Prince Andrew rejects involvement in Epstein sex scandal

Ghislaine Maxwell & Jeffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell & Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew allegedly "vowed to remain loyal" to his friend Jeffrey Epstein after the disgraced billionaire was jailed for having sex with a minor. He had pled not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges, and was held without bail.

Epstein had pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring for prostitution a girl under the age of 18 and served 13 months in prison before being released on probation.

The connections between Epstein and Prince Andrew have resurfaced in recent weeks, after unsealed documents, made public this month, allege that the British royal made sexual advances on young women recruited for him by Epstein's former girlfriend and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ghislaine, who is the daughter of disgraced publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, has always been at the center of the Epstein scandal.

The Palace has issued strong denials over claims from a woman who said she was forced to have under-age sex with the duke. "I did see them, I did meet them", she said, noting, "Jeffrey bragged afterwards after he met them that they were 12-year-olds and flown over from France because they're really poor over there, and their parents needed the money or whatever the case is and they were absolutely free to stay and flew out".

Prince Andrew said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace Sunday that allegations that he was involved in any "exploitation" are "abhorrent".

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"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes", Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday. She has repeatedly denied the claims.

Prince Andrew faced criticism for his friendship with the tycoon at the time, and he quit his job as United Kingdom trade envoy in 2011 as a result.

At the time, the duke was the U.K.'s special representative for trade, a role he quit the following year.

British media including London's Daily Mail published a picture that it said showed Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, waving goodbye to a woman from inside a Manhattan mansion owned by Epstein.

In the 2011 Vanity Fair interview, the unnamed source claimed Andrew refused to cut ties with Epstein after the pair were notoriously photographed walking through Central Park together.

But Buckingham Palace has branded the allegations "false and without any foundation", stating: "Any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors" by the duke was "categorically untrue".

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