For the first time since financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead by suicide in his jail cell after being held on sex trafficking charges, Buckingham Palace has released a statement addressing Epstein’s connection to Prince Andrew. The statement comes shortly after the Daily Mail published a video allegedly showing Andrew inside Epstein’s New York mansion in December 2010, waving goodbye to a woman.
The statement reads: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. 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.”
Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II’s son, has long been connected to Epstein and, in the past, has been accused of sexual misconduct. Recently unsealed court documents relating to a 2015 defamation lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator, contain allegations against Andrew; The Daily Beast reports that in the documents a woman named Johanna Sjoberg alleges that Andrew groped her at Epstein’s mansion, while a woman named Virginia Giuffre, who brought on the suit against Maxwell, said Maxwell directed her to have sex with Andrew.
In the past, the Palace has been very curt in their response to Andrew’s connection to Epstein. It gave the following statement to NBC News when asked for comment about the unsealed court documents: “This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”
Back in 2015, the Palace also emphatically denied the allegations against Andrew. However, it’s likely that as the secrets around Epstein unfold, Andrew’s connection to the alleged criminal will continue to follow him around.