Explosive new evidence undermining Prince Andrew‘s claim that he did not know teenage trafficking victim Virginia Roberts is set to emerge in the United States, her lawyer claimed last night.
In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, David Boies said further evidence linking the Duke of York with Ms Roberts will be made public as part of a string of civil lawsuits being brought in America by victims of serial paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
His comments came after this newspaper last week revealed that a highly respected former Royal protection officer has raised questions about Andrew’s ‘alibi’ for the night he allegedly had sex with Ms Roberts in London.
Ms Roberts claims that she was flown to London by Epstein in March 2001 when she was 17 and coerced into having sex with the Duke. This was the first of three alleged sexual encounters with the Prince.
Virginia Roberts with her lawyer David Boies, left, who says that more evidence that she met Prince Andrew will emerge in court
Andrew, 60, has categorically denied the claims, and in November he told Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis: ‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.’
But Mr Boies, who with his colleague Sigrid McCawley is representing Ms Roberts and seven more Epstein’s victims, last night accused the Queen’s second son and his advisers of ‘continuing to dissemble’.
‘There is other evidence that will come out that undercuts his assertion that he didn’t know Virginia, had not been with her,’ he said.
Referring to this newspaper’s revelations last week and another report claiming Andrew was seen kissing a young blonde woman on Epstein’s Caribbean island, he added: ‘The evidence that has come out in the last week is important, but it is not all that is going to be coming out.’
Any new evidence will pile pressure on Andrew to co-operate with an FBI probe into Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.
In a blistering interview, Mr Boies also:
- Claimed further evidence will emerge showing the Duke visited Epstein’s notorious £13 million New Mexico ranch where several women have said they were sexually abused;
- Urged the Metropolitan Police to reopen an investigation into Ms Roberts’s claims;
- Condemned Andrew for refusing to co-operate with Epstein’s victims;
- Admitted lawyers still do not know the whereabouts of Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite accused of recruiting girls for Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.
Ms Roberts claims that she was flown to London by Epstein in March 2001 when she was 17 and coerced into having sex with the Duke (pictured together with Ghislaine Maxwell)
Prince Andrew faces the prospect of further damning revelations about his relationship with Epstein and claims about Ms Roberts being made public between now and June as part of a slew of civil cases against the multi-million pound estate of the disgraced financier, who was found dead in his New York jail cell last August after his arrest on child sex trafficking charges. He had previously served 13 months in jail in 2008 for procuring a child for prostitution.
Last month, US Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman, who is overseeing lawsuits brought by 16 women against the Epstein estate, ordered a so-called ‘fact discovery’ before cases are brought to trial. This means the victims’ lawyers will be able to present new evidence, demand the publication of previously undisclosed documents and even quiz alleged co-conspirators accused of helping Epstein procure young women and underage girls for his sex ring.
Judge Freeman said this process should be completed by June 10. Mr Boies claims this will lead to the publication of new evidence showing that the Duke knew Ms Roberts, now 36 and going by her married surname Giuffre.
Prince Andrew faces the prospect of further damning revelations about his relationship with Epstein
‘I think the mistake that he [Prince Andrew] made was thinking that somehow this evidence wouldn’t dribble out and now, of course, that’s exactly what’s happening. Prince Andrew is sufficiently recognisable that more and more of this evidence comes out and I think it just puts him in a terrible position and one that could have been avoided, at least in part, if he had simply been more forthright and forthcoming initially.
‘A judge in New York in some of the cases has set a discovery cut-off for June, so I think a lot of this will come out between now and June.’
Asked what the new evidence is, he replied: ‘I can’t get into this… but all I can say is that there will be more evidence coming out.’
He did, however, claim that new evidence will emerge showing that Prince Andrew visited Epstein’s vast Zorro ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The New York Times last year claimed that Epstein told scientists that he hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at the ranch.
Andrew, 60, has categorically denied the claims, and in November he told Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis: ‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever’
Several of his accusers claim they were raped there. In November, it emerged that a former housekeeper at the ranch had claimed Prince Andrew spent three days there in 2001, where she said he was kept company by an unnamed ‘beautiful’ female doctor.
Mr Boies, one of the most prominent lawyers in the United States, accused Andrew and people speaking on his behalf of attacking Ms Roberts’s credibility.
An unnamed supporter of Andrew last year claimed that a photograph showing the Duke with his arm wrapped around Ms Roberts’s bare waist, which was taken in Ms Maxwell’s home in Belgravia, Central London, in 2001 was ‘fake’ and that Ms Roberts’s story was ‘a fantasy’.
Mr Boies added: ‘At some point I think Prince Andrew and the people who are speaking on his behalf need to recognise that continuing to dissemble is not only unsustainable but counterproductive.
‘He is worse off today than he would have been if he had simply faced up to whatever happened.’
Buckingham Palace declined to comment last night.
