Ghislaine Maxwell ‘sat on Buckingham Palace throne during tour arranged by Prince Andrew’

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  • July 4, 2020
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Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell sat on a throne during a private tour of Buckingham Palace organised by the Duke of York, it has been reported.

A photo obtained by the Telegraph appears to show the British socialite reclining on the seat beside actor Keven Spacey in 2002.

The paper said that the pair were on a private tour of the palace organised by the Prince Andrew for former US president Bill Clinton.

It emerged after Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire by the FBI on Thursday over allegations she helped disgraced financier Epstein ‘identify, befriend and groom’ a number of teenage girls, including one as young as 14.

It is not thought the deceased paedophile billionaire was on the palace tour when the picture was taken and Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the visit.

Meanwhile, the duke has been urged to provide information in relation to the investigation after his friend Maxwell appeared in court accused of facilitating Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.

Acting US attorney for the southern district of New York Audrey Strauss told a press conference authorities would ‘welcome’ a statement.

Representing some of Epstein’s victims, lawyer Gloria Allred accused the duke of ‘avoiding and evading’ authorities by not providing a statement after his former friend Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in court.

Pressure has been piling him to speak to investigators in the US after Epstein was faced with a series of sex trafficking charges in July last year before his aparent suicide in a New York jail cell the following month.

But a source close to Andrew said: ‘The duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the last month and to date we have had no response.’

Another lawyer, Spencer Coogan, said his clients were ‘relieved’ that Maxwell, daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell, had finally been arrested and urged Andrew to speak up about what he witnessed while visiting Epstein’s properties in New York, Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today programme, he said: ‘I certainly think Prince Andrew has a story to tell. On behalf of the victims we have continuously asked him to step forward, step up, be a man and tell us what he knows.’

At a brief hearing on Thursday, a magistrate judge ordered Maxwell to remain in custody while she is transferred to New York for a detention hearing.

Ms Strauss claimed that the socialite had helped Epstein to exploit underage girls and ‘in some cases’ would participate in the abuse herself.

Four of the six charges cover Maxwell’s dealings with Epstein from 1994 to 1997, when she was in an ‘intimate relationship’ with him, according to the indictment.

These include conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

She is further charged with conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

According to the indictment, three unnamed minors were allegedly ‘induced and enticed’ by Maxwell, who ‘facilitated’ for them to be groomed by Esptein at his luxury properties.

These include homes in New York City, Palm Beach in Florida and Santa Fe in New Mexico, as well as Maxwell’s personal residence in London, prosecutors allege.

The court papers claim that Maxwell ‘developed a rapport’ with the alleged victims, before encouraging them to give massages to Epstein, which often resulted in him sexually abusing the girls.

One of the girls was allegedly groomed and abused in London between 1994 and 1995. Prosecutors claim this included a period of time when Maxwell knew she was under the age of 18.

Authorities also claim that the heiress, who is also charged with two counts of perjury, lied when being questioned under oath in 2016.

She has previously denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of sexual misconduct by Epstein.

Alleged victim Virginia Giuffre, claims she had sex with the duke at the socialite’s London townhouse in 2001.

Maxwell has known Andrew since university and introduced him to Epstein in 1999 before they became close friends.

She features in the background of a picture which apparently shows the duke with his arm around the waist of Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts.

Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Epstein and alleges the duke had sex with her on three separate occasions, including when she was 17, which means she was still a minor under US law.

Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with her, while his lawyers have insisted the duke has repeatedly offered to provide a witness statement to the investigation.

In a disastrous interview with the BBC in November, Andrew said he went to Epstein’s home in 2010 to cut ties, after the 66-year-old tycoon had been released from an 18 month jail term for prostituting minors.

But journalist Emily Maitlis pointed out that he then stayed over for a number of days and that he was a guest of honour at a dinner party she said celebrated the billionaire’s release.

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