Prince Andrew is now “willing” to squeal about pedophile billionaire pal Jeffrey Epstein to the FBI, according to reports.
Buckingham Palace aides say the Duke of York is willing to help authorities on both sides of the Atlantic if asked, saying: “Members of the Royal Family would always co-operate with the police in an appropriate way.”
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The Duke has come under increasing scrutiny recently over his friendship with the child sex trafficker.
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Last week, it was revealed that Prince Andrew spent nearly a week in Jeffrey Epstein’s home two years after he had served a prison sentence for having sex with a child.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: Last week it emerged that the Metropolitan Police had decided not to investigate claims first made in 2015 that the prince had sex with a 17-year-old victim of the paedophile financier, who committed suicide earlier this month awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
But the FBI are investigating both the charges against Epstein and the circumstances around his death.
Lawyers for his alleged victims have urged the duke to help them by telling the authorities what he knows.
Buckingham Palace has strenuously denied Andrew had ‘any form of sexual contact or relationship’ with Virginia Roberts, who has made the allegations against him and was pictured with him in 2001.
The suggestion that the prince could give evidence as part of a police inquiry comes after he released a personal statement on the crisis.
In it he tried to downplay his friendship with Epstein, who was jailed in 2008 for having sex with a child, and said he had never suspected him of any criminal behaviour.
However, the statement failed to answer questions raised by Andrew’s behaviour, particularly his frequent visits to Epstein’s many homes across the US.
The Mail has submitted a list of 16 questions to Andrew’s office in Buckingham Palace attempting to set the record straight. But while there were still no official answers forthcoming, sources have given some clarification on top of the published statement.
Once again, they insist Andrew only met Epstein in 1999 but confirmed he had known Ghislaine Maxwell –Epstein’s ex-girlfriend who has been accused by several victims of being his ‘procurer in chief’ – for ‘many years, since she was a student’.
This supports intelligence that Miss Maxwell, daughter of the late newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, was instrumental in introducing the prince to the paedophile.
The sources also confirmed, for the first time, that Andrew did not have any contact with Epstein while he was in prison and only once following his release, when the pair were photographed in New York in December 2010.
But there was no clarification as to whether he and Epstein saw each other in the months leading up to his first imprisonment in 2008.
‘The duke did not have any contact with Jeffrey Epstein during his time in prison and visited him once following his release. He showed mistaken loyalty and regrets the visit,’ a source said.
It subsequently emerged that Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, accepted £15,000 from Epstein to settle some of her debts. She has since apologised for doing so.
Asked whether the duke had taken any money from Epstein, the source insisted for the first time he had no ‘financial dealings’ with Epstein.
But questions remain over the duke’s behaviour and some of the claims.
Flight logs submitted in court and examined by the Mail show Andrew’s family met the paedophile a year before he claimed to have first encountered him. The duke claimed in his latest statement, which was designed to quell the storm of criticism, that he met Epstein for the first time in 1999.
But flight logs show Epstein met the Duchess of York in Nassau in the Bahamas on April 16, 1998, accompanied by the duke and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.
Flight logs also show Andrew stayed on Epstein’s Caribbean island Little St James – known by locals as ‘Paedophile Island’ – for three days in early February 1999.
Assuming that Andrew had indeed met Epstein for the first time in 1999, it would be remarkable that only five weeks into the year they were close enough that the duke was invited on the trip.
Buckingham Palace told the Mail that Andrew had ‘no recollection’ of his three days in Little St James. Andrew is listed as having flown on Epstein’s plane, a Gulfstream jet known as the ‘Lolita Express’, from Teterboro airport near New York on February 9, 1999 to St Thomas, capital of the US Virgin Islands.
From there he would probably have taken a short helicopter ride to Little St James. On board the flight were Epstein, Miss Maxwell and her assistant Emmy Tayler.
On February 12 the group flew back to Palm Beach with Anna Malova, a Russian model who appears to have been on the island already.
Miss Malova, who was 27 at the time, was a candidate for Miss Universe but was later jailed for failing to attend a drug treatment programme.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: ‘The duke has publicly stated that he first met Mr Epstein in 1999. He has no recollection of the flight made in February 1999.’