Why are Prince Andrew’s lawyers such a secret? Lawyer for his alleged victim Virginia Roberts criticises the Duke for refusing to name the legal firm representing him
The lawyer acting for Prince Andrew’s alleged victim Virginia Roberts last night lambasted the Duke for refusing to name the legal firm representing him.
Buckingham Palace has repeatedly refused requests from journalists to identify the lawyers working on behalf of the Queen’s second son – and astonishingly, even Ms Roberts’s US lawyer says he is in the dark.
‘We don’t really know who his lawyers are,’ David Boies said last night. ‘We know he has lawyers and we know he has PR people but exactly who they are and who is doing it officially and who is doing it unofficially, we don’t know. They are not, as far as I know, saying.’
The silence comes despite a clamour from US investigators for Andrew to provide information about paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
David Boies, with paedphile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s victim Annie Farmer, right, and Virginia Roberts
The Duke has previously been represented by the London law firm Schillings. Royal sources, however, indicated that he has instructed another firm with extensive US legal expertise.
Mr Boies added: ‘This attempt to shroud everything in secrecy and hope somehow it will go away is I think misguided and ultimately counterproductive. This is not going to go away. This is not something that if you simply ignore it, people will lose interest in it.’
The FBI, US prosecutors and lawyers for Epstein’s victims want to speak to Andrew as part of investigations into the disgraced financier’s sex trafficking ring. Ms Roberts, now known by her married name Giuffre, claims she was trafficked to London and coerced into having sex with the Prince on three occasions in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands. The Duke has categorically and repeatedly denied her claims.
Last month, US attorney Geoffrey Berman said prosecutors and the FBI had contacted the Duke’s representatives but had received no reply. Andrew was said to be ‘angry and bewildered’ about the claims, saying he had not been approached to speak about the case.
But in the increasingly bitter war of words, Mr Boies supported Mr Berman’s account, adding: ‘We have continued to be met with an absolute refusal to co-operate in our investigation. An absolute refusal to be interviewed.’
Mr Boies also said that the whereabouts of Ghislaine Maxwell remain unknown. The socialite disappeared from public life around 2016, although Prince Andrew told BBC’s Newsnight that he saw her as recently as last spring or summer, saying: ‘She was here doing some rally.’
Mr Boies added: ‘We heard she was in California, the South of France, Israel, the UK… We have not been able to establish any credible evidence of where she actually is.’
Mr Boies said our story last week that a former Royal protection officer had raised questions about Andrew’s ‘alibi’ for the night he allegedly had sex with Ms Roberts in London in March 2001 was ‘significant’. He added: ‘All the evidence that has come out is supportive of what Virginia has said.’
He also urged Scotland Yard to reopen its investigation into the claims made by Ms Roberts, now 36. She made a criminal complaint against Epstein and Maxwell to the Met in July 2015, but in November 2016 Scotland Yard decided not to proceed with an inquiry.
It is understood the complaint did not include any criminal allegations against the Prince.
‘Both in the UK and the United States, prosecutors failed to pursue evidence of Epstein’s sex trafficking that was presented to them,’ Mr Boies added.
Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts praises ‘bravery’ of former police officer who queried Duke’s alibi
The woman who alleges she was flown to London to have sex with Prince Andrew as a teenager has praised the ‘bravery’ of a former police officer who raised questions about the Duke’s ‘alibi’.
In an emotional tweet, Virginia Roberts thanked the highly respected ex-Royal protection officer for speaking to The Mail on Sunday last week.
His claim – that the Duke of York may have returned to Buckingham Palace in the early hours of March 11, 2001 – contradicts Andrew’s account of being ‘at home’ all evening after taking his daughter Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey.
In a tweet, Miss Roberts, 36, wrote: ‘Thank you to the brave officer coming forward with his memory of events. Every single shred of evidence helps put pressure on the authorities to do the right thing.’
The former officer recalled how the Duke arrived by car at the front of the Palace in the middle of the night and he shouted at guards because they did not open the gates quickly enough.
In an emotional tweet, Virginia Roberts thanked the highly respected ex-Royal protection officer for speaking to The Mail on Sunday last week
He believes it could have been the same night that Miss Roberts alleges she had sex with the Duke at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell after she was trafficked to London on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet.
The account has heaped pressure on the Metropolitan Police to disclose any information it holds on Andrew’s whereabouts on March 10 or 11, 2001.
The unnamed ex-officer has applied to see his shift roster to confirm his account.
The individual, who had an exemplary 23-year career in the Met, said he received messages of support from former colleagues last week.
He explained that he had felt a ‘moral obligation’ to step forward because Miss Roberts was a victim of sex trafficking.
‘These are crimes that cause very real pain and humiliation on the victims, ruins lives and, as we now see, the wounds never heal,’ he said.
‘It was this one occasion at the Palace with Prince Andrew that stuck in my mind, because it was so unusual and now I realise it may be important to the case.’