The lawyer representing a number of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims has repeated her call for Prince Andrew to “actively participate” with the FBI investigation because, she claims, Epstein used the Prince’s name when trying to lure victims to his private island.
This week, the Duchess of York, Andrew’s ex-wife, has been urged to tell him to make it clear that he is willing to co-operate with US law enforcement agencies.
Sarah Ferguson has always remained close to Prince Andrew despite their divorce and they share his house in Windsor.
US lawyer Gloria Allred says she wrote to the Duke of York last year, after he stepped down from royal duties, asking him to communicate immediately with the FBI and submit a sworn deposition.
On Monday, the chief federal prosecutor in New York, Geoffrey Berman, said that the FBI had received “zero co-operation” from Prince Andrew’s legal team despite their requests.
They want the Queen’s second son to assist them as a witness - not as a suspect - in their investigation into the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Some of Wednesday’s newspapers report that friends of Prince Andrew say he is “angry and bewildered” at the FBI claim and they say that, to date, he has not even been approached by US prosecutors nor asked to assist them.
Buckingham Palace has not commented and says the matter is for the Prince’s lawyers, not them.
During his television interview last November, the Prince said he would talk to US law enforcement “if push came to shove.”
When he announced his was stepping back from royal duties, he repeated his willingness to co-operate with the investigators “if required”.
Ms Allred wrote in her letter to Prince Andrew on December 10: “We urge you now, in the interest of serving justice and in helping the victims of Mr Epstein to find peace… to actively participate in providing sworn testimony."
The US lawyer was writing on behalf on one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, known as "Jane Doe 15", who claims that Epstein tried to persuade her to fly to his private island in the US Virgin Islands, by promising that Prince Andrew would be there.
Ms Allred wrote: “In trying to persuade her to fly there, Mr Epstein’s representative conveyed to Jane Doe 15 that Mr Epstein was close to you, that you would be among the guests on the private island, and that she would have an opportunity to meet you."
“In other words”, the lawyer wrote, “your prestige and reputation were directly touted in his attempts to engage in further harm".
"Jane Doe 15" says she was sexually assaulted by Jeffrey Epstein in 2004, when she was 15 years old at his ranch in New Mexico.
She has made no allegations against Prince Andrew.
Ms Allred says she wants the Duke of York to help “bring out the truth” about Epstein’s “predatory behaviour” because, as friends, the Duke stayed as a guest of Epstein at his homes in New York and Florida and on the private island.
“By virtue of your many visits to Mr Epstein’s homes and your familiarity with him personally, you undoubtedly have relevant knowledge about those properties and about the manner in which Mr Epstein operated during the time period that he sexually abused Jane Doe 15 and scores of other girls,” the lawyer wrote.
Prince Andrew, vehemently denies he acted improperly, and has said that he had no knowledge or suspicion whatsoever of any illegal activity while staying at Epstein’s homes and never witnessed anything which would lead him to suspect criminal activity was taking place.
The Duke also denies ever meeting, or knowing, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, another of Epstein’s victims, who also claims that Epstein trafficked her to Prince Andrew for sex.