January 23, 2022, 9:34

    Inside Prince Andrew’s friendship with abusers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

    Inside Prince Andrew’s friendship with abusers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

    Prince Andrew's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell is set to come under fresh scrutiny after a judge ruled a civil case against him will go trial.

    Judge Lewis Kaplan has today rejected a bid to dismiss Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit against the Duke of York, which alleges he abused her when she was one of Epstein's 'teen sex slaves'.

    Epstein and Maxwell, who was convicted of child sex trafficking crimes last month, forced the then 17-year-old into having sex with Andrew, Ms Giuffre claims.

    The royal has vehemently denied the allegations.

    The Duke's relationship with his former billionaire pal Epstein stems back to 1999 when he was reportedly introduced to him through Maxwell.

    Prince Andrew has his arm around then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts as Ghislaine Maxwell smiles from the background
    (

    Image:
    Collect Unknown)

    Andrew had been a friend of Maxwell's since her time at the University of Oxford.

    The royal flew alongside Epstein on his private jet in February 1999, when he is believed to have travelled to the financier's private island Little St James in the US Virgin Islands.

    The royal invited both Epstein and Maxwell to the Queen's Dance of the Decades event at Windsor Castle in June 2000.

    Throughout the year Andrew and Maxwell attended private parties and events together in the UK and US.

    The pair went abroad together several times, including to Florida and Thailand.

    Andrew is seen with Ghislaine Maxwell at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held by Heidi Klum in New York during October 2000
    (

    Image:
    Coleman-Rayner)

    The Duke even threw her a surprise party at Sandringham Estate in December 2000, with Epstein pictured at the bash.

    Andrew later described it as a 'straightforward shooting weekend' as he defended himself against Ms Giuffre's claims in an agonising BBC Newsnight interview.

    Epstein also attended Princess Beatrice's 18th birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2006.

    Andrew told the BBC he used to see Epstein a maximum of three times a year and said had been on his private plane, stayed on his island and in his homes in Palm Beach, Florida and New York.

    Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida in 2000
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    Image:
    Getty Images)

    The paedophile pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in a deal with prosecutors in 2008 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

    Following his release, Andrew met Epstein in New York's Central Park in December 2010.

    The royal insisted he only met up with his disgraced pal to end their friendship.

    Andrew attended a small dinner party and stayed at Epstein's New York Mansion during the visit.

    He told the BBC: "It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I've gone through this in my mind so many times.

    US financier Jeffrey Epstein and disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell were close friends
    (

    Image:
    US District Court for the Southe)

    "At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.

    "But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that's just the way it is.

    "The truth of it is is that I actually only saw him for about, what the dinner party, the walk in the park and probably passing in the passage."

    Despite cutting ties with Epstein, Andrew continued to stay in touch with Maxwell.

    He claimed he last saw her in the spring or summer of 2019, although Andrew said they did not discuss Epstein because he 'wasn't in the news'.

    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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