Allegations that Prince Andrew is not cooperating with the U.S. investigation into the alleged sex trafficking of minors by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and the late financier Jeffrey Epstein have left the British Royal “bewildered”, his legal team said Friday.
Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein, was arrested in New Hampshire Thursday, as Breitbart News reported.
She had lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent travel companion on trips around the world, and was taken into custody around 8:30 a.m.
An indictment made public Thursday said Maxwell “assisted, facilitated and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse ” girls under age 18.
She has long faced allegations of procuring underage girls for him, earning the nickname of Epstein’s “madam.”
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 2, 2020
Epstein committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial last year and Queen Elizabeth II’s second son quit his Royal duties after he defended his relationship with him.
He has since faced claims from U.S. prosecutors he is running shy of giving his version of events.
“The duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month and to date we have had no response,” an unnamed source on his legal team was quoted as saying by the Press Association news agency.
Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, told reporters on Thursday they would “welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us”.
“We would like to have the benefit of his statement,” she added, repeating a call she first made back in January.
U.S. Prosecutor Says Prince Andrew Has Provided ‘Zero Cooperation’ in Jeffrey Epstein Probe https://t.co/ZrtxMg16be
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 27, 2020
The 60-year-old Duke of York vehemently denies claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured by Epstein.
Pictures of him posing with his arm around the girl’s waist forced Andrew to give a disastrous TV interview to the BBC that was quickly followed by his standing down from all Royal duties in November.
A lawyer who represents some of Epstein’s alleged victims told British television Friday the prince was “avoiding and evading” the U.S. authorities.
U.S. attorney Gloria Allred insisted the prince is subjecting those who suffered at Epstein’s hands to a “torture test” by not speaking candidly about his friendship with the convicted paedophile.
She said: “The question is, Prince Andrew when is he going to tell what he knows? He needs to do that. He needs to do it without delay. It is so traumatising and difficult for the victims not to know the truth.
“And this kind of torture test that Prince Andrew is subjecting the victims to, like will he or won’t he give a statement, if he will, when?”
AFP contributed to this report