The Duke of York has broken his silence over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
Prince Andrew says he is “appalled” by recent reports of the convicted paedophile’s alleged crimes.
It comes after new footage emerged of the Duke, 59, peering out from behind the door of Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, filmed in December 2010. He is seen waving goodbye to a brunette.
Less than an hour later, Epstein leaves the property with a young blonde woman.
“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
At the time the footage was captured the Duke was the UK’s Special Representative for Trade. He stayed with Epstein in his New York home, two years after Epstein was convicted of child sex offences and put on the sex offender register.
“The new footage is damaging in terms of the Duke of York’s judgement,” The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey, told Today.
“He was criticised at the time because photographs emerged of his visit to Jeffrey Epstein in 2010 and he explained to the press and public afterwards that he had made an error of judgement and that he should haven’t met with the convicted paedophile.
“It wasn’t then known that he had stayed with Jeffrey Epstein so I think this footage is damaging to the Duke’s reputation.”
Last week the Duke was pictured alongside his mother, the Queen, leaving church following Sunday mass at Crathie Kirk. He was staying at Balmoral Castle with Sarah Ferguson and the couple’s two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. He and his family have since left and are now holed up in a private villa in Mallorca, Spain.
“He was conspicuous by his absence this morning, not being in Scotland with his mother and other members of the royal family but out in Spain with reports suggesting the couple is trying to have a holiday with their daughters,” Tominey said.
“In fact, the Duke was contemplating playing a round of golf in a very famous course there.”
The Duke isn’t party to any legal action, Tominey said.
Buckingham Palace recently repeated its denial of allegations against the Duke made by Virginia Roberts, one of Epstein’s victims.
“This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors is categorically untrue,” a palace spokesperson said.
“It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts.
“Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
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