The day before Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his MCC jail cell, new documents were released that implicated many big names for being involved with Epstein’s underage sex trafficking.
One of those influential men was Prince Andrew of Britain, who has just broken his silence on the matter and defended his relationship with Epstein, claiming,
“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.”
Check out this breaking news of Prince Andrew’s statment:
Prince Andrew's statement denying that he knew anything of Epstein's reputation or crimes raises the question: Why did he, then, continue to see Epstein after he was released from prison for sex trafficking?
The New York Times has more details into the long background of Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein's apparently close relationship:
Prince Andrew, facing intensifying scrutiny of his ties to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, broke a long silence on Saturday to say that he never saw or suspected any behavior involving the sexual trafficking and exploitation of underage girls during their long friendship.
The prince’s statement, which was issued in his own name instead of by Buckingham Palace, was by far the most comprehensive account he has offered of their friendship. Yet Prince Andrew offered no new explanation for continuing a relationship with Mr. Epstein after the financier emerged from a Florida jail in 2010 following a sex crime conviction.
The 59-year-old second son of Queen Elizabeth II has been under growing pressure since Mr. Epstein’s arrest last month in New York on sex trafficking charges. Lawyers for Mr. Epstein’s accusers have demanded that Prince Andrew disclose whatever he knows about the financier’s behavior, even more pointedly since Mr. Epstein’s suicide this month in a New York jail.
One of the accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffree, said in legal filings in 2015 that when she was 17, Mr. Epstein lent her to Prince Andrew for sexual exploitation on multiple occasions. She has released a photograph from 2001 showing Prince Andrew standing in a London apartment with his hand around her bare midriff.
A second woman, Johanna Sjoberg, has said in recently unsealed legal filings in the same case that, also in 2001, that Prince Andrew posed for another photograph touching her breast while at the same time touching the breast of Ms. Giuffrie with a puppet of himself.
The prince has repeatedly denied both allegations.
“I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behavior,” he said on Saturday in his statement about Mr. Epstein. “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.“
Mr. Epstein had served an 18-month jail sentence before his 2010 release. He had pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution and had registered as a sex offender as part of a deal with federal prosecutors in Florida to resolve more severe charges.
Soon after his release on parole, the prince and Mr. Epstein were photographed walking together in Central Park in New York, and last week a video from the same year emerged that showed the prince peering out the front door of Mr. Epstein’s mansion in New York.
A representative of Buckingham Palace said in a separate emailed statement on Saturday that a single visit in 2010 had been the only one the prince had made to Mr. Epstein after his conviction and jail sentence. But around the same time, the prince helped arrange for Mr. Epstein to make a payment of 15,000 pounds, or about $18,400, to help pay down debts accumulated by the prince’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson.
When news of the payments emerged the next year, Ms. Ferguson publicly apologized for accepting money from Mr. Epstein and referred explicitly to the exploitation of underage girls.
“I abhor pedophilia,” she said in 2011.
Prince Andrew resigned the same year from his role as a trade envoy for the British Foreign Office, calling his 2010 meeting with Mr. Epstein “an error of judgment.”
In his statement on Saturday, Prince Andrew repeated that mea culpa.
“I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010,” Prince Andrew said, “and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.”
Johan Eliasch, a close friend of the prince who is the chairman of the Head sporting goods company and also a former special representative of the British prime minister, said: “Anybody who knows the Duke well knows that he is intensely loyal to his friends and sometimes that loyalty is not in his best interest, and that is what happened here.”
CBS News also stated:
Britain's Prince Andrew responded to intense media scrutiny of his links to Jeffrey Epstein by issuing a statement Saturday denying any knowledge of criminal behavior by his one-time friend who died by suicide in a New York jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
"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," Andrew said in the written statement, referring to Epstein's 2008 conviction after pleading guilty to prostitution-related state charges.
Epstein served 13 months behind bars. Andrew again said it was a "mistake" to visit Epstein after his release in 2010.
What do you think?
Was Prince Andrew well aware of and involved with Epstein's sick "hobbies"?
Let us know your thoughts.