Just 72 hours after his probing BBC interview, Prince Andrew has released a statement officially announcing his withdrawal from public duties. The Prince revealed that, following a meeting with Her Majesty and Prince Phillip, The Queen has provided her permission.
He will now no longer be taking money from the public purse, and will only appear at very select family events.
Prince Andrew has stated that he is “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
The allegations against the Prince come from Virginia Giuffre, previously known as Virginia Roberts, who has stated that while she was 17 she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York on multiple occasions between 2001 and 2002 during the ongoing friendship between Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein.
When questioned, the Prince “categorically” denied any and all claims against him, providing an alibi for one of the alleged dates, insisting that he had taken his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to a Pizza Express in Woking. The Duke of York also listed a medical condition to counter details included in the reports that he was “sweating profusely”.
The defense lawyer for five of the victims in the Epstein investigation, Lisa Bloom, tweeted a disapproving response to the statement issued by Prince Andrew:
I've been working with my 5 Epstein victim clients for months. Prince Andrew was simply not credible in his interview. He and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents. We are just getting started. https://t.co/7IFImNRfj5
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) November 21, 2019
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Bloom confirmed there could be a subpoena being served to the Prince to demand a legal statement on his time with Epstein. She also admitted that this could challenge the Princes’ position, saying: “It may be difficult to serve a deposition subpoena on him. But we believe that nobody is above the law, and that everybody should have to answer questions, if they have relevant information, and he clearly does have relevant information.”
This news follows the controversial alleged suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier whose vast wealth and reputation were tarnished following multiple convictions of sexual misconduct, including being convicted of abusing dozens of underage girls for which he handed a 13-month county jail sentence credited to the work of US Attorney Alexander Acosta. Epstein was then arrested in July and charged with sex trafficking, an offense that he could have faced up to 45 years in prison for. Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10th of this year.