The Duke of York arranged a meeting with Maxwell, who is accused of procuring underage girls for Epstein, while she was in Britain for a glamourous supercar rally with the wife of Pink Floyd’s drummer, it can be revealed.
On Saturday’s BBC interview with Emily Maitlis, Andrew acknowledged meeting Maxwell but denied they discussed Epstein – despite the fact US prosecutors had in February reopened their probe into the paedophile and his plea deal.
US lawmakers were also calling for Epstein to face fresh criminal charges. He was arrested on July 6, a month after Maxwell and Andrew’s meeting in London.
Andrew and Maxwell met up on or about June 5, the day before she set off on the Cash & Rocket charity motoring rally from London.
Maxwell joined a host of celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Chloe Green for the glitzy all-woman supercar rally, which finished four days later in Monaco.
She was conspicuously absent from publicity photographs taken during the high-profile event, and all reference to her was deleted from the rally’s website today.
The 57-year-old British socialite shared car number 28 with Nettie Mason, the wife of Pink Floyd rock star Nick Mason, for the duration of the event.
Her involvement in the rally is thought to be the last time she visited the UK, before her disappearance from public view amid the FBI inquiry into her links with Epstein.
During Andrew’s ‘disastrous’ interview with the BBC on Saturday, presenter Emily Maitlis pressed the prince on the last time he met with his long-time friend Maxwell.
He replied: ‘It was earlier this year, funnily enough, in the summer, in the spring, summer. She was here doing some rally.’
When asked by Maitlis if their meeting had taken place after Epstein’s arrest in July, Andrew said: ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no, this was… this was early spring.’
Maitlis then enquired whether or not the duke and Maxwell had discussed Epstein and the allegations against him during their meeting.
He added: ‘Funnily enough, no, not at all. There wasn’t anything to discuss about him because he wasn’t in the news, you know, it was just… we had moved on.’
While Epstein was not be arrested for another month, the US Department of Justice had revealed plans in February to review a plea deal given to the paedophile.
He had escaped sex trafficking charges in 2008 after a secret arrangement with prosecutors saw him admit to a lesser charge of soliciting a minor for prostitution.
He was arrested once again in July after members of Congress called for the sex trafficking allegations to be reviewed. He was found hanging in his cell in August.
Andrew is now facing intense pressure to speak with prosecutors about his friendship with Epstein.
Last night the Queen effectively sacked Andrew from Royal duties, summoning the distraught Duke of York to Buckingham Palace to learn his fate.
He issued a statement confirming he was, with his mother’s permission, ‘stepping down’ from his public role.
It came after his BBC interview triggered days of catastrophic headlines and caused a string of businesses and charities to desert him.
Following lengthy discussions with the Prince of Wales, who is touring New Zealand, the Queen summoned Andrew to Buckingham Palace and told him to step down.
The 59-year-old prince and his team – led by private secretary Amanda Thirsk – knew speaking publicly about the Epstein scandal was a huge gamble.
But they felt backed into a corner following repeated claims by Virginia Roberts Giuffre that she was ‘trafficked’ by Epstein to have sex with the Queen’s son on three occasions.
Prince Andrew and Maxwell have both strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
Details of Ms Giuffre’s claims against the prince were later struck from court records when a judge ruled they were ‘immaterial and impertinent’ to the ‘central claim’.
This morning it was reported that hundreds of Epstein associates could be named in court papers which Maxwell is trying to keep secret.
Lawyers for Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre have asked for the records from a 2015 court case to be unsealed.
Federal judge Loretta Preska revealed in September that there were ‘literally a thousand people’ mentioned in some of the documents.
In a letter obtained by Law and Crime, Maxwell’s lawyers have asked for more time from a federal court as they try to block the release.
‘We respectfully submit that we simply cannot complete the task within the time allotted,’ they wrote.
‘To identify the names of the dozens if not hundreds of [third parties] requires a substantial number of hours and cannot be completed by the deadline.
‘We submit there is good cause for a 30-day extension of time.’
The sealed documents date back to a 2015 defamation case between Roberts and Maxwell. As a result of Giuffre’s allegations and Maxwell’s comments about them, Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation in federal court in New York in September 2015. The case was eventually settled under seal in June 2017 with Maxwell reportedly paying Giuffre “millions”. This just goes to show how beneficial it can be if you contact a California defamation lawyer if someone says things about you which cause harm to your livelihood or your reputation.
More than 2,000 pages of court documents have already been released and lawyers for Roberts want even more material unsealed.
The trove of court filings includes more than two dozen depositions in which hundreds of third parties are mentioned by name.
The records also include hundreds of pages of investigative reports, said Maxwell’s attorney Jeff Pagliuca.
‘In some of these documents there are literally a thousand people’ mentioned, said federal judge Loretta Preska.
An attorney for one of those people warned in September that the documents may contain ‘life-changing’ disclosures.
A federal court had ordered attorneys for both sides to submit their arguments by November 19 but Maxwell’s lawyers now say they need more time.
The documents which were released in September showed that Epstein repeatedly refused to answer questions about alleged abuse.
Epstein pleaded his Fifth Amendment rights when he was asked whether Maxwell had brought him underage girls.
Roberts accuses Maxwell of recruiting young women for Epstein and of taking part in the abuse herself.
She launched the defamation suit in 2015 after claiming that Maxwell had subjected her to ‘public ridicule’ by allegedly calling her a liar.
‘My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,’ Roberts said in one of the papers.
Maxwell denies all the allegations and the case was settled.
Epstein died in a Manhattan jail on August 10 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, which he denied.
At the time of Epstein’s arrest, prosecutors said they found a trove of pictures of nude and seminude young women and girls at his $77million Manhattan mansion.
The billionaire financier was already a convicted pedophile after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida.
However, he was jailed for only 18 months after striking a controversial plea agreement with prosecutors which was kept secret at the time.
Duke of York’s annual meetings with Epstein including after he was sent to jail
Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.
Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.
Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.
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.
Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.
Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.
The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.
Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A 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.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.
‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’
In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.
Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.
Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.
Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.
The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.
Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.
Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.
Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’
2019 series of events
February: The US Department of Justice reveals its intention to review a plea deal given to Jeffrey Epstein. He had escaped sex trafficking charges in 2008 after a secret arrangement with prosecutors saw him admit to a lesser charge of soliciting a minor for prostitution. US lawmakers call for him to face federal criminal charges for sex trafficking minors.
March: Virginia Roberts Giuffre has her appeal heard in relation to the district judge’s refusal to unseal documents relating to a 2017 defamation settlement between her and Maxwell. Giuffre’s testifies that she was directed by Maxwell to give erotic massages and engage in sexual activities with Prince Andrew, among others.
April: A new accuser named Maria Farmer files a sworn affidavit in A federal court in New York in which she alleges that she and her 15-year-old sister were sexually assaulted by Epstein and Maxwell in 1996.
June: Prince Andrew and Maxwell meet in London on or about June 5. A day later she goes on a charity rally to Monaco.
July: Epstein is arrested in New Jersey on July 6. Two days later he is charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex.
August: Epstein is found dead in his cell in New York on August 10.