Questions remain about just how well Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew knew each other. Episode 4 of “Epstein: Devil in the Darkness" entitled, "The Prince and the Pedophile," takes a closer look at the duo's friendship, which Buckingham Palace has desperately tried to downplay in the wake of new revelations about Epstein's alleged crimes.
Prince Andrew met Epstein in 1999 through their mutual friend Ghislaine Maxwell, previously described in the podcast as Epstein’s right-hand woman. Journalist Laura Goldman said of the friendship between the royal and the disgraced financier, "I think it’s kind of apparent that they’re kindred souls." But she also added, "The aristocracy of England are deviants. Everyone I’ve ever met there is kind of a deviant."
Journalist Andy Tillett seemed to agree, and said of Prince Andrew, "Long before Epstein and even before Fergie, Prince Andrew was known as 'Randy Andy,' or 'Handy Andy,' because of his flings with beautiful women ... He seemed to love being known as the Playboy Prince."
After the two became friends, Prince Andrew was spotted at Epstein's properties. Specifically, Tillett explained, the royal visited Epstein’s private Caribbean island in February 1999 and again in May that same year. Although Prince Andrew claimed in a statement made two weeks after Epstein’s death that he "saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year," Tillett claims that simply wasn't the case. He insists the two were "almost inseparable" in 2000 and noted, "You look at the list of times they’re together and it’s just like ... well, it’s more than 'once or twice.'"
Could it be that Prince Andrew had no idea what Epstein was allegedly doing to underage girls, despite how often they spent time together? He may have done worse than turn a blind eye to Epstein's actions — some women have accused him of assaulting them when they were younger. "I think it’s time for Prince Andrew to come clean about everything he knows ... There’s a lot of suspicion swirling around Prince Andrew that he needs to really answer to," said attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing six of Epstein's alleged victims.
Although Buckingham Palace supported Prince Andrew and denied allegations against him, Tillett reminds listeners that Epstein and Maxwell were invited to a June 2000 party at Windsor Castle called “Dance of the Decades” as Prince Andrew’s guests. "There he was partying with the entire royal family and their closest friends," he noted. Plus, who could forget the paparazzi photos of Prince Andrew and Epstein on a luxury yacht where they were surrounded by topless girls?
One of the women allegedly abused by Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, claimed in sworn court depositions that in March 2001, she flew to London with Epstein and Maxwell and had sex with Prince Andrew at just 17 years old. Her allegations were quoted by an actor in the podcast, and she claimed that the third time she had sex with the royal — on Epstein's private island, no less — both Epstein and Prince Andrew were present.
"When I walked in, Andrew and Jeffrey were seated in chairs," Roberts claimed in her court statements. "Me and the girls started undressing. Jeffrey directed us with hand gestures because the Russian girls didn’t speak English. We were told to start kissing and touching and to use sex toys on each other ... Jeffrey and the prince were laughing." In 2015, a judge ordered Roberts' claims be struck from the court record in her legal case, after determining that her accusations were "immaterial" and "impertinent" to that specific case, according to the Washington Post.
Even after Epstein's 2008 conviction, Prince Andrew was present at a party at Epstein's Manhattan residence following his prison release in 2010. "It’s actually just astonishing behavior from Prince Andrew," Tillett said. "The Queen must have been mortified. How could she stand by him after all that?"
Prince Andrew later made a statement about Epstein claiming that "at no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction. I have previously said that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know."
But some people aren't buying it. Bloom said of Prince Andrew, "There should be an investigation of Prince Andrew. We’ve all seen the picture of him with the hand around the waist of Virginia Roberts, who was I think 17 in that photo ... I’m not jumping to any conclusions about him. But I do think it’s highly suspicious and he should not be able to just give a statement and then hide behind his statement." She insisted, "All of the enablers should be afraid. If you helped Jeffrey Epstein abuse girls and women, you should be very concerned."
“Epstein: Devil In Darkness” is produced by the creators of “Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood,” one of the most downloaded podcast series of 2018. The series was also named to Apple Podcasts’ Most Downloaded New Shows of 2018 and received a 2019 Webby Best Series honoree nod from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
“Epstein: Devil In Darkness” releases new episodes every Thursday.