The Duke of York has said he is “appalled” by recent sex abuse claims surrounding his former friend Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew released a statement after new footage emerged showing him inside the convicted paedophile’s Manhattan mansion in 2010.
The video, obtained by MailOnline, was reportedly shot on December 6 2010, around the time Andrew was photographed with disgraced billionaire Epstein in New York’s Central Park.
It shows the duke looking out from a large door of the mansion waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get in a chauffeur-driven car.
A Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.
“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
Andrew has been dogged by accusations of a lack of judgment about his links with Epstein.
The duke quit his role as UK trade envoy after fallout from the the Central Park photos.
Buckingham Palace has issued strong denials over claims from a woman who said she was forced to have under-age sex with the duke.
Virginia Roberts alleged in court papers 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.
She alleged she had sex with Andrew “three times, including one orgy” in London, at Epstein’s New York home, and at an “orgy” on his private island in the Caribbean.
But Buckingham Palace has branded the allegations “false and without any foundation”, stating: “Any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors” by the duke was “categorically untrue”.
An inquest found Epstein,66, killed himself in his jail cell in New York earlier this month after being charged with sex trafficking.
How did Jeffrey Epstein die?
The New York City medical examiner announced on Friday that Jeffrey Epstein’s death in a federal jail cell was suicide, confirming he had hanged himself.
Conspiracy theories have proliferated on social media around Epstein’s death – including one shared by Donald Trump – one of the high-profile figures who were close to Epstein’s social circle, as well as former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.
But the chief medical examiner in New York City, Dr. Barbara Sampson, insisted after a “careful review of all investigative information,” Epstein’s death was “suicide” by “hanging.”
Three of Mr. Epstein’s lawyers, Martin G. Weinberg, Reid Weingarten and Michael Miller, have challenged this and said they would carry out their own investigation.
“We are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner,” said the lawyers, who had hired a private pathologist to observe the autopsy.
Prison guards on their morning rounds found the paedophile tycoon at the centre of a sex trafficking investigation at about 6:30 AM last Saturday.
Epstein appeared to have died after tying a bedsheet to the top of a set of bunk beds, then kneeling downwards with enough force that he broke several bones in his neck, officials said.
Key dates in controversial relationship between Duke of York and Jeffrey Epstein
Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide has renewed scrutiny of his relationship with the Duke of York.
Here is a timeline of the controversy that has surrounded the pair:
– 1990s: The Duke of York is reportedly introduced to American financier Jeffrey Epstein through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.
– 2000: Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. In return, the Duke reportedly invited Epstein to stay at Sandringham, Balmoral and Windsor Castle.
– 2001: 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.
– 2008: Epstein is sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after agreeing a plea bargain over child prostitution charges.
– 2011: Following Epstein’s release from prison, Andrew is photographed with him in New York. The Duke quits his role as UK trade envoy as a result.
– January 2 2015: Buckingham Palace denies the Duke has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. The 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.
– January 3: Buckingham Palace issues a second denial that the Duke had sexual contact with a woman who claims she was forced to have under-age sex with him, branding the allegations “false and without any foundation”.
– January 4: Andrew flies back to the UK from a ski resort in Verbier, Switzerland, following widespread reports of the under-age sex allegations facing him.
– January 13: The Duke of York’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson defends him against “shockingly accusatory allegations” that he had sex with an under-age teenager, telling US TV show Today the family stood by the denial issued by Buckingham Palace.
– January 21: Lawyers for Ms Roberts formally request that he respond to her allegations under oath.
– January 22: The Duke publicly denies allegations he had sex with an under-age teenager in an address to guests at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
– July 7 2019: Epstein is arrested in New York on sex trafficking charges. Officials say the charges involve allegations that date to the early 2000s.
– July 12 2019: President Donald Trump’s Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta resigns following criticism of his handling of the 2008 plea deal with Epstein. Mr Acosta was the US attorney in Miami when he oversaw the non-prosecution agreement.
– August 9 2019: A US judge unseals legal documents which reveal Andrew was accused of touching the breast of “young college student” Johanna Sjoberg at Epstein’s home in 2001. The files relate to the defamation case that Virginia Roberts – now known as Virginia Giuffre – brought against Ms Maxwell in 2015. Buckingham Palace says the allegations are “categorically untrue”.
– August 10 2019: Epstein is reported to have been found dead from an apparent suicide at the Manhattan Correctional Center in New York. He was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.