Britain's Prince Andrew faces new scrutiny over ties to Jeffrey Epstein

Erika Holt
August 14, 2019

A former law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that Jeffrey Epstein has died by suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges in NY.

The files were unsealed on Friday as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre against the businessman's ex-girlfriend and so-called "madam", Ghislaine Maxwell. 'They took the puppet's hands and put it on Virginia's breast, and so Andrew put his on mine, ' she claimed.

'Hoping it would be one of the younger generation, I was disappointed when she told me it was the Duke of York, ' Ms Roberts recalled.

During the same deposition, Giuffre claims the paid massages often involved sex and led to a more permanent role travelling with Epstein, who had homes on a private island in the US Virgin Islands, New Mexico and NY.

The name of US President Donald Trump, who was once a friend of Mr Epstein, appears in a 14 November 2016, deposition of Ms Giuffre, in which she said Mr Trump and Mr Epstein had been good friends.

Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein, accused Ms Maxwell of recruiting her as a masseuse to the financier at the age of 15. If he would have been convicted of the charges, Epstein would have faced up to 45 years in prison.

The documents disclose Giuffre's 2001 medical records from a hospital that she said Epstein and Maxwell took her to during a period of sexual abuse.

The death of Jeffrey Epstein in prison from an apparent suicide has further shone the spotlight on the wealthy financier's rich and famous former associates.

The charges were announced more than a decade after he pleaded guilty in Florida to state charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor in a deal with prosecutors that has been widely criticized as too lenient.

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The unsealing of the court documents was previewed last month by Vanity Fair, which linked Mitchell to them and included a statement from him denying the allegations. Her lawyers say flight logs show Giuffre, Maxwell and Epstein flying to London on Epstein's private plane. She oversaw and trained recruiters, developed recruiting plans and helped hide the activity from law enforcement, the lawsuit said.

"Today's events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein's many victims their day in court", Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement.

As NPR's Laurel Wamsley reported in July, prosecutors alleged Epstein "enticed and recruited" underage girls to his Manhattan mansion and his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., to engage in sex acts with him, after which he would pay the victims hundreds of dollars.

He went to say: "There's no doubt in my mind that no jail will protect you when there's [sic] powerful people that want to reach you - wherever you are".

A spokeswoman for Mr Richardson said the former governor had never met Ms Giuffre.

He avoided what could have been a lengthy prison sentence under a plea deal with then-US Attorney Alex Acosta.

Attorney General William Barr has pledged on Monday that the DOJ will investigate any conspirators and achieve justice for the victims who can not face Epstein in court anymore.

According to reports, the pair dated for a while but the relationship later turned into something akin to a close friendship.

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