An alleged associate of financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein plans to come forward in a tell-all interview to defend Prince Andrew and decry accusations made by accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, according to a report.
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The elusive associate, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, has kept mum on the topic of her reported friendship with multimillionaire Epstein, who died on Aug. 10 after he was found in his Manhattan federal prison jail cell, hanging by bedsheets.
“Ghislaine is in hiding and knows the only way to stop being hunted is to speak on her own terms,” a source told the U.K.-based outlet. “She will do a sit-down interview with a big US network and defend the duke. Apparently, she’ll say Virginia Giuffre is lying and Andrew never had sex with her.”
Giuffre has long claimed she was forced by Maxwell and Epstein into having sex with the duke when she was 17 and she and the royal engaged in sexual acts three times.
In an hour-long sit-down interview with BBC’s "Panorama" earlier this month, she alleged that she and Andrew went to the exclusive Tramp nightclub in London in March 2001 before leaving and having sex.
“Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that made me sick,” she said during the interview, adding: “Well, there was a bath and it started there and then it led into the bedroom and it didn’t last very long, the whole, entire procedure. It was disgusting. He wasn’t mean or anything but he got up and said, ‘Thanks.’”
Andrew and Epstein were reportedly friends for more than a decade but had only been photographed together a handful of times. One photo recently surfaced showing the men together at the Royal Ascot Race Meeting in 2000, according to Town & Country Magazine, which reported that Maxwell was also in attendance, wearing green.
Andrew, 59, told "BBC Newsnight" in mid-November he had no recollection of meeting the then-teenager. He couldn't explain a photo that shows him with his arm around a younger-looking Giuffre, whose last name was Roberts at the time.
"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," he wrote, in part. He added: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein."