PRINCE Andrew is facing pressure to finally talk to the FBI – more than 800 days after saying he was “duty bound” to speak to them.
Calls are growing for the Duke of York to finally talk to law enforcement – just as he said he would during his car crash Newsnight interview – after he settled a lawsuit with sex abuse victim Virginia Giuffre.
Prince Andrew is facing pressure to talk to US law enforcement[/caption]
It was said Andrew needs to stop “hiding behind his mother’s skirts” and “hiding in his palace” and finally face the music over what he may know about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Andrew pledged in his settlement statement to help support victims of sex trafficking and even suggested he would become an ambassador to “fight against the evils” of the vile crime.
It has now been 824 days as of publication since Andrew told Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis he would testify or give a statement under oath over Epstein’s crimes.
And yet he has still not spoken to law enforcement in the US after he was reportedly named as a “person of interest” last August in the ongoing investigation into Epstein and Maxwell.
The Duke has now settled civil litigation over claims he raped Virginia, then 17, at his pal Maxwell’s house – reportedly offering up £12million plus legal fees.
And now calls are growing for him to finally speak to FBI agents as he could potentially help them in with the believed to be ongoing probe into the wider crimes of Maxwell and Epstein.
Most read in The Sun
Storm Eunice SHUTS schools with pupils told 'stay home' amid 100mph winds
Katie Price's fiance Carl charged over 'threatening and abusive behaviour'
PRICEY NEW LOOK
Katie Price shows off £10k face for first time after brow lift & chin lipo
Danniella Westbrook is all smiles shopping after recent lip fillers and Botox
I purposely got pregnant with baby No.2 when I should've been 39wks with my 1st
I got my lips tattooed so they’d be a pretty colour – I couldn't handle the pain
Mark Williams-Thomas, an ex-cop turned investigative journalist who helped expose Jimmy Savile, told The Sun Online that Andrew could hold an “awful lot of information” about Epstein and Maxwell.
He said: “[Andrew] has openly said he would cooperate – but he hasn’t. The FBI would jump on a plane and come and interview him, they have operatives in the UK – but he hasn’t made himself available.”
The former detective added: “And then he turns around and says he is going to help victims of sex trafficking. What a ridiculous thing to say.
“If you were prepared to do that, then tell the FBI exactly what you know about Epstein and Maxwell.
“He has hidden in his palace and he has hidden behind his status.”
FBI officials and New York prosecutors played a game of cat and mouse with the Duke in 2020 with a tit-for-tat row over his lack of assistance over the case.
Andrew has always denied abusing Virginia – and previously claimed he had no knowledge of wrongdoing over his friendship with Epstein.
Andrew has been difficult all the way along and has been hiding behind his mother’s skirts
Dr Ann Olivarius, a senior partner at law firm McAllister Olivarius, told The Sun Online said she hopes now will be the time for Andrew step up and work with the FBI.
“These are serious crimes – the fact he has not cooperated is an insult to the values of the monarchy, to The Queen, to Britain, to the British People, to the United States, and to the victims of trafficking,” she said.
Dr Olivarius added: “If he doesn’t do it, what do they do? One would hope The Queen, William and Charles would tell him ‘go talk to them’.
“It’s not just a mother and a son, this is the head of state, he should be told to cooperate.”
Andrew reportedly agreed to never again deny that he raped Virginia as part of the court settlement which was suddenly announced on Tuesday.
He is said to have settled the case after pressure from The Queen.
In an extraordinary statement, he told of his “regret” over his ties to paedophile multimillionaire Epstein and hailed Virginia’s “bravery”.
Prince Andrew met with Jeffrey Epstein in 2010[/caption]
And in exchange Ms Giuffre, who said Andrew raped her when she was 17 after being trafficked to him by Epstein and Maxwell agreed to drop the case.
Nigel Cawthorne, a Royal author who has penned books on Andrew, Epstein and Maxwell, told The Sun Online that the Duke must now submit himself to speak to the FBI.
