Prince Andrew faces allegations from unsealed US court documents about Jeffrey Epstein

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The court papers include a detailed witness statement from a woman who claimed Prince Andrew groped her at Epstein's house in New York.

The Duke of York has been named in unsealed US court documents about people linked to the paedophile financier, Jeffrey Epstein.

 

Prince Andrew faces allegations from unsealed US court documents about Jeffrey Epstein

The court papers include a detailed witness statement from a woman who claimed Prince Andrew groped her at Epstein's house in New York.

 

The documents from this 2015 lawsuit also include names such as former US president Bill Clinton.

 

Many names had been kept anonymous, but a US judge allowed their publication.

 

Much in these New York court papers had been revealed before - but it will still mean fresh embarrassment for Prince Andrew, who appeared on Christmas Day with the Royal Family in Sandringham.

 

The publication of the documents once again revives awkward questions about Prince Andrew's relationship with Epstein and his circle.

 

The court papers include the testimony of Johanna Sjoberg who describes meeting Prince Andrew at Epstein's home in New York in 2001, along with Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell and Virginia Giuffre, who went on to make and settle a civil sex assault claim against Prince Andrew.

 

Ms Sjoberg's statement, which had previously been partly revealed, describes an encounter in which she claims Prince Andrew touched her breast.


 

U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017

 

She recalls a scene in which Maxwell, who was later jailed for sex trafficking offences, had shown them a puppet of Prince Andrew, which was intended as a "great joke".

 

"And they decided to take a picture with it, in which Virginia and Andrew sat on a couch. They put the puppet on Virginia's lap and I sat on Andrew's lap, and they put the puppet's hand on Virginia's breast, and Andrew put his hand on my breast, and they took a photo," says Ms Sjoberg's deposition.

 

Pressed by lawyers on the seating arrangements, she said: "Whether we were on a couch or a chair, I just remember the boobs part, the hand on the boobs."

 

Ms Sjoberg, then aged 20, had been at college when she had been recruited by Maxwell, initially she believed as an assistant before finding that she was encouraged to deliver sexual massages for Epstein, which she resisted.

 

She believed that Virginia Giuffre (then called Roberts) was younger, aged 17, as she hadn't been able to get into a casino as they'd intended.

 

"Jeffrey said, 'Great, we'll call up Trump and we'll go to - I don't recall the name of the casino, but - we'll go to the casino'," she said of the trip to New York.

 

But Ms Giuffre had been too young to go inside.

 

Ms Sjoberg described Ms Giuffre, who the same year would appear in a photograph with Prince Andrew in London, as seeming as though she "did not have a family".

 

Maxwell, in her deposition, said that she had once been on Epstein's Caribbean island when Prince Andrew visited.

 

But she said: "There were no girls on the island. No girls, no women, other than the staff who work at the house. Girls meaning - I assume you are asking underage - but there was nobody female outside of the cooks and the cleaners."

 

The released documents also carry the claims of Ms Giuffre that she had been directed to have sex with Prince Andrew - claims denied in Maxwell's testimony.

 

Prince Andrew has rejected any wrongdoing, including in his later settlement with Ms Giuffre in 2022.

 

In that settlement Prince Andrew had said he "regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others".

 

The court documents, unsealed on the orders of Judge Loretta Preska, were gathered for a defamation case brought in 2015 by Ms Giuffre against Maxwell.

 

That lawsuit was settled out of court - but this latest batch of documents from the case has provided more details of those claimed to have contact with Epstein, including friends, business associates and also victims.

 

Many of the individuals in the case had been described anonymously as "John Does" or "Jane Does", but now most of their real names have been released.

 

The judge said that many of the names were already in the public domain from media coverage or had appeared in other court cases.

 

There are still some names not released, such as victims or those who were minors at the time.

 

Epstein, the disgraced financier who had cultivated links in politics, business and royalty, died in jail in 2019 while facing charges of running a "vast network" of underage girls for sex.

 

Prince Andrew is no longer a working royal and as such Buckingham Palace does not comment on his behalf.

 

In the fall out from his connections with Epstein and his legal battle with Ms Giuffre, the prince lost his royal titles and ended his official royal duties.

 

But in a previous statement about links to Epstein, the palace had said that Prince Andrew "deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent".


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CRN News - Breaking News: Prince Andrew faces allegations from unsealed US court documents about Jeffrey Epstein
Prince Andrew faces allegations from unsealed US court documents about Jeffrey Epstein
The court papers include a detailed witness statement from a woman who claimed Prince Andrew groped her at Epstein's house in New York.
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