04 January 2024

Duke of York faces resurfacing of allegations in newly released court documents

04 January 2024

Allegations the Duke of York had an orgy with underage girls, and touched a woman’s breast while posing with a puppet of himself have resurfaced in unsealed court documents relating to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Andrew is mentioned more than 70 times in nearly 1,000 pages of interviews and transcripts released in the US in connection with a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell.

The names of more than 170 people who were either associates, friends or victims of Epstein are being made public following a judge’s order last month, including high-profile figures such as former US president Bill Clinton.

The duke, who has previously strenuously denied the allegations, paid millions a year ago to settle a civil case out of court with Ms Giuffre with no admission of guilt, after she accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.

Disgraced British socialite Maxwell was jailed for sex trafficking young girls for billionaire paedophile Epstein.

The newly-released documents have brought the duke, who stepped down from royal duties over his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein in 2019, back under the glare of scrutiny, just weeks after he walked to church on Christmas Day with the King and rest of the royal family.

Evidence from Johanna Sjoberg, who worked for Epstein as a masseuse, recounted how Andrew allegedly touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside Epstein’s Manhattan apartment as he posed for a photo with a caricature of himself in 2001.

The claim, which has been alleged previously, is thought to refer to a Spitting Image puppet of the duke.

Ms Sjoberg said, while giving evidence in May 2016: “Ghislaine told me to come upstairs, and we went into a closet and pulled out the puppet, the caricature of Prince Andrew, and brought it down.

“And there was a little tag on the puppet that said ‘Prince Andrew’ on it, and that’s when I knew who he was.”

Ms Sjoberg was asked what the puppet looked like and replied: “It looked like him.

“And she brought it down and presented it to him; and that was a great joke, because apparently it was a production from a show on BBC.

“And they decided to take a picture with it, in which Virginia and Andrew sat on a couch.

“They put the puppet on Virginia’s lap, and I sat on Andrew’s lap, and they put the puppet’s hand on Virginia’s breast, and Andrew put his hand on my breast, and they took a photo.”

Other mentions of the duke include previous allegations that Epstein “forced Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with was a member of the British Royal Family, Prince Andrew (a/k/a Duke of York)” at three locations including on Epstein’s private island “in an orgy with numerous other under-aged girls”.

The document claimed that Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 to give Andrew “whatever he demanded” and that Maxwell “facilitated Prince Andrew’s acts of sexual abuse by acting as a ‘madame’ for Epstein”.

“Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 that she was to give the Prince whatever he demanded and required Jane Doe #3 to report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse,” it said.

“Maxwell facilitated Prince Andrew’s acts of sexual abuse by acting as a “madame” for Epstein, thereby assisting in internationally trafficking Jane Doe #3 (and numerous other young girls) for sexual purposes.”

Ms Sjoberg was asked: “Do you know whether Virginia Roberts (Giuffre) is telling the truth about Ghislaine Maxwell forcing her to participate in an orgy with Prince Andrew and other underaged girls on the island?”

She replied she had no knowledge of this.

Ms Giuffre has claimed she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17 and a minor under US law at Maxwell’s London home, in Epstein’s New York home and during an orgy on Epstein at Caribbean island.

She was questioned over the whereabouts of the famous photograph showing her with the duke, who has his arm around her, with Maxwell grinning in the background.

Asked during her deposition in 2016 where the picture was, Ms Giuffre said: “I probably still have it. It’s not in my possession right now.”

Ms Giuffre added it may have been in storage boxes at her mother and father in-law’s in Sydney, Australia.

She also said documents related to the case may have also been in the storage boxes which were “full of Nerf guns, my kids’ toys, photos.”

Ms Giuffre said she had given the picture to the FBI in 2011 but had last seen it before she packed up her home to emigrate to Australia from Colorado.

Among the documents appears to be an email sent by Maxwell expressing her fears she would be questioned about her own relationship to Andrew.

The message was sent from the email address [email protected] to Philip Barden and Ross Gow in January 2015.

It reads: “I have already suffered such a terrible and painful loss over the last few days that I can’t even see what life after press hell even looks like – statements that don’t address all just lead to more questions… what is my relationship to Clinton? Andrew on and on.”

In Maxwell’s videotaped deposition in 2016, she claimed she could only recall the duke visiting Jeffrey Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands once.

Asked whether any girls under the age of 18 were present on that one occasion, she replied: “There were no girls on the island at all.

“No girls, no women, other than the staff who work at the house.

“Girls meaning, I assume you are asking underage, but there was nobody female outside of the cooks and the cleaners.”

Representatives of the duke have been approached for a comment.

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