One of the many powerful men whose name has circulated in connection to Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring is Prince Andrew, Duke of York. According to documents unsealed by a Manhattan federal appeals court earlier this month, one woman who accused Epstein of trafficking her alleges she was directed to have sex with Prince Andrew while underage; another said Prince Andrew groped her at one of Epstein’s parties. This week, the Daily Mail unearthed video purportedly showing Prince Andrew at Epstein’s mansion in 2010, and now the British royal family has put out a statement denying Andrew’s involvement.
According to Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew is “appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes,” BBC reports. “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
It is, of course, always possible Prince Andrew had no idea Epstein was allegedly running a global sex trafficking ring. But the Daily Mail’s video—which you can watch here, and shows Prince Andrew peeking his head out the door to Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion—was allegedly taken on December 6, 2010, a full two years after Epstein pleaded guilty to trafficking at least one minor and registered as a sex offender.
The episode was fairly public, not that it did much harm to Epstein at the time, and it seems pretty unlikely Prince Andrew had absolutely NO idea his pal was up to some shit. Buckingham Palace can claim their Duke didn’t sexually abuse underage girls—which they did, alleging in a statement earlier this month that “[a]ny suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors is categorically untrue,” according to the Daily Telegraph—but to assert Andrew hadn’t even an inkling of Epstein’s proclivities seems unconvincing.
Then again, a New York Times columnist once listened to Epstein sing the praises of having sex with teenagers, shortly after encountering a young woman in his home, without asking any relevant followup questions—so maybe willful blindness is a believable excuse, after all.