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22 Jan, 2023 22:04

Epstein confidant suggests Prince Andrew photo is fake – media

Ghislaine Maxwell has denied introducing the royal to alleged sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre
Epstein confidant suggests Prince Andrew photo is fake – media

Ghislaine Maxwell, the former British socialite convicted of trafficking underage girls for notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has claimed that a photo purporting to show Prince Andrew with his young sexual-assault accuser, Virginia Giuffre, is fake.

“I have no memory of them meeting, and I don’t think the picture is real,” Maxwell said in a jailhouse interview with British broadcaster Jeremy Kyle. “It’s a fake. I don’t believe it’s real for a second. In fact, I’m sure it’s not.”

Excerpts from the interview, which show Maxwell talking by telephone from a federal prison in Florida, were released this weekend. The UK’s TalkTV is scheduled to air the full interview on Monday.

Maxwell added that she’s only seen photocopies of the infamous image, which appears to show Prince Andrew with his arm around the bare midriff of Giuffre, then 17, and Maxwell smiling in the background.

Andrew also has questioned the authenticity of the photo, which was allegedly taken at Maxwell’s London home in March 2001, and claimed that he had no recollection of meeting Giuffre. Then known as Virginia Roberts, Giuffre alleged that Epstein trafficked her and forced her to have sex with his friends, including three encounters with the Duke of York. Epstein died in a New York City jail cell in August 2019, allegedly by hanging himself.

Maxwell was convicted of helping to recruit and groom young girls for Epstein, among other offenses, and was sentenced last June to 20 years in prison. Asked about Epstein in the TalkTV interview, she said, “I feel completely divorced from the person that people reference and talk about in all the various newspaper articles and TV shows and podcasts.”

Andrew was stripped of his royal patronages and honorary military titles last year, after agreeing to pay an undisclosed sum to charity to settle Giuffre’s civil lawsuit. However, he has never admitted guilt, and he’s reportedly seeking to get the civil settlement overturned by the court.

Last November, Giuffre dropped a separate lawsuit against Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, another Epstein-related person whom she had accused of sexual assault. She said in a statement that she may have erred in identifying Dershowitz as one of the men who assaulted her.