Alleged Epstein victim calls on Prince Andrew to speak to US law officials
A woman who claims to have been trafficked and abused by billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has called on Prince Andrew to speak to US law officials.
She did not make allegations against Prince Andrew directly, but said the Duke of York and “any others who are close to Epstein should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have”.
The unnamed woman spoke at a news conference in Los Angeles alongside lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents a number of alleged victims of the disgraced financier.
Ms Allred said of Andrew: “Given that he appears to deny what has been alleged against him, then I think he should make arrangements to speak to law enforcement as soon as possible.”
She told reporters it “would help survivors” and that the duke “could set an example”, adding: “This needs to be done without excuse, without delay.”
The news conference came after Andrew gave an interview with BBC Newsnight, during which he denied any knowledge of Epstein’s crimes.
The Duke of York also addressed pictures taken of the pair in New York two years after the American was jailed for two charges of procuring underage girls in Florida.
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Andrew said he now believes it was “definitely the wrong thing to do but at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do”, but failed to say that he regretted his friendship with Epstein, who died in prison earlier this year.
He also denied having sex with a 17-year-old girl at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend of the prince, in London in 2001.
Ms Allred said the unnamed woman – known under the pseudonym Jane Doe 15 – was filing a lawsuit against Epstein and hoped that speaking out would encourage others to come forward.
Jane Doe 15 told reporters that Epstein’s “manipulation” of her began when she went to New York on a high school drama trip when she was 15-years-old.
She said his assistant took a photo of her before inviting her to Epstein’s ranch in the New Mexico desert, where he is alleged to have sexually abused her.
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She continued: “After this we had a long talk about my future goals. He said he wanted to give me money for college.”
She added: “I had no idea how to respond to a billionaire who had just raped me. I was being asked to quantify in monetary terms what had been taken from me.”
Jane Doe 15 said Epstein had a “great villainous power to make victims feel ashamed of their background” and that she had left his ranch “with a great deal of shame”.
She ended her statement by echoing Ms Allred’s call for Andrew to meet with the FBI and prosecutors.
The interview on Newsnight was the culmination of years of statements from Buckingham Palace, and was intended to dispel increasing scrutiny of the duke’s relationship with Epstein.
Andrew was accused of “utterly lacking in compassion” for the victims of the disgraced billionaire, with several commentators expressing their shock about the nature of the interview.
Lisa Bloom, who represents five of Epstein’s victims, told Sky News: “He seems utterly lacking in the compassion and the astonishment that the rest of the world has felt after hearing from Jeffrey Epstein’s victims.”
Since the interview aired, Sky News has learned that KPMG is not renewing its sponsorship of Andrew’s Pitch@Palace initiative.
The accountancy firm had been a founding partner of the duke’s start-up mentorship scheme for entrepreneurs, but its sponsorship lapsed at the end of October and a decision was made not to take it on.
The company declined to comment.
Another partner of Pitch@Palace, AstraZeneca, said: “Our three year partnership with Pitch@Palace is due to expire at the end of this year and is currently being reviewed.”
In another development, the Outward Bound Trust said it is reviewing Andrew’s patronage of their charity at an additional board meeting this week.
Andrew has also been accused by a former Downing Street aide of having used the n-word during a meeting at Buckingham Palace.
Sky News understands that the palace has written a legal letter to the Evening Standard over allegations made in the newspaper by columnist Rohan Silva, who was an adviser to former prime minister David Cameron.
Mr Silva said the Duke of York used the racist word while talking with him about trade policy in 2012, when asked if he thought the government department responsible for trade “could be doing a better job”.
Andrew was alleged to have said: “Well, if you’ll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile”.
The palace is understood to “strenuously deny that these words were ever used”.