Clearly, there’s no love lost between the the United Kingdom’s Prince Andrew and New York federal prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said that his office is considering how to proceed now that the royal has slammed the door shut on the idea of voluntary cooperation.
“Contrary to Prince Andrew’s very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation and our office is considering its options,” said Geoffrey Berman, according to The New York Daily News.
Andrew is tied to the investigation of his late friend, and convicted sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein, who was locked up on sex trafficking charges when he died by suicide. Berman, the lead federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, also called out the prince in January at a press conference in front of Epstein’s Manhattan mansion. He claimed Andrew had provided no cooperation. The prince previously said that he was willing to help with “any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
The Epstein case, and its legacy, didn’t end with his jail cell death at the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center. The ultrawealthy convicted sex offender was an allegedly prolific sexual abuser of young girls; his targets tended to be from vulnerable backgrounds. In other words, the girls came from circumstances the opposite of Epstein and the many powerful friends and acquaintances that he collected over his life. Andrew was one of them.
Alleged victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed that Epstein made her perform sex acts with the prince and other men when she was under 18. Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George told Vanity Fair that an Epstein employee claimed to see the royal “groping girls right out in the open.”
Andrew’s friendship with Epstein is well documented. He has denied the Giuffre allegations, and said that he doesn’t remember meeting her, but his interview with the BBC last November was roundly seen as a disaster for the royal.
[Screengrab via BBC and CBSN]