An attorney representing some of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims placed an ad on school bus that’s circling London. The ad displays two pictures of a smiling Prince Andrew, the URL of Gloria Allred’s website, the FBI’s phone number, and a message: “If you see this man please ask him to call the FBI to answer their questions.”
It didn’t take long for members of the public to video and photograph the bus.
There’s a bus driving around London this afternoon calling on Prince Andrew to answer the FBI’s questions about Jeffrey Epstein… pic.twitter.com/VaM4icIv6C
— Ed Clowes (@EdClowes) February 21, 2020
The ad is, of course, a reference to the controversy over the prince’s empty offer to cooperate with U.S. authorities with ongoing investigations.
Back in Nov. 2019, Queen Elizabeth II’s 59-year-old son decided to “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future.” That decision followed a “car crash” BBC interview, during which the Duke of York was asked: why did you stay at Epstein’s home after Epstein’s first arrest and pseudo-jailing in 2008 on charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution?
Prince Andrew’s answer–“it was a convenient place to stay”–was not exactly received well, particularly because Virginia Roberts Giuffre has alleged that Epstein sex-trafficked her to the prince. But in his statement stepping away from public life, Prince Andrew said he regretted his “ill-judged association” with Epstein, sympathized with Epstein’s victims, and said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
U.S. prosecutors eventually called out the prince, saying that the offer to cooperate in ongoing investigations was utterly empty. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said during a press conference outside of Epstein’s infamous Manhattan mansion that the royal had not responded to interview requests. Prosecutors in the SDNY brought sex trafficking charges against Epstein in July 2019, but Epstein was never brought to justice. He officially died by suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in August, under circumstances widely known to the public.
“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman said, bluntly. “It’s fair for people to know whether Prince Andrew has followed through with that public commitment.”
According to the Telegraph, Andrew was “angry and bewildered” by claims of actual unwillingness to cooperate. An unnamed source said to be close to him was quoted as saying that “Nothing could be further from the truth” about the prince.
“The Duke is more than happy to talk to the FBI but he hasn’t been approached by them yet,” the person continued. “He is angry about the way this is being portrayed and bewildered as to why this was said in New York. It seems certain people are jumping the gun.”
Andrew says he cut ties with Epstein in 2010, a couple of years after the convicted sex offender was sentenced in Florida state court on two counts for soliciting prostitution from a minor. There is a photo of them taking a stroll in Central Park in 2010.
“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” Prince Andrew has said of Giuffre, though there is a picture of them together (he has claimed it’s fake). “It didn’t happen.”
Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with the royal family member on three separate occasions between 2001 and 2002. Giuffre previously described the first time she met Andrew in an interview on NBC’s Dateline:
The first time in London, I was so young. Ghislaine woke me up in the morning and she said, “you’re gonna meet a prince today.” I didn’t know at that point that I was going to be trafficked to that prince. And then that night Prince Andrew came to her house in London. And we went out to club Tramp. Prince Andrew got me alcohol. It was in the VIP section. I’m pretty sure it was vodka. Prince Andrew was like, “Let’s dance together.” And I was like, “Okay.” And we leave club Tramp. And I hop in the car with Ghislaine and Jeffrey. And Ghislaine said, “He’s coming back to the house. And I want you to do for him what you do for Epstein.” I couldn’t believe it.
“He denies that it ever happened,” Giuffre added. “And he’s going to keep denying that it ever happened. But he knows the truth. And I know the truth.”
In recent days, Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George told Vanity Fair in an interview that “An employee told me that he saw Prince Andrew on a balcony out at Little St. James”–Epstein’s “Pedophile Island”–“groping girls right out in the open.”
“He said he remembered walking up to him and saying, ‘Good morning, your Highness,'” George said.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, Allred’s daughter, is also representing a number of Epstein’s victims. Earlier in February, she said that a witness had come forward and said that she saw Prince Andrew and Giuffre together at a nightclub in 2001.
“On behalf of my client, I have relayed the details of her story to the FBI, and she is ready, willing and able to speak to them when they are ready,” Bloom said.
[Image via Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty Images]