Prince Andrew, brother of Prince Charles and Prince Edward, is involved in a royal sex scandal — and it doesn’t involve ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Rather, a Florida teen has claimed that she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York.
Here’s the lowdown: Andrew was once friends with billionaire investment banker Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is a convicted sex offender. A motion was filed last week in connection to a 2008 lawsuit by a woman claiming Epstein loaned her out to other wealthy, powerful men — including the Duke.
Andrew left his skiing holiday in Switzerland on Sunday as new claims have emerged. The woman who was initially known as Jane Doe 3 in The Guardian has revealed her identify: Virginia Roberts, now 30. She alleges she was the 17-year-old “sex slave” to Epstein and alleges he paid her £10,000 as a “reward” for sleeping with the Duke in 2001, and that he had sex with her after she gave him an “erotic massage” in New York. Roberts is now writing a book about her experiences.
A Palace spokesperson first called the claims “categorically untrue,” adding, “This relates to long-running and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States to which the Duke of York is not a party. As such we would not comment in detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”
The Palace has since issued another formal statement, with more specifics. “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
While the Palace conceded that the case “isn’t going to go away,” the Duke has likely already sat down with the Queen to discuss the matter. Her Majesty will give her son her full support but the worst may be yet to come as Scotland Yard has confirmed it would investigate Roberts’ claims if she makes a formal complaint.
Roberts told The Guardian, which first reported the story, that she is being “unjustly victimized,” adding, “These types of aggressive attacks on me are exactly the reason why sexual abuse victims typically remain silent and the reason why I did for a long time. That trend should change. I’m not going to be bullied back into silence.”
Beatrice and Eugenie‘s father has not commented directly, though in a 2011 article in Vanity Fair, he staunchly denied having sexual contact with women associated with Epstein. Fasten your seatbelts; it’s about to get bumpy.