Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘pimp’ Ghislaine Maxwell is in talks with a major US television network for a tell-all interview, it is claimed.
The British socialite, accused of procuring young girls for the paedophile financier, wants to defend Prince Andrew after his disastrous Newsnight interview.
Maxwell has been in hiding since billionaire Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August and is under investigation by the FBI.
She is expected to say Epstein’s former sex slave Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre, is lying about having sex with the duke three times as a teenager.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell pictured together at an event in March 2005
The British socialite (right, at an event with the prince, left) accused of procuring young girls for the paedophile financier, wants to defend Prince Andrew after his disastrous Newsnight interview
It comes after a photo emerged showing Epstein, Maxwell and disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein together at Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday party in 2006.
A source told The Sun: ‘Ghislaine is in hiding and knows the only way to stop being hunted is to speak on her own terms.
‘She will do a sit-down interview with a big US network and defend the duke. Apparently, she’ll say Virginia Giuffre is lying and Andrew never had sex with her.’
The 57-year-old daughter of disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell is said to be in constant contact with the prince.
The duke (left) is facing continued backlash over his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (right)
Last week it was reported that the pair have been communicating by phone and email through the scandal over the prince’s links to the convicted sex offender.
They claim there is an ‘unswerving loyalty’ between the pair, who both deny any wrongdoing despite their close relationships with Epstein.
Mother-of-three Ms Roberts, 36, has stated that Maxwell should be ‘rotting in jail’.
The photo of Epstein, Maxwell and Weinstein was taken in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
At the time of the party, hosted by Andrew, US police had already raided Epstein’s Florida mansion and prepared an arrest warrant for him to answer child-sex allegations.
The Duke of York has denied having slept with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts (pictured together) at the Belgravia home of Ghislaine Maxwell – who is accused of trafficking in young women for Epstein
Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at Beatrice’s 18th birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2006
Andrew, 59, has said he was not aware of the investigation or the warrant when he invited Epstein to Beatrice’s party, adding that he had been invited as socialite Miss Maxwell’s guest.
But the photo, which was published in the Sun on Sunday, raises fresh questions about the prince’s relationships with the rich and powerful and his apparent willingness to invite them into the heart of the British Establishment.
Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s rape trial is due to start next month. The 67-year-old has denied the charges against him, including a sexual assault in 2006 – the same year as Beatrice’s party.
The Duke of York was forced to step back from his public duties last month following a disastrous television interview about his friendship with Epstein.
A lawyer for several Epstein victims told The Sun on Sunday that a ‘fairly extensive investigation’ was under way into the financier’s depraved abuse of teenage girls by the time of Beatrice’s coming-of-age party.
Jack Scarola said: ‘It is absolutely certain that at the time of the Windsor Castle gathering, Jeffrey Epstein was aware an investigation was going on – a search warrant had been executed on his home.
‘I will leave it to others to judge whether it goes to the heart of concerns about the conduct of Prince Andrew.’
Several women want Andrew to be called as a witness over their claims they were abused by Epstein. They say the duke saw young women giving massages at Epstein’s homes in Florida and the Caribbean.
He has denied he saw anything suspicious and has repeatedly denied claims by one of the women, Virginia Roberts, that she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17.
Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s rape trial is due to start next month. The 67-year-old has denied the charges against him, including a sexual assault in 2006 – the same year as Beatrice’s party
The scandal forced the prince to resign from his patronages and royal duties, although there were reports yesterday that he planned to make his first public appearance on Christmas Day, by joining the Queen and other Royal Family members at the church service at Sandringham in Norfolk.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman told The Sunday Times: ‘The Duke of York is still part of the Royal Family and you can expect to see him at family occasions.’
The Palace refused to comment on the photograph of Epstein, Miss Maxwell and Weinstein at Beatrice’s party, which was a ‘private event’. The Queen threw the £400,000 party at Windsor for her granddaughter, although she and Prince Philip did not attend.
Some 400 guests were invited to the Victorian-themed masked ball, including Prince Edward and wife Sophie, and Peter and Zara Phillips.
Beatrice posed for a formal photograph with her father Andrew, mother Sarah Ferguson and younger sister Eugenie, taken against the same backdrop as the Epstein photograph.
Beatrice wore a £10,000 blue taffeta gown designed by Georgina Chapman, who later married Hollywood producer Weinstein.
Weinstein, who wore formal evening dress, has since been accused of sexually abusing and harassing several actresses and aides. He denies the allegations.
Epstein, who wore a US Navy dress uniform to the party, was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
His former girlfriend Miss Maxwell, who was pictured wearing a gold mask and feathered red head-dress, was invited to meet Andrew at Buckingham Palace earlier this year. During his disastrous Emily Maitlis interview on Newsnight, the duke denied they had discussed the Epstein scandal or Miss Roberts’ claims that she was forced into having sex with Andrew.
Miss Roberts, now a married mother-of-three, gave an extraordinary interview to the BBC’s Panorama – aired last week – in which she said she was ‘abused’ by Andrew and left feeling ‘ashamed and dirty’.
Her lawyer Mr Scarola said: ‘We want Prince Andrew to give evidence under oath and tell us all he knew about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.’
Andrew has said he would co-operate with law enforcement authorities ‘if required’.
How Duke of York’s meetings with Epstein including after he was sent to jail caused Prince Andrew decades of trouble
Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.
Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.
Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.
Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.
Andrew says he never had sex with Roberts and does not even remember ever meeting her.
No one but Roberts has gone on the record to verify her claims about Andrew specifically but she is among a group of Epstein victims now demanding apologies and answers from anyone who was associated with his lifestyle. Her ex-boyfriend from Tony Figueroa has said he knew of the photograph of them.
Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
He had negotiated a deal for himself which involved pleading guilty in exchange for just one year of prison time, during which he was allowed to leave to go to work everyday.
Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.
Years after the visit footage emerged, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.
Footage emerged, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing Andrew inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye
Andrew said in his 2019 BBC interview that he went to visit Epstein to end their friendship.
‘I took the judgement call that because this was serious, and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it, I had to go and see him and talk to him,’ he said. He previously described the trip as ‘a mistake.’
The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.
Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.
‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’
In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.
Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.
Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.
Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.
The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.
Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.
Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.
Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’
In November Andrew spoke publicly for the first time in a ‘no holds barred’ interview about his relationship with Epstein – denying he ever had sex with the financier’s ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts.
The Duke of York faced questions on BBC Newsnight where he maintained he did not recall meeting Miss Roberts and did not spend time with her at Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10 in 2001 after which she claims the pair first had sex.
The duke denied he slept with her on three separate occasions, saying the encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.