Why didn’t Prince Andrew cut ties with Jeffrey Epstein sooner?
In an interview with the BBC, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, explained to his nation why he had a longtime friendship with a convicted sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein. While Prince Andrew felt he did a good job vindicating himself, viewers were left with questions.
The biggest of these had to do with the end of Prince Andrew’s associations with Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew admitted to staying with Epstein for four days in 2010 in Epstein’s house in order to end the friendship. Why didn’t a phone call suffice?
In order to understand Prince Andrew’s friendship and his possible reluctance to sever ties with a known pedophile, let’s delve into their friendship over the years.
How Jeffrey Epstein met Prince Andrew
Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew were reportedly introduced to each other by Ghislaine Maxwell in 1999. Maxwell was Epstein’s girlfriend at the time and studied at Oxford University with Prince Andrew. While it’s unknown why they were introduced, we can deduce some possible reasons.
Jeffrey Epstein wanted to expand his network for business and personal reasons. As a financier, he constantly looked for clients with a big net worth. In Prince Andrew’s case, his funds come from UK taxpayers as a member of the Royal family, but he possibly knew people who needed a hedge fund manager like Epstein.
Jeffrey Epstein also wanted a powerful social circle that he could influence and blackmail. According to Epstein’s victims, many of his clients “owed him favors” and he used his sex trafficking ring to blackmail them. Prince Andrew was also in a vulnerable position when he met Epstein, as his marriage publicly fell apart earlier that decade.
Allegations about his friendship
Prince Andrew claims that he had no knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring during their friendship. Epstein’s victims beg to differ. Virginia Roberts-Giuffre claims that Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her on three occasions, the first being in London. Prince Andrew also appears in Epstein’s flight manifest numerous times.
Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace both deny Virginia Roberts-Giuffre’s claims. Prince Andrew blames a photograph for the allegations of him with his hand around Roberts-Giuffre’s waist. Prince Andrew claims now that he “deeply regrets” the photograph.
It’s not only Epstein’s victims who claim Prince Andrew took part in Jeffrey Epstein’s debauchery. Former members of Jeffrey Epstein’s staff claim they saw Prince Andrew at a naked pool party, receiving massages from girls.
The second photograph
A second photograph implicated Prince Andrew’s complicity in Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes. In 2010, the press photographed Prince Andrew with Epstein in New York, both in Epstein’s penthouse and of the pair walking around Central Park.
These photographs were the basis for Prince Andrew’s explanation that he went there to break ties with Epstein, staying with him for a lengthy four days to do so. According to staff, Prince Andrew was also a guest of honor at a party celebrating Jeffrey Epstein’s release from jail in 2009.
New information on the trip shows that Prince Andrew may not have gone on his own accord, either.
A mutual friend
An unnamed mutual friend of Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew told Vanity Fair that he advised the prince to cut ties with Epstein after his conviction. In a shouting match, Prince Andrew refused to end the friendship, calling his mutual friend a “puritan” for suggesting it.
“Being loyal to your friends is a virtue,” Prince Andrew reportedly told his friend. “And I am going to be loyal to him (Jeffrey Epstein).”
Jeffrey Epstein taught Prince Andrew to relax
The unnamed friend also told Vanity Fair about why Prince Andrew was so loyal to Jeffrey Epstein. Like the movie trope where the laid-back American meets the stuffy Englishman, Epstein taught Prince Andrew to relax.
“Epstein had Prince Andrew put on a pair of sweatpants for the first time,” the source recalled. “It was Jeffrey who taught Prince Andrew how to relax.”
Prince Andrew now
In the wake of the scandal, Prince Andrew stepped away from the spotlight. He didn’t appear in public photos of his daughter Beatrice’s wedding, though the father of the bride still could have been in attendance. He’s also stepped away from royal duties.
Prince Andrew claims to be in “full cooperation” with U.S. authorities regarding the ongoing Jeffrey Epstein investigation, and the upcoming Ghislaine Maxwell trial. However, the U.S. Dept. of Justice is close to subpoenaing him in order to answer related questions, claiming he had dodged their attempts to contact him.