Britain’s Prince Andrew has said that during the “limited time” he spent with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, he never saw, witnessed, or suspected “any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”
In a statement released on Saturday, the Duke of York added: “I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour” and reiterated that “it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010.”
Speaking about Epstein, the Duke of York said: “His suicide has left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”
He continued, “This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr. Epstein’s lifestyle.”
The Duke of York also released a statement Monday after footage emerged last weekend that claimed to show the royal inside the convicted paedophiles New York mansion in 2010 – two years after Epstein first pleaded guilty to sex crimes.In the video obtained by The Mail On Sunday, the UK paper says Prince Andrew can be seen at the door of the disgraced hedge fund manager’s Manhattan home, waving goodbye to a young woman leaving the property.Epstein, 66, was found dead in his prison cell earlier this month. He had been awaiting trial on federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing underage girls.
9News could not independently verify the authenticity of the video or when it was shot.
The Palace released a statement on Monday, which said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”Jeffrey Epstein hobnobbed with some of the world’s most powerful people during his jet-setting life.Future President Donald Trump called him a “terrific guy.”Former President Bill Clinton praised his intellect and philanthropic efforts and was a frequent flyer aboard his private jet.
Following the arrest of the billionaire financier on child sex trafficking charges, Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta has come under pressure after he, as US attorney for the Southern District of Florida, was involved in a 2008 secret plea deal that allowed Epstein to avoid federal charges.
In his most extensive known public comments about Epstein, Trump told New York magazine in 2002 that he’d known the financier for 15 years and praised him as a “terrific guy.”
“He’s a lot of fun to be with,” Trump was quoted as saying. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Trump Organisation attorney Alan Garten has since distanced Trump from Epstein, telling Politico in 2017 that Trump “had no relationship with Mr Epstein and had no knowledge whatsoever of his conduct.”
Epstein was also an associate of Clinton’s, repeatedly lending the former president his jet to travel overseas.
Flight logs obtained by Fox News showed the former president took at least 26 trips aboard Epstein’s Boeing 727, from 2001 to 2003.
“Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science,” Clinton told New York magazine though a spokesman for that same 2002 story.”
I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratisation, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS.”
Clinton spokesman Angel Ureña said the former president “knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York.”
He said that, in 2002 and 2003, Clinton took four trips on Epstein’s plane with multiple stops and that staff and his Secret Service detail travelled on every leg.”
He’s not spoken to Epstein in well over a decade, and has never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida,” Ureña added.