Prince Andrew sex scandal: chaste Virginia Roberts’ sex tape and the Bill Clinton beats Benghazi
The story of Prince Andrew and the allegedly underage “sex slave” Virginia Roberts is back in the news.
The front pages are full of lurid allegations against the Duke of York, formerly known as Randy Andy.
The story can be summed up simply. The BBC does a decent job:
Buckingham Palace has denied “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors” by Prince Andrew, after he was named in US court papers. A woman named him in documents she filed in a Florida court over how prosecutors handled a case against financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The woman is 30-year-old Virginia Roberts. The story is not new.
She claims that between 1999 and 2002 she was forced by Epstein to have sex with the prince when she was a minor.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman goes on the record:
“This relates to long-standing and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party. As such we would not comment on the detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue”.
Peter Hunt, BBC royal correspondent:
This is a long-running, complicated legal action which began in 2011 against an American businessman called Jeffrey Epstein who has served 18 months in prison for soliciting a minor for prostitution. Back in 2011 Prince Andrew had to apologise for his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
In these court documents, for the first time, an unnamed woman alleges she was forced to have sexual relations with Prince Andrew when she was a minor, three times in three different locations.
He is paying a heavy price for his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein which he acknowledged at the time was a mistake on his part.
Anyone else named?
The woman says she was forced to have sexual relations with the prince in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein. She also claims she was forced to have sex, when a minor, with prominent lawyer and former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:
“My only feeling is if she’s lied about me, which I know to an absolute certainty she has, she should not be believed about anyone else. We know she’s lied about other public figures including a former prime minister and others who she claims to have participated in sexual activities with, so I think it must be presumed all her allegations against Prince Andrew were false as well.”
Can she prove it?
The woman has issued a statement through her lawyers, saying she was “looking forward to vindicating my rights as an innocent victim and pursuing all available recourse”, adding that she was “not going to be bullied back into silence”.
Her accusations are contained in a motion filed in a Florida court this week, which is part of a legal case over how federal prosecutors handled the case of Epstein.
The court document, first reported on by Politico Magazine, alleges: “Epstein also sexually trafficked the then-minor Jane Doe (a name used in US legal proceedings for people with anonymity), making her available for sex to politically connected and financially powerful people.
“Epstein’s purposes in ‘lending’ Jane Doe (along with other young girls) to such powerful people were to ingratiate himself with them for business, personal, political, and financial gain, as well as to obtain potential blackmail information.”
The thing is that Prince Andrew is not on trial. He is not party to the proceedings. All we know is that Virginia Roberts has made a claim against him. His innocence must be presumed. All the barriers to guilt must be negotiated if she is to be believed.
But this is Randy Andy, cry the media, the man who inspide the Spitting Image puppet you see above.
Instead he is named as part of evidence relating to a wider case of an alleged sex trafficking scheme, involving US businessman Jeffrey Epstein, who spent time in jail in 2008-9 for a sex offence with a minor. Two women (known as Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2) are suing the US government, saying it failed to protect their rights when it entered into a plea deal with Epstein.
Now, two further women (Jane Doe #3 and #4) want to join this case, and it’s Jane Doe #3 who has made claims against the Duke of York, as part of this.
The prince strongly denies the allegations. This is the first time they have surfaced publicly, and no legal case has been made against him on this matter.
The Mail quotes Virginia Roberts’ allegations:
We went on to Tramp. We were led into a VIP area and Andrew got me a cocktail from the bar then he asked me to dance. He was the most hideous dancer I had ever seen. He was grabbing my hips and he was pouring with perspiration and he had this cheesy smile. I was used to being used for sex by men but it was not behaviour that I was used to in public, and not from a Prince who had daughters. I felt everyone was watching us.’
By her account, Miss Roberts’s first tryst with the then 41-year-old Prince allegedly took place later that night at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London townhouse. ‘All of us went upstairs and I asked Jeffrey to snap a picture of me with the Prince. I wanted something to show my Mom. Ghislaine and Jeffrey left us after that,’ she said.
