Prince Andrew spent nearly a week at Jeffrey Epstein’s New York mansion two years after he was convicted of having sex with a child.
According to an investigation by The Mail on Sunday, the Duke of York’s attempts to downplay his long term friendship with the child sex offender contradicts evidence suggesting he knew of Epstein’s lust for children.
However, new evidence shows that the Duke stayed with Epstein over a period of six days in 2010 – two years after Epstein was convicted of having sex with a child.
It prompted first a statement from Buckingham Palace and yesterday another from the Duke himself in which he desperately tried to draw a line under the affair.
The Duke admitted he and Epstein could have potentially met up to 20 times but that ‘at no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction’.
Epstein also threw a party at his home on December 2, 2010, for the Duke, who was last seen at the property five days later. Last night, Buckingham Palace declined to discuss details of his visit.
However, some commentators said that far from putting a lid on the scandal, the statement actually raised more questions than it answered. Others said it did not go far enough.
The Prince is currently on holiday hiding in Spain with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who was said by a source to be wholly supportive of his decision to ‘come clean’.
Since Epstein’s arrest on sex trafficking charges last month, the Duke has been trying to distance himself from his old friend, declaring himself ‘appalled’ by his ‘alleged crimes’.
The Duke admitted staying at ‘a number of [Epstein’s] residences’ but did not specify which. Buckingham Palace also declined to elaborate. Epstein owned properties in New York, New Mexico, Paris, Florida and the Virgin Islands.
Of course, if it was a politician, he would have to resign immediately. But Andrew isn’t a politician – he is a member of the Royal Family and he can’t resign, so he is limited to apologizing.
For him to hide away and say how appalled he was by the allegations didn’t quite cover it all. It is hard to believe, however, that if he did stay in any of these residences – albeit only once and twice a year – that he had no idea about Jeffrey Epstein’s behavior.
The Duke and Duchess are staying in Spain where he was last week seen playing golf. It is understood they also attended the 50th birthday party of Celine Charloux, a female polo champion, at her sprawling Finca La Capilla estate in an exclusive residential area of Sotogrande.
News Punch / ABC Flash Point Royal News 2019.