LONDON — On Sunday, the Mail published footage of Prince Andrew at Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan residence in 2010, in which he is seen looking out from a large door and waving a cheerful goodbye to a young woman. Hours later, Buckingham Palace said that Andrew is “appalled” over the the Epstein sex abuse claims.
Andrew’s connections to Epstein came under fresh scrutiny following newly unsealed legal documents on Aug. 9. Less than 24 hours later, Epstein was found dead in his prison cell. New York City’s medical examiner officially ruled his death a suicide by hanging.
“The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes,” read the statement emailed to The Washington Post on Monday. “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
The latest footage and court documents
The video footage was reportedly taken in 2010, when Epstein was a registered sex offender who had served time in jail. A picture of Andrew and Epstein strolling in Central Park from around the same time surfaced in 2011, prompting questions over Andrew’s judgment. Shortly after, he quit his unpaid job as a trade envoy.
The cache of court documents, unsealed earlier this month, included a photograph of the prince with his arm around the waist of Virginia Roberts, then 17, who claimed that she was paid by Epstein for sexual encounters with the prince. The photograph first appeared in the British press in 2011.
Andrew has long been dogged by questions over his friendship with Epstein. The two reportedly first met in the late 1990s, introduced by Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who accusers say was Epstein’s girlfriend and madam.
Buckingham Palace weighs in
Buckingham Palace doesn’t usually comment on scandalous accusations, but they have repeatedly issued statements denying any wrongdoing by Andrew.
Andrew is the queen’s second son. Royal watchers said that the queen was showing her support for Andrew when she was pictured traveling with him to a church service in Scotland last weekend.
According to the Sun tabloid, Andrew was recently spotted in Spain with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. The two were married between 1986 and 1996 but remain on good terms. Ferguson has also been criticized for her connections to Epstein, having accepted $18,000 from the disgraced financier to help pay off her debts. She called it a “gigantic error of judgment.”