Prince Andrew 'subjecting' Epstein victims to 'torture test' by not speaking out, says lawyer

Prince Andrew is subjecting Jeffrey Epstein’s victims to a “torture test” by not speaking out according to one of the lawyers involved in the case.

Gloria Allred, a lawyer for some of the alleged victims, was speaking after Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in the US on Thursday.

Her arrest has sparked renewed calls for the Duke of York to co-operate with American authorities investigating Epstein.

Maxwell, 58, has been charged with helping disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Epstein to sexually exploit and abuse multiple minor girls over a three-year period in the 1990s.

Epstein died in prison last year as he awaited trial on new charges. Andrew says he was introduced to Epstein by Maxwell.

Yahoo News UK understands that the duke, 60, is “bewildered” by the requests to speak to US prosecutors and they insist his legal team has offered on multiple occasions.

Read more: Who is Ghislaine Maxwell? The London socialite now accused of being paedophile’s procuress

File photo dated 02/09/00 Ghislaine Maxwell, with the Duke of York leaves the wedding of a former girlfriend of the Duke, Aurelia Cecil, at the Parish Church of St Michael in Compton Chamberlayne near Salisbury. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is to be charged over her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of girls by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said.
Ghislaine Maxwell, with the Duke of York leaving the wedding of a former girlfriend of the Duke, Aurelia Cecil in 2000. (PA Images)

Speaking on Friday morning to ITV1’s Good Morning Britain, Gloria Allred, who represented some of the alleged victims in the case: “The question is, Prince Andrew when is he going to tell what he knows?

“He needs to do that. He needs to do it without delay. It is so traumatising and difficult for the victims not to know the truth.

“And this kind of torture test that Prince Andrew is subjecting the victims to, like will he or won’t he give a statement, if he will, when?

“More excuses, more delays, it really is painful for many of the victims. It’s just not fair.”

Allred has previously targeted Andrew over his relationship with Epstein, leaving a school bus outside Buckingham Palace with his face on it, and asking him to call the FBI.

Read more: 'Come and talk to us': US prosecutor calls for Prince Andrew to speak to FBI after Ghislaine Maxwell charged over child sex abuse crimes

NEW YORK, USA - FEBRUARY 24: Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to press members after the hearing of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in New York, United States on February 24, 2020. Weinstein was convicted of third-degree rape and committing a first-degree criminal sexual act. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Gloria Allred has repeatedly urged Prince Andrew to speak to authorities in the US. (Getty Images)

Spencer Coogan, who represents some of the other alleged victims in the case, told BBC Radio 4 his clients were “relieved” that Maxwell had been arrested.

He said: “I certainly think Prince Andrew has a story to tell. On behalf of the victims be have continuously asked him to step forward, step up, be a man and tell us what he knows.

“He has been hiding behind not only the royal family but his attorneys.

“Regardless of his position we, on behalf of the victims, hope that he will step forward and speak up about what he witnessed, at the very least when he was visiting the (Epstein) mansion in New York, when he visited the home in Palm Beach and when we know he was down visiting the Virgin Islands’ mansion.”

Boris Johnson declined to say how the government would respond if an approach was made to speak to the Duke of York.

He said on LBC: “No such approach has been made and otherwise it really is a matter for the royal family.”

Read more: Prince Andrew accuses US prosecutors of seeking publicity instead of answers

Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a July 2, 2020, press conference in New York City. - Maxwell, the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in the United States on July 2, 2020, by FBI officers investigating his sex crimes, multiple US media outlets reported. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell. (Getty Images)

On Thursday night, a source close to the duke’s working group said: “The Duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month, and to-date, we have had no response.”

The duke has found himself in a transatlantic war of words over his friendship with Epstein. He denies all allegations against him.

Having pledged to co-operate with the investigation into Epstein, US prosecutors say they have yet to hear from the duke. He claims they have been seeking headlines instead of help and that he has offered to speak.

Andrew tried to distance himself from the disgraced financier, but had to step down from his senior royal duties in November 2019 after a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview.

He said after the interview that he “unequivocally” regretted his relationship with Epstein, and offered his sympathy to the victims.

Earlier this year it emerged he is unlikely ever return to royal duties, with the Queen resigned to the situation.

In mid-June, a source close to the duke told The Sunday Times: “I don’t think he regrets the intention behind the interview, which was to clear the air for his family, the royal family and the institution.

“But the fact he was unable to appropriately or sufficiently convey his sympathy for the victims of Epstein, is of course a source of regret.”

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