Prince Andrew’s assertion that he was “totally unaware” of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s lifestyle is “very hard” to sustain, a lawyer working for one of Epstein’s alleged victims has said.
David Boies told Sky News that he would consider bringing a lawsuit against the Duke of York – and urged him to “just come clean”.
But he said he would prefer to interview the prince informally, because that would be the best way for Andrew to “advance his interests” if he “really has nothing to hide”.
“Continuing to delay and obfuscate” is not in the his interests, Mr Boies warned, adding that “this is not going away” because there is “too much evidence”.
Mr Boies represents Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has previously alleged in court papers in Florida that she had sex with Andrew “three times, including one orgy” at Epstein’s home and on his private island in the Caribbean.
Speaking on Tuesday outside a court in New York, Ms Roberts Giuffre said the prince “knows what he’s done” and “I hope he comes clean about it”.
Prince Andrew has previously strenuously denied her claim he had sex with her.
Epstein, who killed himself in prison earlier this month, was arrested on 6 July and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of girls as young as 14.
In 2008, he pleaded guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution from a minor, was registered as a sex offender and handed an 18-month prison sentence.
Prince Andrew remained in contact with Epstein after he had served his time.
In a statement released at the weekend, the Duke of York said he did not “see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that led to Epstein’s arrest and conviction”.
The royal added that it “was a mistake and an error to see him [Epstein] after his release in 2010”.
He continued: “I met Mr Epstein in 1999. During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. I have stayed in a number of his residencies.
“I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour.”
Mr Boies told Sky News that the Duke of York and Epstein were “very close”.
Footage recently emerged of Prince Andrew inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2010.
The prince was “very comfortable” at the property, Mr Boies said, and “knew that there were young women coming and going”.
The lawyer added: “The testimony of people at the mansion is that nobody could be at that mansion and not understand that Jeffrey Epstein had a number of unusual relationships with young women.”
Making an appeal to the prince, Mr Boies said: “I think that if he would sit down and talk to us and let everything come out and as our client said yesterday – just come clean… Now is the time to do it.”
During his interview with Sky News, Mr Boies also mentioned the “picture that everybody has seen with him [the prince] and Virginia Roberts Giuffre [top of story]”, adding: “That has to have an explanation. He can’t say he didn’t know her. He can’t say he wasn’t friendly with her – I think it’s hard to look at that picture and say that you had no idea that she was young.”
There were photographs all over the Manhattan house of partially clothed and unclothed young women, the lawyer said.
He continued: “There were frequent ‘massages’ that were obviously sexual massages that people were aware of there.
“I think it’s very hard to take the position that you were close and friendly and treating the mansion as your home away from home and yet you were totally unaware of what was going on there.”
Regarding potential legal action, Mr Boies said he had asked to interview the prince and was willing to travel to London.
But he added: “One of the options is to bring a lawsuit. I think we and other counsel in the US are exploring what the options and possibilities are – I hope we don’t have to go down that road but we’d be willing to consider it.”
He added that it would be better for everybody connected to the Epstein scandal for the facts to be made public, “even if the facts are not particularly attractive from his [the prince’s] standpoint”.