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Prince Andrew's Epstein and Maxwell links ‘horrifically ill-advised,' minister tells LBC
19 January 2022, 08:16 | Updated: 19 January 2022, 13:30
A minister today told LBC Prince Andrew's associations with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell were "horrifically ill-advised."
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Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told Nick Ferrari at Breakfast Prince Andrew has been moved “out of public view.”
“My personal reflection is his associations are horrifically ill-advised, and he caused enormous challenge for the royal family in a year when we should be celebrating the extraordinary service of Her Majesty the Queen as she reaches her platinum Jubilee.
“I’m also a minister of the crown and it would be inappropriate for me to give any further comment which might risk being too colourful."
Andrew has been stripped of his honorary military titles by his mother and has stopped using his HRH style as he faces a civil sexual assault case, which he strongly denies.
Calls have also been made for Andrew to lose his York dukedom, which was given to him by his mother on his wedding day in 1986.
Virginia Giuffre is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
She claims she was trafficked by the duke's friend, convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
The duke has strenuously denied the allegations. Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking charges in December.
Last week it emerged Ms Giuffre is seeking witness accounts from the Duke's former assistant and a woman who claims to have seen the royal in Tramp nightclub.
She is asking the UK courts to help with obtaining testimony after her lawsuit against Andrew took a major step forward when a judge threw out a motion by the duke's lawyers to dismiss the case and ruled it can go to trial.
Ms Giuffre is requesting testimony from Andrew's former equerry Robert Olney and a woman called Shukri Walker.
Documents submitted by Ms Giuffre's legal team say that Mr Olney's name appears in Jeffrey Epstein's phone book under "Duke of York".
They say this means it is likely Mr Olney has relevant information about Andrew's travel to and from Epstein's properties during the relevant period.
The documents say Ms Walker has stated publicly in the press that she was a witness to Andrew's presence at Tramp during the relevant time period with a young woman who may have been Ms Giuffre.
The documents say: "Ms Walker has therefore stated herself that she is a potential witness, and would thus be relevant to this dispute because plaintiff contends that defendant abused her in London after visiting Tramp together, while defendant denies being at Tramp on the night in question or having ever met Plaintiff."