Buckingham Palace has responded to claims that Prince Andrew repeatedly had sex with an underage sex slave over a three-year period. "Suggestion of impropriety with minors untrue," the statement from Buckingham Palace said.
The claims surfaced in a lawsuit filed in U.S. court that alleges Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had repeated sexual relations with an underage sex slave who was trafficked to a number of wealthy men by American financier Jeffrey Epstein. The woman alleges she was flown to London, New York and the Caribbean by Epstein, and forced to have sex with the Duke of York, the Guardian reported.
The allegations came to light in documents submitted to a court in relation to the legal battle between U.S. prosecutors and Epstein's alleged victims. In the papers, the woman alleges that Epstein sexually exploited her between 1999 and 2002. She claims that she was 17 when she had sex with the prince.
Epstein, a former banker for Bear Stearns, and the Prince were reportedly friends until the prince broke off contact in 2009, after the banker was sentenced to 18 months in prison for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl at his Florida mansion in 2008.
Some of the allegations against Epstein were refuted by attorney Alan Dershowitz, who told the Guardian accusations against Epstein were "totally false and made up." Dershowitz also said that the claims had been fabricated to extort money from Epstein.
Epstein reached out-of-court settlements with other women over alleged sexual offenses, but two others, who were given the names Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 in the latest court documents, are suing federal prosecutors for failing to tell them about Epstein's 2008 plea deal. Two further women, including the one who claims to have been abused by Prince Andrew, have also come forward with allegations against Epstein.
After the allegations were originally reported, Buckingham Palace said it wouldn't comment on an ongoing legal matter, but later released a statement saying that the allegations against Prince Andrew were false. "This relates to long-running and ongoing civil proceedings in the U.S. to which the Duke of York is not a party," said a Buckingham Palace spokesman, according to the Telegraph. "As such we would not comment on the detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue."