1996, told the author how ‘sometimes she would be riding in Ghislaine’s chauffeured car when Ghislaine saw a girl, stopped the car, got out and lured her to Jeffrey.’
The Duke of York with Emily Maitlis, who interviewed him for a BBC Newsnight special. Prince Andrew has repeatedly and strenuously denied Miss Roberts’s claims
Edwards adds: ‘Other times, when Maria and Ghislaine would walk through Central Park, Ghislaine would approach a girl minding her business on a park bench and, within minutes, convince her to give up her phone number.’
It is claimed that after Maria complained to the FBI about being assaulted, she was telephoned by Maxwell, who allegedly warned: ‘If you report us to the police again, I will have you killed.’
Last week, it emerged that Maxwell is seeking cash from Epstein’s £550million estate to pay off her legal fees – a move that prompted anger from the victims.
Edwards last night demanded that Prince Andrew agree to be interviewed as part of legal action that five of his clients are taking against Epstein’s vast estate.
Meanwhile, Gloria Allred, a US lawyer representing several other victims, said: ‘Unless he agrees to speak to the FBI and provides truthful answers to their questions, the victims and law enforcement will continue to pursue him. I can assure him that no amount of legal armour or Palace guards will shield him from his attempts to thwart justice and the truth.’
A spokeswoman for the Duke of York declined to comment.
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