‘In the morning, Ghislaine said, “You did well. He had fun.” We flew straight back to the States. I suspected that the only reason we went to London was that I was a “gift” to Andrew.’
Miss Roberts makes the extraordinary claim that she was paid about $15,000 (just under £10,000) by the 58-year-old Epstein as a reward for sleeping with the Prince and other sexual services for Epstein.
There is no suggestion that the Prince knew that Epstein paid her.
Randy Andy is in the court of public opinion. The Sun has something to add:
A RANCHER whose daughter was yesterday revealed to be the “sex slave” in the Prince Andrew scandal demanded the royal face court if her claims are true. Dad Sky Roberts, 61, hit out as daughter Virginia Roberts was identified as the woman claiming the Duke of York bedded her when she was underage.
He raged amid continued vehement denials by the Palace: “I don’t care if he is prince or pauper. If what Virginia said is true he has to pay the consequences. If the Prince had sex with my daughter when she was underage, he has to be prosecuted.”
And with that it becomes a twisted tale of money and power.
The Florida dad said Virginia — now 30 — was married and a great mum of three. Yesterday The Sun on Sunday talked to her in Colorado. She confirmed her lawyer filed a bombshell lawsuit that emerged in Florida naming a rich ex-pal of the Prince as having trafficked her for sex.
In it, a complainant named only as Jane Doe 3 says Andrew bedded her three times while she was underage and being kept as a “sex slave” by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein — later jailed as a paedophile.
One orgy allegedly involving the Prince and other underage girls was in the US Virgin Islands when she was 17. The age of consent there is 18.
Virginia last night vowed to reveal more, adding: “There will be a time when we explain stuff, just not this time.”
Her husband Robert added: “I know there is so much interest.”
Can the simple sword of truth be sheathed in a book? Virginia Roberts sounds on the ball. Her quote sounds like a trailer, a teaser to greater things. Now read on… (The Mail says Roberts is “working on a memoir.”)
Her appalled father said at his ranch in Summerfield, Florida: “I thought all of this was in the past. I feel sick now to think of these men and her.”
And this seems important:
His daughter had previously claimed she met Andrew — but never mentioned before anything about “sexual relations” with him.
You shag a prince, allegedly, and never mention it?
Virginia says she spent four years employed by Epstein after being hired at 15 to do erotic massages. Epstein’s ex-butler has claimed Andrew attended naked pool parties and enjoyed daily massages at the financier’s “House of Sin”. Juan Alessi — who worked at Epstein’s Florida mansion for 11 years — said in 2011 the Prince spent weeks there. He claimed Andrew was a guest at pool parties full of naked women and also enjoyed daily $100-an-hour massages.
Alessi said in a series of statements taken by lawyers: “I first met Prince Andrew at the house in Palm Beach in about 2001. Epstein and the Prince had all the privacy they wanted. It was a huge house. If they wanted something they would ring me.”
But it’s a fact Andrew had the massages?
However, massages were carried out in a private part of the house he had no access to.
He said: “What happened in those rooms was absolutely between the people in them.”
Yep. That’s a definite’ no’.
But he claimed the Prince would often emerge with a “smile” on his face.
Alessi said during the 2011 interview that a non-disclosure agreement signed with Epstein prevented him from revealing too much. He said: “I can only talk in general terms. Were there girls in the house? Yes. Were they sometimes naked? Yes.”
That’s weaker than a Prince Charles mint tea.
By 2008 the FBI said it had identified at least 20 victims. That year, Epstein got 18 months after plea bargaining. Buckingham Palace last night denied suggestions in court papers the Prince tried to use his influence to lobby the US government for a lighter sentence.
More than 40 women have filed lawsuits claiming Epstein abused them. Most have been settled out of court. In 2011 Virginia Roberts filed documents claiming she was “sexually exploited by adult male peers, including royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and/or professional and personal acquaintances”.
She said: “Basically, I was training to be a prostitute for him (Epstein) and his friends who shared his interest in young girls.”
She said she provided sexual services to at least eight of Epstein’s famous pals but refused to name them.
