Prince Andrew Faces Criticism as Epstein Controversy Escalates

By Erin Maxwell || Staff Writer

As the Jeffrey Epstein trial continues, it has been revealed that Prince Andrew, Duke of York, has refused to cooperate with American officials behind closed doors, although he publicly announced his willingness to help the ongoing investigation. 

The third child of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Andrew had been consistently linked with Epstein in the public eye for many years, having visited several of his homes and even taking trips to Epstein’s private island. This friendship continued in the face of controversy even after Epstein’s first conviction for child sex offenses. The Prince’s now-infamous November 2019 BBC interview following Epstein’s final arrest defended his friendship and denied all pending allegations against him. 

These allegations most prominently feature the testimony of Virginia Roberts Guiffre, one of Epstein’s sex trafficking victims, who claims the prince forced her into intercourse on three occasions when she was 17 years old. Prince Andrew denied her claims and denied ever meeting her in his BBC interview, and even after photos emerged of him and the victim together, he blamed it on possible photoshopping. Andrew has maintained his innocence but was forced by Queen Elizabeth to step out of the royal public eye. As reported by BBC, he has since recanted his statements of friendship and repeatedly announced that “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.”

For those who are still fighting for justice, Andrew’s half-hearted apology does not seem enough. Recently, the U.S. Attorney General publicly revealed that Andrew has not cooperated with attempts to gain information in order to aid the progression of the case against Epstein. Although there are no intended charges against the Prince, his testimony and evidence would be extremely valuable to lawyers defending the victims. As the FBI has limited jurisdiction to pursue leads abroad, the public announcement of Andrew’s failure to comply may have been a strategy to force him into participation. According to BBC, Lisa Bloom, a defense attorney for Guiffre stated, “If Prince Andrew truly has done nothing wrong then it’s incumbent upon him to go and speak to the FBI at a time that’s convenient for him and say what he knows.” The only further step the U.S. Government can take is to file a Mutual Legal Assistance Request, which is used as a last resort mechanism. 

Andrew is understandably upset that a narrative of uncooperative behavior has been published, which he claims is not the reality of the situation. He has been meeting with a group of lawyers on a weekly basis to prepare for potential interviews following these developments and is currently under the Queen’s close watch at the Sandringham Estate.

First-year Erin Maxwell is a Staff Writer. Her email is emaxwell@fandm.edu

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