“Andrew has been difficult all the way along and has been hiding behind his mother’s skirts,” he said.
“He’s done everything he can to hide away from this.
“And I can’t imagine he is going to change tact now – no matter what he said in that statement.”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliam told The Sun Online the “first thing” Andrew should do is talk to the FBI and help them trace Epstein’s accomplices – saying: “This isn’t over”.
“Its something he said he would do, hasn’t done and should do. It’s absolutely clear he should be cooperate. It’s a question of responsibility.” he said.
Mr Fitzwilliam went on: “The whole thing has been appalling. Its left a dreadful impression on the country.
“Its a matter of someone who feels very entitled and who doesn’t seem to grasp the way the court of public opinion seem to react and respond.”
What Andrew said about cooperating with US law enforcement:
PRINCE Andrew appeared to commit to working with law enforcement when he was given a car crash grilling by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight which was broadcast of on November 16, 2019.
And yet ever since the Duke has been accused of ducking and diving after a war of words with US prosecutors over his cooperation – insisting he would help but seemingly failing to do so.
He was accused in 2020 of offering “zero” help to the probe into Epstein.
Here is exactly what Andrew said during his interview:
EMILY MAITLIS: You seem utterly convinced you’re telling the truth, would you be willing to testify or give a statement under oath if you were asked?
PRINCE ANDREW: Well I’m like everybody else and I will have to take all the legal advice that there was before I was to do that sort of thing.
But if push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.
EM: Because you’ve said there are many unanswered questions, everyone affected wants closure, you would help to provide that closure.
PA: If there was… in the right circumstances, yes I would because I think there’s just as much closure for me as there is for everybody else and undoubtedly some very strange and unpleasant activities have been going on.
I’m afraid to say that I’m not the person who can shed light on it for a number of reasons, one of which is that I wasn’t there long enough.
And if you go in for a day, two days at a time, it’s quite easy I’m led to believe for those sorts of people to hide their activities for that period of time and then carry on when they’re not there.
EM: Virginia Roberts’s lawyers, legal team say that they’ve asked for a legal statement from you. There is an active FBI investigation, would you be willing to provide that?
PA: Again, I’m bound by what my legal advice is… legal advisers tell me.
And in a later statement, Andrew added: “Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
Elsewhere, Epstein victims’ lawyer Gloria Allred said it was “long overdue” for Andrew to agree to answer questions about Epstein.
“His silence is deafening,” she told The Daily Mail.
Robert Marsh, a lawyer who represents victim Sarah Ransome, added he also hoped Andrew would cooperate – but his settlement statement “doesn’t have any suggestion he will”.
Virginia had alleged she was forced to have sex with the prince by Epstein and his “madam” Maxwell when she was a teenager and he was 41 in 2001.
Andrew faced civil litigation for the first time over the allegations in the 15-page lawsuit which was first filed in 2021.
His accusers legal team argued she was a “frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her” when she was allegedly abused by Andrew, saying “no person, whether President or Prince, is above the law”.
She claimed she feared for her life when she was allegedly forced to have sex with Andrew, who is accused of having been aware of her age and status as a “sex-trafficking victim”.
Court documents claimed Ms Giuffre was “lent out for sexual purposes” by convicted sex offender Epstein including while she was still a minor under US law.
Andrew had consistently denied the allegations, and had previously said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Virginia.
He also said he has no memory of the well-known photograph of him with his arm around Ms Giuffre’s waist at Maxwell’s house, and has questioned whether it was his own hand in the image.
The fallout from his car crash Newsnight interview saw the royal criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with disgraced financier.
Epstein hanged himself in his prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking offences.
And meanwhile Maxwell faces potentially spending the rest of her life in prison after she was convicted her role in the scheme.
The Southern District of New York prosecutors office declined to comment when contacted by The Sun Online.
The FBI has been approached for comment.
Prince Andrew’s team declined to comment when approached by The Sun Online.