And here everybody thought the boringly glamorous younger generation had completely rescued the English monarchy from their scandal-prone elders. Prince Andrew—Duke of York, former husband to Fergie and younger brother of Prince Charles—has just been accused of sexual encounters with an underaged girl.
The Guardian reports that the allegations are part of an ongoing legal dispute involving Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced banker who got busted for alleged sexual encounters with teenaged girls. (Specifically, "sexual massages" with underaged sex workers.) He ultimately pled down to a state charge of soliciting a minor for prostitution, serving just over a year in prison. Epstein is now a registered sex offender. He is also Prince Andrew's very good longtime friend, and their association has been a problem for the palace for years. For instance, here is a recent Daily Mail article referring to Epstein as Andrew's "paedophile friend." It made the news when they were photographed strolling Central Park together, shortly after Epstein's release from prison; eventually Andrew had to resign as a trade envoy over his ties to the man.
Epstein's plea deal didn't sit well with some accusers, who say federal prosecutors shouldn't have let him off the hook for federal charges without consulting them. From the Guardian:
In 2006, the FBI opened an investigation into allegations that Epstein had been paying for sex with underage girls at his Palm Beach mansion for years. By the following year federal prosecutors said they had identified 40 young women who may have been illegally procured by Epstein.
In 2008, however, the federal inquiry was dropped after Epstein negotiated a deal with prosecutors in which he agreed to plead guilty to a relatively minor state charge relating to soliciting paid sex with a minor – a 14-year-old girl....
However, two of Epstein's alleged victims, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, have brought a lawsuit arguing that federal prosecutors violated a victims' rights statute by failing to consult them over Epstein's secret deal.
Well, two additional complainants want to join the suit, and in the filings, Jane Doe #3 alleges that Epstein essentially loaned her out to friends including the Prince and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. Via Politico:
"Jane Doe #3 was forced to have sexual relations with this Prince when she was a minor in three separate geographical locations: in London (at Ghislaine Maxwell's apartment), in New York, and on Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands (in an orgy with numerous other under-aged girls)."
The filing says "Epstein…trafficked Jane Doe #3 for sexual purposes to many other powerful men, including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister, and other world leaders," though it doesn't name any more names.
The palace has issued a firm and categorical denial, the Telegraph reports, but otherwise they're playing it pretty close to the vest. Dershowitz, for his part, is coming out guns blazing. He told Politico that the accusations were "totally fabricated from beginning to end," and added:
"I'm planning to file disbarment charges against the two lawyers who signed this petition without even checking the manifests of airplanes or travel itineraries, et cetera," he said. "I'm also challenging the young woman and the lawyers to level those charges against me outside of the courtroom, so that I can sue them for defamation.....Finally, I'm challenging the woman to file criminal charges against me because the filing of false criminal charges is a crime."
Jane Doe #3 hasn't formally brought charges against either man—the accusations are part of filings in the case against prosecutors, not the prince or Dershowitz.
Regardless of how this plays out, it's pretty fucking gross that Prince Andrew has the nerve to continue hanging around with this registered sex offender. If I paid taxes in the United Kingdom, I'd be livid.
Image via Getty.