Fresh scrutiny around Prince Andrew’s ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has erupted after the unsealing of new court documents that allege the royal attended an “underage orgy” and groped a woman with a hand puppet.
The revelations have prompted renewed demands for the Duke of York to face a formal police investigation over his links to the disgraced financier.
Anti-Monarchy Group Files New Police Report About Prince Andrew
Republic, an anti-monarchy pressure group, said it made a formal complaint to London’s Metropolitan Police seeking a full investigation after Prince Andrew was named in the court papers released on January 3rd.
The group argues that there is enough evidence for police to investigate the prince’s conduct, including his acknowledged stay at Epstein’s New York mansion in 2010 after the financier’s first conviction.
“We’ve made the report because the police have said in the past that they wanted to consider any fresh evidence,” said Graham Smith, Republic’s chief executive. *He added that the recently released court papers are *”strong enough grounds on their own”.
Since facing intense public criticism over his friendship with Epstein, the prince has denied knowledge of the financier’s sexual misconduct. But one of Epstein’s long-time accusers, Virginia Giuffre, has said she was forced to have sex with Andrew in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island between 1999 and 2002, when she says Epstein kept her as a “sex slave.”
New Documents Allege Andrew Attended ‘Underage Orgy’, Groped Woman
The trove of documents recently unsealed in New York include a claim from a woman that Prince Andrew groped her using a puppet that resembled him.
Johanna Sjoberg said the incident took place at Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2001 when she was 21 years old. She said Andrew touched her breast with the puppet as they sat on a couch with Giuffre.
“Prince Andrew was using the puppet to grope Giuffre and Johanna Sjoberg,” the court documents state.
The files also feature allegations from Steve Scully, a former worker for Epstein, that Andrew attended an “underage orgy” on the late financier’s private island.
Scully claims Giuffre told him she had sex with the Duke of York after an erotic massage by a Russian woman in Epstein’s private beach cabana. Scully says Epstein hosted multiple such parties on Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands – events Andrew has firmly denied attending.
The latest revelations have only increased calls for Andrew to be thoroughly investigated over his relationship with Epstein, who died by suicide in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Scotland Yard Under Pressure to Probe Prince
While London’s Metropolitan Police previously reviewed allegations connected to Andrew, the force has now faced demands to launch a new investigation in light of the recently released court documents.
The Met said in 2020 that it was standing by its previous decision to take no further investigative action over claims relating to the prince and Epstein. At the time, Commander Alex Murray said no further action was being taken because “our reviews concluded there is no existing information to suggest that an investigation will further the criminal justice interest.”
But pressure is mounting on the Met to reexamine the claims against Andrew after he was prominently named in the newly unsealed records.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said the latest trove of revelations amounted to “significant new material coming into the public domain.”
He argued that “it’s very important that the Met and other authorities look very carefully at these accusations that have been made.”
Release of Documents Puts Andrew’s Return to Public Life in Doubt
The royal family has been tight-lipped since Prince Andrew was again linked to Jeffrey Epstein in the recently released court papers, underlining the sensitivity surrounding a scandal that led to Andrew renouncing his official duties.
While Andrew has hoped to make a gradual comeback and take on unofficial roles supporting his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, experts said the newly released accusations make any kind of public rehabilitation all but impossible.
Royal historian Robert Hazell said Andrew’s reported ambitions for rebuilding his image and supporting the royal family have likely been “severely hampered, if not scotched” by the expose of damning claims against him.
“It will make it impossible for him to be rehabilitated in any kind of normal royal role,” Hazell said. “The kindest thing you could say is he remains a loose cannon.”
Timeline: Prince Andrew’s Ties to Jeffrey Epstein
Prince Andrew first meets Epstein through businesswoman Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s long-time associate. Andrew and Epstein are photographed together in Maxwell’s London home later that year.
Andrew, Maxwell and Epstein are seen on holiday in Thailand. The prince reportedly meets Johanna Sjoberg, who later accuses him of groping her with a puppet at Epstein’s New York mansion.
Andrew stays at Epstein’s New York home shortly after the financier’s release from prison following a conviction for prostitution-related charges involving a minor.
Allegations surface that Andrew had sex with Virginia Giuffre when she was 17 years old after being trafficked by Epstein. The claims prompt intense public criticism of Andrew’s links to Epstein.
Prince Andrew gives a disastrous BBC interview addressing his relationship with Epstein. In the following days, he steps down from public royal duties amid increasing outcry.
Virginia Giuffre drops the sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew after reaching an out-of-court settlement, sparking speculation that Andrew hopes to return to royal life in a limited capacity.
Andrew is named in newly unsealed court documents which contain graphic details about his alleged sexual encounters linked to Epstein and fresh claims he attended an “underage orgy.” The revelations attract fierce condemnation and renewed scrutiny around the long-running scandal.
What Next For Prince Andrew?
The recently released allegations create yet another crisis for the British royal family regarding Prince Andrew at a time when King Charles hopes to steer the monarchy in a more modern direction centered around a slimmed-down core of senior royals meeting public duties.
While police appear unlikely to open a new criminal probe without further evidence coming to light, the severity of the graphic claims whirling around Andrew present a monumental challenge for his already shattered reputation.
Even if the Duke avoids facing new legal proceedings, the Epstein scandal will continue to severely limit Prince Andrew’s ability to ever return to public life as a working member of the royal family.
For the embattled prince once dubbed “Randy Andy” in the British press, any aspirations for redeeming his image as a dedicated public servant now appear decidedly out of reach.
Table: Key Recent Developments in Prince Andrew Scandal
|Jan 3, 2023
|Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed alleging Andrew’s sexual encounters with minors and attendance at “underage orgy” parties hosted by Epstein
|Most damaging claims yet directly linking Andrew to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring
|Jan 5, 2023
|Anti-monarchy group Republic files new police complaint about Andrew
|Increases pressure on London Met Police to reexamine claims against Andrew
|Jan 5, 2023
|Labour Party leader Keir Starmer calls on Met Police to investigate claims in newly released Epstein documents
|Highlights demands for new criminal probe into allegations against Andrew
|Jan 5, 2023
|Royal experts say latest allegations make Andrew’s return to public duties near impossible
|Scandal continues to cause severe damage to Andrew’s reputation and status within royal family
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