Prince Andrew’s fear: what Jeffrey Epstein’s ex will say about his relationship with a 17-year-old girl
Ghislane Maxwell will appear in court next Tuesday. What he says or street will be key for the son of Queen Elizabeth II
Advances in the investigation of the businessman Jeffrey Epstein’s case keep the focus on Prince Andrew. New questions arise about the role and relationship that Queen Elizabeth II’s son had with the businessman accused of sexual abuse of minors and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell.
Maxwell is behind bars after being arrested in New Hampshire last week. The businessman’s ex-girlfriend and right-hand man will appear in court next Tuesday in New York and could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted of “facilitating” minors who were subjected to abuse.
Andrés tries to keep his profile low in the United Kingdom, after having renounced his responsibilities in November 2019, when serious accusations of alleged victims of sexual abuse came to light.
“It is inextricably linked to this story, there is no exit strategy,” British public relations agent Mark Borkowski tells NBC News.
Borkowski, who worked alongside the late pop star Michael Jackson, believed that Andrés’ future depends on what Maxwell reveals to justice. He suggested that it would be important for the queen’s son to remain silent and invite the American authorities “to meet him on his territory” in the United Kingdom, thereby showing his willingness to cooperate. Andrés admitted in an interview to the BBC that he knew Epstein and Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of the financier, but denied having acted badly.
In the interview that he gave to the BBC, which left him very badly, he admitted that Maxwell had introduced him to Epstein and that in 2010 he stayed for four days at the businessman’s house in New York.
The prince denied all the accusations that indicated that he had had sexual relations with a minor of 17 years. “I don’t remember ever meeting that lady,” he said despite the photo of him being seen with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of the victims, and Maxwell at the financier’s mansion.
Today in the United Kingdom some assure that the prince flees to the case.
Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said: “I am not going to reveal the situation of any of the people in this investigation, but I will say that we will welcome Prince Andrew if he approaches to speak with justice. We would like to have the benefit of your statement. ”
For their part, lawyers for Queen Elizabeth II’s son have said that they offered the prince on more than one occasion as a witness to collaborate with the US authorities. At the moment, Andrés is only a witness to the case, so he is not obliged to travel or appear before the American justice. Although “it can quickly become a target, depending on what your answers to the questions are,” explained NBCNews legal analyst Danny Cevallos.
Cevallos, analyzed Andrés’ situation. “If I defended the prince I would tell him never to leave the UK and only make carefully examined written statements.”
Until today everything indicates that the queen’s son follows this strategy, since he canceled his scheduled holidays to Spain. In the UK it is protected.
The Epstein case is still under investigation and with Maxwell’s arrest, Andrés is in his sights. Some speculate that if he were to be charged with a crime, the American justice system could request the monarch’s extradition. However, legal experts dismiss that possibility because it could trigger a diplomatic conflict between the two nations.
Mark Stephens, a lawyer who represented British Cavalry Officer James Hewitt after allegations of an affair with Princess Diana, said US authorities were trying to “catch” royalty but that he was unlikely to be extradited.
For Stephens, Andrés will never be called to the United States because he is protected by the principle of sovereign immunity. “If US prosecutors wanted to collect information, they could do so through written testimony or by traveling to the UK. Andrés will not accept leaving his country. ”
Even if he were extradited to the United States, William and Harry’s uncle would not be “required to give evidence,” Stephens added. “You can subpoena someone to court, but you have to present evidence,” he said, citing an individual’s legal right to remain silent.
However, Juliet Sorensen, a former federal prosecutor and professor of law at Northwestern University, detailed that she does not believe royalty is protected by sovereign immunity.
“Sovereign immunity would not apply to a case in which a sovereign has participated in criminal activities such as sex trafficking and the exploitation of minors and young women.”
Meanwhile, Maxwell remains behind bars. Prosecutors deemed him to present an “extreme” flight risk due to his access to substantial funds and American, French and British passports.
On Tuesday, July 14, he will have his first hearing where all the charges he is accused of will be read. “Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein identify, befriend, and prepare child victims of abuse,” said District Attorney Strauss. “In some cases, Maxwell was involved in the abuse.”
Andrew’s advisers should be on the lookout for any testimony from Maxwell, as the case will remain in British media headlines, leaving the prince in the eye of the storm until the dark case is cleared up.