Duke of York reported to police by Republic after claims of sexual assault resurface
The Duke of York has been reported to the police by the campaign group Republic after allegations of sexual assault resurfaced in unsealed court documents.
Graham Smith, chief executive of Republic, urged the Metropolitan Police to reopen investigations and called on the King to make a public statement and take questions from the press on the matter.
Andrew, 63, who has previously strenuously denied the allegations, paid millions a year ago to settle a civil case out of court with Virginia Giuffre with no admission of guilt after she accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.
The development is a fresh setback for the late Queen’s second son who, just 10 days ago, walked to church on Christmas Day with the King and the rest of the royal family, symbolising his gradual rehabilitation within the monarchy after his public appearance at his brother’s coronation in his garter robes in May.
Allegations Andrew had an orgy with underage girls and touched a woman’s breast while posing with a puppet of himself have hit the headlines again after appearing in legal documents relating to the scandal surrounding billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The duke is mentioned more than 70 times in nearly 1,000 pages of interviews and transcripts released in the US in connection with a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell, who was jailed for sex trafficking young girls for Epstein.
The names of more than 170 people who were either associates, friends or victims of Epstein are being made public following a judge’s order last month, including high-profile figures such as former US president Bill Clinton.
Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarchy group Republic, said on Thursday that he had reported Andrew to the police, accusing the Met of failing to conduct a serious criminal investigation into the case.
The force said in August 2022 that it was taking no further action over allegations made against Epstein and that any future probes into human trafficking by the sex offender were focused on activities outside the UK.
It also previously said it stood by its 2015 decision not to investigate claims by Ms Giuffre that she was sex trafficked to London by Epstein.
Mr Smith said: “To date, there appears to have been no serious criminal investigation, no interview of the accused or other witnesses, and no clear justification for taking no action.
“I am calling on the Met Police to reopen this case, I am calling on MPs to debate this affair in Parliament, and I am calling on Charles to make a public statement, in front of the press and taking questions, to respond to these allegations and what they say about the monarchy.
“How can we not expect a response from the Government and head of state? At the time of the alleged offences, Andrew was a government trade ambassador and an active member of the royal family.
“They fudged and obfuscated for 11 years before taking any definitive action.”
Mr Smith added: “The question many people will be asking is simple: if the accused were anyone else, do we believe they wouldn’t have been investigated and prosecuted?”
Buckingham Palace, which no longer speaks on behalf of the duke after he stepped down as a working royal in 2019 over his friendship with Epstein, has not commented on the documents.
Evidence from Johanna Sjoberg, who worked for Epstein as a masseuse, alleged Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside Epstein’s Manhattan apartment as he posed for a photo with a caricature of himself in 2001.
The claim, which has been alleged previously, is thought to refer to a Spitting Image puppet of the duke.
Ms Sjoberg said, while giving evidence in May 2016: “Ghislaine told me to come upstairs, and we went into a closet and pulled out the puppet, the caricature of Prince Andrew, and brought it down.
“And there was a little tag on the puppet that said ‘Prince Andrew’ on it, and that’s when I knew who he was.”
Ms Sjoberg was asked what the puppet looked like and replied: “It looked like him.
“And she brought it down and presented it to him; and that was a great joke, because apparently it was a production from a show on BBC.
“And they decided to take a picture with it, in which Virginia and Andrew sat on a couch.
“They put the puppet on Virginia’s lap, and I sat on Andrew’s lap, and they put the puppet’s hand on Virginia’s breast, and Andrew put his hand on my breast, and they took a photo.”
Other mentions of the duke include previous allegations that Epstein “forced Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with was a member of the British Royal Family, Prince Andrew (a/k/a Duke of York)” at three locations including on Epstein’s private island “in an orgy with numerous other under-aged girls”.
The document claimed that Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 to give Andrew “whatever he demanded” and that Maxwell “facilitated Prince Andrew’s acts of sexual abuse by acting as a ‘madame’ for Epstein”.
Ms Giuffre has claimed she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17 and a minor under US law at Maxwell’s London home, in Epstein’s New York home and during an orgy with Epstein at Caribbean island.
She was questioned over the whereabouts of the famous photograph showing her with the duke, who has his arm around her, with Maxwell grinning in the background.
Ms Giuffre added it may have been in storage boxes that were “full of Nerf guns, my kids’ toys, photos” at her mother and father-in-law’s home in Sydney, Australia.
She said she gave the picture to the FBI in 2011 but had last seen it before she packed up her home to emigrate to Australia from Colorado.
Among the documents appears to be an email sent by Maxwell expressing her fears she would be questioned about her own relationship with Andrew.
It reads: “I have already suffered such a terrible and painful loss over the last few days that I can’t even see what life after press hell even looks like – statements that don’t address all just lead to more questions… what is my relationship to Clinton? Andrew on and on.”
In Maxwell’s videotaped deposition in 2016, she claimed she could only recall the duke visiting Jeffrey Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands once.
The Met Police and representatives of the duke have been approached for a comment.
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