UK's Prince Andrew 'appalled' by Jeffrey Epstein claims

Lula Sharp
August 20, 2019

"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes", Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday.

Before resigning, Acosta had defended his role in the case, saying he acted to ensure Epstein did not "walk free".

Epstein pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges last month and was being held without bail.

"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes", it read.

"His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behavior is abhorrent".

Epstein was a registered sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state changes of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.

Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell earlier this month, was accused of arranging to have sex with dozens of underage girls at his residences in NY and Florida.

One of Epstein's alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre (previously Virginia Roberts), has testified that at age 17 she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew in London, as well as in NY and on Epstein's private island in the Caribbean.

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The Duke of York released a statement Monday after footage emerged over the weekend which claimed to show the royal inside the convicted pedophile's NY mansion in 2010 - two years after Epstein first pleaded guilty to sex crimes.

Though Buckingham Palace has never denied a friendship between the disgraced financier and the prince, the royal family has repeatedly denied sexual relations between Prince Andrew and Giuffre or other underage women.

Buckingham Palace's statement on Sunday (local time) was its second on Prince Andrew's relationship with Mr Epstein in less than a week.

Prince Andrew was reportedly introduced to Mr Epstein through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the financier's former girlfriend, in the 1990s.

The prince has faced scrutiny over his links to the convicted sex offender before.

When the pictures emerged at the time of the December 2010 trip of him out walking with Epstein in Central Park Royal aides were said to be tearing their hair out.

About an hour before Andrew can be seen waving the woman off, Epstein was spotted leaving with a young blonde woman.

However, the Palace said the allegations are "false and without any foundation", stating that "any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors" by the duke was "categorically untrue".

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