After Prince Andrew’s close ties to the late financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein came under renewed public scrutiny over the summer, his first move was to give a remarkably tone-deaf interview with the BBC in which he denied any wrongdoing, including the allegations that he had had sex with a teenage girl trafficked by Epstein. Seemingly chastened by the experience, or just equipped with better PR, Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, stepped back from his royal duties in November and then issued a statement suggesting that he would cooperate with “appropriate” law-enforcement investigations. It appears he has yet to follow through.
During a news conference outside Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion, the United States Attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, said federal prosecutors and the FBI have tried to interview Andrew about Epstein, but the royal “has provided zero cooperation,” the New York Times reports.
Berman’s remarks came during a joint appearance with members of the nonprofit victim-services agency Safe Horizons, with whom Berman was discussing recent New York legislation that makes it easier for people to sue over childhood sex abuse, the Associated Press reports. He said, “Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did without the assistance of others, and I can assure you that the investigation is moving forward.”
Top women’s-rights attorney Gloria Allred, who represents five of Epstein’s accusers, suggested in response to Berman’s press conference that she could subpoena Prince Andrew if he continues not to cooperate. “Certainly if he ever came back to the United States, that would be one of the first things, and I’m sure a lot of lawyers, including me, would want to,” Allred told BBC Radio 4 Today. Her daughter, Lisa Bloom, who’s also representing several of Epstein’s accusers, told BBC News on Tuesday, “Prince Andrew himself is accused of sexual misconduct, and he also spent a great deal of time with Jeffrey Epstein, so it’s time to stop playing games and come forward to do the right thing and answer questions.”
Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, alleges that she had sex with Andrew at Epstein’s behest in 2001, when she was 17 years old. In his BBC interview, Andrew said he had “no recollection” of meeting Giuffre, and he has denied knowing that Epstein was sexually abusing girls.
This post has been updated with comments from Gloria Allred and Lisa Bloom.