But this is about Prince Andrew. What io we know? Who did he shag, if anyone?
A former masseuse also alleged in 2007 that Prince Andrew grabbed her breast during a bizarre encounter when she was asked to sit on his lap during a party in 2001 at Epstein’s New York pad. Johanna Sjoberg, 21 at the time, claimed she had been recruited by Miss Maxwell to answer phones. In a 2007 interview Johanna said: “She (Ghislaine) came down with a present for him — a latex puppet of him from Spitting Image. “Virginia sat on a chair and had the puppet on her lap. Ghislaine put the puppet’s hand on Virginia’s breast then Andrew put his hand on mine. Everybody laughed.”
Miss Maxwell branded the allegations against her as “obvious lies”.
Puppet touched willing teenager’s dressed breasts! Hold the front page!
The Mail adds:
The Duke of York holidayed and had daily massages at the £4million Florida mansion where Epstein abused teenage girls, legal papers claimed in 2011. Andrew is said to have enjoyed regular rub-downs at the whitewashed Palm Beach residence where winged gargoyles flanked the gate and masseuses worked for £60 an hour. Photographs of naked women adorned the walls.
In return, Epstein seemed to enjoy extraordinary access to the heart of the Royal Family, courtesy of Andrew, and has been a guest of the Queen at Balmoral, Windsor Castle and Sandringham.
Sarah Ferguson was also a visitor to Epstein’s Florida mansion, and he even helped her to clear her debts. She accepted £15,000 from him in a grubby deal she later admitted was a ‘gigantic error of judgment’.
Epstein and Andrew met in the 1990s, introduced by the financier’s then girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, the glamorous daughter of disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell.
Will Andrew take the stand under oath? No, says the Sunday Times:
PRINCE ANDREW may have immunity from prosecution for his alleged involvement in crimes committed by his billionaire sex offender friend Jeffrey Epstein under a deal struck with the United States government.
So. Andrew might not be immune.
The secret plea agreement with American prosecutors in 2007 protects Epstein, an investment banker convicted of soliciting sex from underage girls, along with any of his “potential co-conspirators” from a number of criminal charges relating to an alleged international sex trafficking ring established to serve the rich and famous.
Details of the “non-prosecution agreement” emerged after Andrew was forced to deny sensational allegations made in US court papers that he had “sexual relations” with a 17-year-old girl, who claims she was used as a “sex slave” by Epstein.
Last night Buckingham Palace was on the defensive as it emerged that:
•Documents filed at court in Florida and obtained by The Sunday Times allege that Epstein obtained his secret deal through his “significant social and political connections”. They claim Andrew and Bill Clinton, the former US president, made “efforts” on behalf of Epstein to secure him a “more favourable” deal.
Blimey! That sounds huge. But is the claim bade on any fact?
The senior American prosecutor who negotiated the deal now believes it should have been “tougher”.
So. They failed.
The long-running court case could trigger awkward claims over Epstein’s relationship with Clinton as his wife Hillary attempts to win the US presidency in 2016.
Forget Lewisnky and Benghazi. This will scupper Team Clinton.
Once one of the best connected men in America, Epstein is also accused of “lending” the girls so he could later blackmail their abusers.
Any other star names?
She also claims that she and other underage girls were “procured for sexual activities” by Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell.
In an application lodged at West Palm Beach federal courthouse in Florida last week, the victim alleged that Maxwell facilitated the prince’s “abuse” and helped Epstein to convert her “into what is commonly referred to as a sex slave”.
Maxwell, who moved to New York after her father died in 1991, is described as a “madame” and “a primary co-conspirator in [Epstein’s] sexual abuse and sex trafficking scheme”.
She has always strenuously denied any involvement in Epstein’s criminality.
One depraved man. Fact. But his name is so toxic whoever it touches is sullied.
PS: A little more on Virginia Roberts:
In 2002, Roberts attended a massage course in Thailand. “Shortly after arriving there, she met an Australian martial arts expert called Robert,” the paper reported. “They fell in love and, just 10 days later, married.”
Such are the facts…