New information is continually coming to light about the atrocities committed by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The Miami Herald first broke the story that in late 2007, then-US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida (and future US Secretary of Labor), Alexander Acosta, had met with Jeffrey Epstein’s defense attorney to discuss a plea agreement. Epstein had been accused of sex trafficking and the molestation and rape of underage girls. Yet, he would avoid being prosecuted for these crimes. I’ll let Julie K. Brown take it from here:
“The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes… As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims… [Epstein] was required to register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to the three dozen victims identified by the FBI.”
If that doesn’t smack of injustice and institutional corruption, the whole sordid ordeal is punctuated by an eighteen-month sentence in county jail—despite being convicted of two felony charges—with a work-release program adornment. O, what justice had been meted! It beggars belief that the convicted sex offender was permitted to leave jail six days a week—despite being ineligible for work-release under Florida law—and allegations have recently surfaced accusing Epstein of having had “inappropriate sexual contact” with two women during that time. Epstein was given his freedom after thirteen months, whereupon he presumably continued his exploitation of underage girls until he was arrested several months ago and charged with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. When one considers the number of victims identified by the Miami Herald—approximately eighty—and the appalling sweetheart deal Epstein received, this scandal was undoubtedly more than an episode of power and privilege getting what it wanted; it was a calculated dereliction of moral decency by all parties involved. Remember, NEITHER the victims NOR their families were notified of the clandestine plea deal in contravention of Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
Wondery has an excellent podcast about all these events and more called The Mysterious Mr. Epstein. I cannot recommend this podcast enough. However, do NOT listen to the companion series called Real Crime Profile: Forensically Deconstructing Jeffrey Epstein. My brief critique is this: of the three hosts on the podcast, Lisa Zambetti is the most likable voice as she is milder and less strident than her cohosts. Unfortunately, Zambetti is conspicuously absent in the first few episodes. Laura Richards, being the most academically credentialed person on the podcast, would seem the most likely to bring science and evidence to bear on the Epstein case. Instead, Richards blames all of Epstein’s crimes on the patriarchy, pathologically regurgitating the word at every opportunity, and the closest her analysis ever gets to forensics is the tangential invocation of coercive control. Jim Clemente, the third host, is prone to apoplectic conjecture and rage-speak that would be hilarious were it not so poignant at times. Clemente’s rage, in other words, is not misplaced. Yet, I fear its only purpose is to distract one from the poverty of forensics.
The above was an abbreviated introduction for the main subject of this post: Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his troubling friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Son of Queen Elizabeth II. Eighth in line for the British throne. I’ve never been interested in the British royal family and can scarcely understand America’s preoccupation with a monarchy whose thrall our founders fought tooth and nail to free us from. Members of the British royal family are just educated, classier versions of the Kardashians to me; were they all to phase out of existence, I wouldn’t notice.
Except for Prince Andrew. He must remain to answer a bevy of questions.
Prince Andrew, near the beginning of his friendship with Epstein, asked the future-convicted sex offender for financial assistance on behalf of his ex-wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York. A spokesman for the Duchess confirmed that Epstein paid £15,000 of her £78,000 debt. Buckingham Palace has remained silent on these allegations. The Duchess of York has expressed regret over any involvement with Epstein, adding that she found pedophilia abhorrent. Doesn’t everyone? I suspect not.
One person who ostensibly doesn’t find pedophilia abhorrent is Sarah Kellen. An excerpt from reporting by The Telegraph.
During civil proceedings against Epstein brought by his victims, Sarah Kellen, Epstein’s personal assistant, was asked by a lawyer: “Would you agree with me that Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein used to share underaged girls for sexual relations?”
She replied: “On the instruction of my lawyer, I must invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege (the right to remain silent).”
That’s quite telling, isn’t it?
In August 2019, Politico reported the release of two thousand court documents by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan which detailed an allegation made by Virginia Roberts Guiffre, formerly Virginia Roberts. Guiffre claims she was recruited as a sex slave by Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago in 2000, where, at the behest of Jeffrey Epstein, Guiffre was forced to have sex with various prominent public figures including Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Guiffre alleges three sexual encounters with Prince Andrew, one of which was an “orgy with numerous other under-aged girls.”
The official statement from Buckingham Palace reads as follows:
“The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
Around the same time, a royal spokesperson, when asked to comment on the unsealed court documents alleging sexual assault by His Royal Highness, told NBC News: “This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which The Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.” A similar statement was given to The Guardian. One will notice that all statements from Buckingham Palace are more concerned with maintaining its own tainted reputation rather than conjuring up a compelling defense of The Duke of York.
On November 16, 2019, The Duke of York gave an interview to the BBC regarding the Epstein scandal, and Emily Maitlis, the interviewer, thoroughly embarrassed His Royal Highness. Heady British eloquence befitting a royal was replaced with mendacious replies, revisionist history, and defeated sighs; the Prince would never deign to be BFFs with a pedophilic monster such as Epstein. The Prince would never, say, travel to all of Epstein’s homes multiple times, use his private plane multiple times, or take a walk with him in Central Park. Truly absurd, he might say. Indeed, the “Party Prince” asserted it would be a “considerable stretch to say that he was a very very close friend,” let alone that the Duke enjoyed partying. When Maitlis said that the public had dubbed him “the Party Prince,” a bamboozled prince replied that the origins of the moniker were unknown to him because he had never truly partied.
