Britain’s Prince Andrew could face an interview with the FBI regarding his connection to the late financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, The Sunday Times reported.
The interview can take place only if the prince agrees to it.
“There’s been active discussions between the FBI and Department of Justice about interviewing Prince Andrew in relation to the Jeffrey Epstein case,” the London-based newspaper reported, citing what it said was a Justice Department source.
According to the Times’ source, the prince “could potentially provide some very unique and helpful insights and make a considerable difference to the investigation.”
The newspaper reported that “a source close to Andrew” said the prince would be “happy to cooperate” with the FBI.
Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges involving underage girls, was found hanged in his Manhattan cell in August. Although the death was announced a suicide, that ruling is controversial.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing five alleged Epstein victims, called on Prince Andrew to come to the U.S. to tell his story.
“I, as an attorney, have the right to subpoena witnesses to come and take depositions,” Bloom said, according to the New York Post. “It’s not going to be easy to subpoena someone like Prince Andrew. He’s obviously not walking down the street where a process server can just hand him a piece of paper, it’s a lot more complicated.”
Prince Andrew has been named by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking victims, as a man with whom she had sex with beginning at the age of 17.
Giuffre’s attorney Sigrid McCawley said Thursday that Prince Andrew’s friendship with Epstein was “half of the real story.”
The prince “clearly had a long term relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell,” whom McCawley said was “suspected of being Epstein’s co-conspirator and chiefly involved in the devastation brought upon countless women’s lives.”
The prince sought to quell questions over his relationship with Epstein by holding a one-hour interview recently with the BBC.
During the interview, he was asked how he could spend so much time with Epstein and be unaware of Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation.
“I live in an institution at Buckingham Palace which has members of staff walking around all the time, and I don’t wish to appear grand but there were a lot of people who were walking around Jeffrey Epstein’s house. As far as I was aware, they were staff,” the prince said.
Negative reactions to the interview and questions about the prince’s link with Epstein were cited as reasons that the prince has stepped back from his public duties. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has also pushed Prince Andrew out of the office he used at Buckingham Palace.
In a statement announcing he was no longer performing his role as a royal, Prince Andrew said, “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
“It’s totally extraordinary,” Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said. “You don’t expect a member of the royal family to be caught up in the life of a seedy pedophile. You just don’t.”
She said the prince has little choice about coming clean to the FBI.
“I think he will have to be interviewed by the FBI and it won’t be laid to rest until we know the truth,” she said.
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