Britain’s Prince Andrew insisted on Saturday that “at no stage” throughout his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein did he “witness… any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest”.
The prince, Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, is below heavy hearth over his relationship with the disgraced US financier, and admitted in an announcement on Saturday that “it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010”.
“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”
Epstein was discovered lifeless in his cell earlier this month, and the prince was as soon as extra drawn into the story after a video was launched purporting to indicate him on the felony’s dwelling in 2010.
Epstein had pleaded responsible in 2008 to procuring for prostitution a lady below the age of 18 and served 13 months in jail earlier than being launched on probation.
“I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know,” mentioned Andrew.
“This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr Epstein’s lifestyle,” he added.
The video was the most recent in a string of revelations about Prince Andrew’s friendship with Epstein in British tabloids.
The Mail on Monday mentioned the prince had hosted Epstein at Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth II’s dwelling in Scotland, in 1999 at a time when the monarch might have been in residence.
He additionally reportedly hosted Epstein at Sandringham, one other royal residence in japanese England, a yr later.
Epstein died in a federal jail in Manhattan on August 10 as he awaited trial charged with one rely of intercourse trafficking of minors and one rely of conspiracy to commit intercourse trafficking of minors.
A coroner dominated that he dedicated suicide by hanging.
Over time, the financier hobnobbed with politicians, socialites and celebrities, together with Donald Trump earlier than he was president, and Invoice Clinton.
Virginia Giuffre — beforehand Virginia Roberts — certainly one of Epstein’s alleged victims, has testified that she was pressured to have intercourse with Prince Andrew in London when she was 17. She mentioned she had intercourse with him once more in New York and on Epstein’s non-public island within the Caribbean.
However the allegations had been struck from the document by a US choose in 2015, who mentioned the “lurid details” weren’t wanted to determine a civil case regarding Epstein.
Buckingham Palace has repeatedly and strenuously denied the claims, calling them “false and without foundation”.
The prince mentioned he deplored “the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour.”
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by HEARALPUBLICIST workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)
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