His Royal Highness would, of course, have no problem explaining his attendance at this particular soirée in the French Riviera. Or any of these photographs in various stages of merriment and public displays of affection—which Prince Andrew emphatically denied, for a royal would never violate British sensibilities by engaging in such corporeal pleasures publicly—in locations that could only be described as [insert royal synonym for ‘parties’]. (Please take a look at the photograph of him at the Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party he attended with Ghislaine Maxwell.)
Speaking of partying, one of the more embarrassing moments during the interview came after Maitlis inquired why The Prince would visit Epstein following his release from jail in late 2010. I wasn’t prepared for what followed.
Maitlis: He was released in July, within months by December of 2010 you went to stay with him at his New York mansion, why? Why were you staying with a convicted sex offender?
Prince Andrew: Right, I have always … ever since this has happened and since this has become, as it were, public knowledge that I was there, I’ve questioned myself as to why did I go and what was I doing and was it the right thing to do? Now, I went there with the sole purpose of saying to him that because he had been convicted, it was inappropriate for us to be seen together. I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it. I had to go and see him and talk to him.
Maitlis: That was December of 2010.
Prince Andrew: Yep.
Maitlis: He threw a party to celebrate his release and you were invited as the guest of honor.
Prince Andrew: No, I didn’t go. Oh, in 2010, there certainly wasn’t a party to celebrate his release in December because it was a small dinner party, there were only eight or 10 of us I think at the dinner. If there was a party then I’d know nothing about that.
Maitlis: You were invited to that dinner as a guest of honor.
Prince Andrew: Well, I was there so there was a dinner, I don’t think it was quite as you might put it but yeah, OK I was there for … I was there at a dinner, yeah.
Maitlis: I’m just trying to work this out because you said you went to break up the relationship and yet you stayed at that New York mansion several days. I’m wondering how long?
Prince Andrew: But I was doing a number of other things while I was there.
Maitlis: But you were staying at the house …
Prince Andrew: Yes.
Maitlis: … of a convicted sex offender.
Prince Andrew: It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable but that’s just the way it is.
Maitlis: It might seem a funny way to break off a friendship, a four-day house party of sorts with a dinner. It’s an odd way to break up a friendship.
Prince Andrew: It’s a difficult way of put … that’s a very stark way of putting it, yes you’re absolutely right. But actually, the truth of it is is that I actually only saw him for about, what the dinner party, the walk in the park and probably passing in the passage.
[Regarding the accusations by Virginia Guiffre:]
Maitlis: You know that you were at home with the children, was it a memorable night?
Prince Andrew: On that particular day that we now understand is the date which is the 10th of March, I was at home, I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of four or five in the afternoon. And then because the Duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there. I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy so therefore I was at home.
Maitlis: Why would you remember that so specifically? Why would you remember a Pizza Express birthday and being at home?
Prince Andrew: Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do. I’ve never been … I’ve only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly. As soon as somebody reminded me of it, I went “oh yes, I remember that”. But I have no recollection of ever meeting or being in the company or the presence.
A few noteworthy things. Pizza?! Does anyone truly believe that Prince Andrew was taking his children out to pizza on the day he as alleged to have been photographed with a victim whom he raped three times? His excuse is Pizza Express?!
Furthermore, notice how His Highness denies attending a party and the quick retreat. “No, I didn’t go… Oh, in 2010… There certainly wasn’t a party… it was a small dinner party.” Let’s get serious: Epstein catered a party for His Royal Highness, proclaiming him to be the guest of honor. This occurred after Epstein’s conviction.
This may be trivial, but I couldn’t help notice that His Highness never uttered the name Ghislaine Maxwell, instead referring to her as Epstein’s girlfriend. It seems Ghislaine Maxwell has acquired an air of Lord Voldemort. For a man who claims to be “too honorable”, he seems unable to muster the courage to utter the name of a woman who has allegedly helped Epstein traffick underage sex slaves.
And The Duke of York has more scandals on the horizon. A former aide for Prime Minister David Cameron, Rohan Silva, had also watched the aforesaid BBC interview and wrote a column for the Evening Standard reflecting on his tenure on Downing Street. In the column, Silva accuses Prince Andrew of using a particular racial epithet Paula Deen Style:
“What about the trade department?” I asked. “Could it be doing a better job?”
“Well,” the Prince said with a smile, “If you’ll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile.”
Buckingham Palace said His Highness would never use such language. Please forgive my incredulity.
I dare anyone to watch that interview without recoiling in horror. Prince Andrew’s denial is as farcical as former President Bill Clinton’s claim to marital fidelity. The stammering, suspired excuses by His Highness are as disgusting as they are evasive. One thing that seemed absolutely clear to me from the interview was that, despite fervently denying “impropriety” of any kind by the Duke of York, Buckingham Palace is kicking Prince Andrew’s royal ass the curb.