Prince Andrew is “bewildered” by claims he is not cooperating with the US investigation into the alleged sex trafficking of minors by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, his legal team said Friday.
The daughter of the late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell is believed to have introduced Andrew to Epstein — a convicted paedophile — and US authorities want to speak to the prince about their relationship.
Maxwell was arrested and charged by US authorities on Thursday after spending months living in seclusion.
Epstein committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial last year and Queen Elizabeth II’s second son quit his royal duties after he defended his relationship with him.
He has since faced claims from US prosecutors that he is running shy of giving his version of events.
“The duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month and to date we have had no response,” an unnamed source on his legal team was quoted as saying by the Press Association news agency.
Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss told reporters on Thursday they would “welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us”.
“We would like to have the benefit of his statement,” she added.
The 60-year-old Duke of York vehemently denies claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured by Epstein.
Pictures of him posing with his arm around the girl’s waist forced Andrew to give a disastrous TV interview to the BBC that was quickly followed by his standing down from all Royal duties in November.
A lawyer who represents some of Epstein’s alleged victims told British television on Friday that the prince was “avoiding and evading” the US authorities.
“More excuses, more delays, it really is painful for many of the victims. It’s just not fair,” lawyer Gloria Allred told ITV.
Another lawyer representing the alleged victims said Andrew’s royal connections were helping him avoid facing justice.
“He has been hiding behind not only the royal family but his attorneys,” lawyer Spencer Coogan told BBC radio.
A US attorney for the Southern District of New York said last month that Andrew had “repeatedly declined our request to schedule” an interview.
‘Donald who?’ Presidential historian predicts GOP support for Trump will erode in the face of a ‘blue wave’
MSNBC's Jon Meacham predicts that President Donald Trump won't be able to count on Republican support through a lengthy vote-counting process.
The historian and author told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that GOP support may wane if Democrats strengthen their House majority and take over the Senate from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, even if the results of the presidential election aren't known until weeks later.
"There's a much better chance that Joe Biden will end up somewhat centering the Democratic Party than anybody is going to come along and center the Republican Party," Meacham said, "and I think that's an existential threat to a Republican Party that has sold its soul, the check bounced, and they've got to figure out what are they going to do to attempt to be something approaching majority party in this demographically changing country."
Historian details how ‘anti-science’ views of white evangelicals in the South helped fuel the 2nd wave of COVID-19
When the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of New York City residents in the spring, many far-right Republicans in Texas and the Deep South argued that they shouldn’t be forced to practice social distancing or wear protective face masks because of a Northeastern Corridor problem. They failed to realize that pandemics, from the Black Death in Medieval times to the Spanish flu in 1918/1919, can rapidly spread from one place to another. Historian Laura Ellyn Smith, in a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post, discusses the fact that COVID-19 has been hitting the South so hard recently — and argues that the “anti-science” views of far-right white Christian fundamentalists are partly to blame.
Placido Domingo insists ‘I have never abused anyone’
Famed Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, denied the allegations Thursday in an interview in which he talked about getting over coronavirus.
"I've changed. I am no longer afraid. When I found out I had COVID, I promised myself that if I made it out alive I would fight to clear my name," he said in an interview with the Italian newspaper Repubblica.
"I never abused anyone, I'll repeat that as long as I live," he said.
Domingo, 79, had said in March he had been hospitalized for coronavirus in Acapulco, Mexico.
"It was a miracle to find my voice again... Two or three months ago I wasn't sure I would be able to sing again," he said.