- The acting US attorney in New York said on Thursday: "We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us," after the FBI arrested Ghislaine Maxwell in their on-going sex-trafficking investigation against Jeffrey Epstein.
- Ghislaine Maxwell has been accused by several women of procuring them for the convicted sex offender who died awaiting trial in August.
- Prince Andrew had a close friendship with both Epstein and Maxwell and visited their homes which prosecutors named as locations where victims "were groomed and/or abused".
Jeffrey Epstein's ex-girlfriend and confidante, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on Thursday.
The British socialite was accused by several women claiming she helped procure and recruit them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into having sex, reports News24. This is the first time the 58-year-old is being charged as the investigation into the financier, who died in August as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges, continues.
The charges against Maxwell include two counts of perjury, or lying to investigators, conspiracy, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illicit sex acts – with prosecutors saying she was well aware of Epstein's preference for minors – and transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
She has denied the claims that have been made against her.
According to ITV News, Prince Andrew's name was brought up during proceedings once again, and though there are no charges against him, he's been asked on numerous occasions to assist in the investigation and allegedly failed to do so. The US filed an official request to speak to the Duke of York in June.
On Thursday when asked if the FBI managed to speak to Prince Andrew yet, Audrey Strauss, the acting US attorney in New York replied: "We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us. We would like to have the benefit of his statement. Our doors remain open as we've previously said."
A source close to the royal said in response: "The Duke's team remains bewildered given we have twice communicated with the Department of Justice in the last month and to-date we have had no response."
Though expressing regret, the Duke of York has spoken openly about his friendship with Epstein as well as Maxwell, admitting to inviting the socialite to a shooting weekend at Sandringham in the past.
He also visited and stayed at the properties of both Epstein and Maxwell before – three of which were reportedly named on Thursday as locations where victims "were groomed and/or abused".