Prince Andrew was named this week in an ongoing lawsuit brought by a group of women who claim they were trafficked to the world’s rich and powerful as part of an alleged underage “sex slave” ring run by American investment banker Jeffrey Epstein.
The woman – named only as Jane Doe #3 in the lawsuit, has now been identified as 30-year-old Virginia Roberts after coming out and telling her story in an interview with the The Mail on Sunday.
In documents lodged with a court in Florida, Roberts states that she was invited to Epstein’s Florida mansion as a 15-year-old before becoming his “sex slave” from 1999 to 2002.
She claims to have been passed around “politically connected and financially powerful people” to help Epstein ingratiate himself for “business, personal, political and financial gain as well as to obtain potential blackmail information.”
Prince Andrew, 54, is named as one of three men allegedly involved in abusing Roberts 13 years ago when she was 17 – which is underage in Florida state law.
Buckingham Palace issued strongly-worded denials saying, “This relates to long-running and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States to which the Duke of York is not a party. As such we would not comment in detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue,” and “It is emphatically denied that HRH The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. The allegations made are false and without any foundation.”
Epstein’s lawyer, Jack Goldberger, said the allegations were “old and salacious and ‘been consistently proven to have no merit.”
Virginia Roberts countered with a statement issued through her lawyers that said, “I am looking forward to vindicating my rights as an innocent victim and pursuing all available recourse. It appears that I am now being unjustly victimized again. These types of aggressive attacks on me are exactly the reason why sexual abuse victims typically remain silent and the reason why I did for a long time. That trend should change. I’m not going to be bullied back into silence.”
Roberts has made similar allegations against Harvard Law School expert Alan Dershowitz and a French model scout.
Professor Dershowitz strenuously denied the claims, saying, “It’s totally, unequivocally and completely false. ”
Dershowitz has filed papers at a court in Florida, where the case is being heard, to contest what he described as “absolutely outrageous claims,” and asking for his name to be removed from the documents. In his submission, Dershowitz said he had been a victim of “salacious and scurrilous” allegations and wanted to take action to protect his reputation.
Roberts claims she and other underage girls were ‘procured for sexual activities’ by Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite daughter of crooked tycoon Robert Maxwell. Maxwell is alleged to have facilitated the prince’s ‘abuse’ of the girl, after helping Epstein to convert her ‘into what is commonly referred to as a sex slave’.
Epstein may have even taken compromising photos of VIPs with the underage girls. Details buried in original court papers filed against him reveal that he recorded the sordid orgies he threw at his luxury homes using cameras hidden in the walls of guest bedrooms.
The six-year-old papers, seen by the Sunday People, state: “Some of the photographs in the defendant’s possession were taken with hidden cameras set up in [Epstein’s] home in Palm Beach. On the Day of his arrest, police found two hidden cameras and photographs of underage girls on a computer in the defendant’s home. [He] may have taken lewd photographs of Jane Doe 102 with his hidden cameras and transported [them] to his other residences and elsewhere.”
Epstein was suspected nearly a decade ago of paying for sex with dozens of underage girls. The FBI ultimately dropped its investigation and, in a plea bargain, he admitted a single offense and served 13 months of an 18-month jail sentence.
Epstein and Prince Andrew have been long-time friends, even despite his conviction, being seen together in 2011 after Epstein’s release from jail.
This isn’t the first time the Duke of York’s name has been linked publicly to the allegations against Epstein. In 2011, responding to a statement from one of Epstein’s former employees, Prince Andrew told Vanity Fair that he never attended any of the notorious pool parties at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion and denied having contact with the alleged victims. He allegedly ended his friendship with Epstein at some point that year.
Virginia Roberts has also claimed Epstein introduced her to the jetset world of the powerful, from the Duke of York to former US President Bill Clinton, former Vice-President Al Gore, Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, Donald Trump and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Court documents obtained by MailOnline disclose how Epstein kept multiple phone numbers, email and home addresses for the rich and the famous on both sides of the Atlantic.
It is stated that Alfredo Rodriguez, one of Epstein’s household employees, took a journal that he referred to as the “Holy Grail” from Epstein’s computer. “Among other Epstein acquaintances,” Rodriguez believes the journal included “the names of underage females under the heading “Massages” that Epstein abused across the country and the world, including locations such as Michigan, California, West Palm Beach, New York, New Mexico, and Paris, France.”
It includes a series of politicians in the USA, the UK, and Israel.
The document was presented as an exhibit as lawyers sought a court’s permission to take evidence from Bill Clinton and his staff, for whom Epstein had 21 numbers.
There are numbers for Bill Clinton’s office in New York, a Washington number, and a number marked “do not use”. There are also home and car phone numbers for senior members of Clinton’s staff, including Doug Band, and his former White House ‘body man’ who was incorrectly named as Bands.
Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has three separate telephone numbers. He is now serving a prison sentence for corruption.
The extent of Epstein’s contacts with Prince Andrew are also suggested. There are 16 separate phone numbers for the Prince, including a mobile phone number, one marked Palace ex-directory, one for Balmoral, the Queen’s private retreat in Scotland where Epstein was invited by the Prince, and one marked Sand, which appears to be Sandringham, the other royal retreat where he spent time.
Other notable contacts include Rupert Murdoch, Richard Branson, Henry Kissinger, Barbara Walters, Bobby Kennedy Jr., and Senator Edward Kennedy.
Epstein is reported to have a secret deal with the United States government that has granted immunity to some named in the court documents in connection with allegations of sexual abuse.