Prince Andrew named in US 'sex slave' case
In a statement Friday, Buckingham Palace in London denied the allegations, made in a motion filed by her lawyers on Monday in US District Court in West Palm Beach, Florida.
A plaintiff identified as “Jane Doe #3” alleges she was “forced to have sexual relations” with the Duke of York in London, New York and the Caribbean at the behest of Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein, a known friend of the prince, was convicted in 2008 of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution and served a prison term.
This week’s motion was not the first time Andrew’s name had been linked to the case, but the allegations were serious enough for the British royal family to issue a formal denial.
“This relates to long-running and ongoing civil proceedings in the US to which the Duke of York is not a party,” a spokesman said.
“However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.”
“Jane Doe #3” made the claim in a motion to be included in an ongoing civil case that accuses federal prosecutors of cutting a plea-bargain deal with Epstein without consulting his victims, in violation of the US Crime Victims Rights’ Act.
Epstein was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to a single Florida state charge of soliciting prostitution. He remains a registered sex offender.
– Caribbean ‘orgy’ alleged –
The filing alleges Epstein forced “Jane Doe #3” to have sexual relations with Andrew in London, New York and on the financier’s private Caribbean island during an orgy with other underaged girls.
“Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 that she was to give the Prince whatever he demanded and required Jane Doe #3 to report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse,” the document states.
No dates for the purported sexual encounters were given, but the woman claimed she was Epstein’s sex slave from 1999 through 2002.
Others named in the filing include Alan Dershowitz, one of Epstein’s defense lawyers, with whom “Jane Doe #3” was allegedly forced to have sex with on several occasions — a claim he denied.
The Harvard Law School professor, who is one of America’s most prominent jurists, said Friday he could easily prove the claim to be untrue.
Speaking to AFP, he accused “Jane Doe #3” of “filing a false and malicious legal proceeding” in an attempt to extort money from his former client.
Dershowitz challenged the woman to file criminal charges against him. He said he also planned to act swiftly to have her lawyers disbarred for unethical conduct.
– Story ‘made up’ –
“I know with one million percent certainty that the story about me is made up,” he said. “I am squeaky clean and I will fight back because I have nothing to hide.”
Fifth in line to the British throne, Andrew, 54, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, was Britain’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment for 10 years until 2011.
Among Americans, he is best known as the ex-husband of Sarah Ferguson, 55, popularly known as Fergie. The couple, who have two children, divorced in 1996 but remain close friends. -AFP