Last December, the Mail published a landmark four-part investigation into Victoria Roberts Giuffre’s allegations against Prince Andrew.
During months of painstaking work we obtained testimony from new witnesses, gained access to sensitive documents and the contents of diaries and interviewed high-level sources.
Our inquiries took us from London to New York, Boston, Florida, the US Virgin Islands, South Africa and Australia and resulted in stunning revelations – a number of which undermined Miss Roberts’ allegations while others cast doubts on some of the Duke’s claims of innocence.
Here we assess the strengths and weaknesses of her case against the Queen’s second son.
Last December, the Mail published a landmark four-part investigation into Victoria Roberts Giuffre’s allegations against Prince Andrew
A ‘DAMNING’ PHOTOGRAPH AND SEX IN THE BATH
Her Complaint, Paragraphs 37-38:
‘On one occasion Prince Andrew sexually abused Plaintiff in London at Maxwell’s home. During this encounter Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will. The photograph depicts Prince Andrew and Maxwell at Maxwell’s home prior to Prince Andrew sexually abusing plaintiff.’
The photo of a grinning Andrew with his hand on the naked midriff of 17-year-old Miss Roberts, who was being sexually exploited at the time by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, is the bombshell at the heart of her case.
The picture, which shows Ghislaine Maxwell smiling in the background, is said to have been taken in London on March 10, 2001.
It appears to corroborate Roberts’s claims of closeness between her and Andrew. For his part, the Duke has questioned its authenticity and says he cannot remember it being taken, or even having met Miss Roberts at all.
He made these denials in his November 2019 car-crash interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in which he said it could not have happened because he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice, then 12, to a party at a branch of Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey.
Doubts have also been cast on her lurid description of bathroom fumbling which led to sex in the bath at Maxwell’s home (pictured). His supporters argue that the bath tub in place at the time did not match the one described by Miss Roberts and was ‘too small’ for such an encounter
Our investigation into the events of that 24 hours revealed that Beatrice had ‘absolutely no recollection’ of the party her father claimed to have attended. Nor could her hosts recall his presence.
We also revealed that, according to a family diary, the Duke had booked a home manicure that afternoon. Impeccable sources also said he had a ‘very vague’ recollection of waiting under a bridge near Pizza Express to collect his daughter.
The sense of collective memory failure deepened when housekeepers on duty that weekend at the prince’s home – Sunninghill Park, Ascot – told us they ‘can’t remember’ his movements either. The royal protection officer thought to have been on duty is now dead.
But questions were also asked about the accuracy of Miss Roberts’s claim that she went clubbing at Tramp in London with a ‘sweaty’ Andrew that evening. Her claim that he drank alcohol, for example, is not credible as he is well-known to be a lifelong teetotaller.
Doubts have also been cast on her lurid description of bathroom fumbling which led to sex in the bath at Maxwell’s home. His supporters argue that the bath tub in place at the time did not match the one described by Miss Roberts and was ‘too small’ for such an encounter.
But Andrew’s claim that he could not sweat thanks to a medical condition drew guffaws of disbelief.
The photo of a grinning Andrew with his hand on the naked midriff of 17-year-old Miss Roberts, who was being sexually exploited at the time by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, is the bombshell at the heart of her case
A royal puppet in New York
Her Complaint, Paragraph 39:
‘On another occasion, Prince Andrew abused Plaintiff in Epstein’s New York mansion in this District. During this encounter, Maxwell forced Plaintiff, a child, and another victim to sit on Prince Andrew’s lap as Prince Andrew touched her. During his visit Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff to engage in sex acts against her will.’
In his disastrous Newsnight interview, Andrew denied that he was an overnight guest at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion at 9 East 71st Street in the spring of 2001.
The Mail’s investigation proved that he had visited, however. And there was also an unexplained five hours spent by the Duke in the city earlier in the same trip.
The Duke had arrived in the Big Apple on official duties connected to the Outward Bound Trust charity, of which he was chair of trustees, on Monday, April 9, 2001.
That afternoon, between 1.45pm and 6.45pm, when he was due at a formal dinner, he managed to put himself in a potentially compromising situation. This period was described by two words that appeared in the confidential and previously unpublished copy of the Prince’s itinerary obtained by the Daily Mail: ‘Private Time’.
Exactly how that time was spent has never been fully explained by him. But just a six-minute walk from the Consul General’s residence was the biggest townhouse in Manhattan, which belonged to his ‘business mentor’, Epstein.
In his disastrous Newsnight interview, Andrew denied that he was an overnight guest at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion at 9 East 71st Street (pictured) in the spring of 2001
Flight logs appear to confirm witness accounts that earlier the same day Roberts, Epstein, Maxwell, and another young, though not under-age, female masseuse called Johanna Sjoberg had flown to New York on the tycoon’s private jet.
Sjoberg said she did indeed sit on Prince Andrew’s lap on a couch at Epstein’s house and the Duke put his hand on her breast. Maxwell, who had brought out a latex Spitting Image puppet of Andrew, then placed one of its hands hand on the breast of Roberts, who was sitting on the other side of HRH. Sjoberg said the situation seemed humorous rather than predatory.
But Miss Roberts, in an interview with a Sunday newspaper in 2011, her unpublished memoir of the same year, a 2015 deposition under oath, and later TV interviews, claimed events then took a sinister turn. She says she and Andrew went to a massage room known as ‘the dungeon’ where they had sex.
In the 2015 deposition, filed for a defamation action against Maxwell, Giuffre’s recollection was quite specific. ‘I had sex with Prince Andrew… in Epstein’s New York mansion in spring 2001. I was 17 at the time. Epstein called me down to his office. When I got there Epstein was there, along with Maxwell, Johanna Sjoberg and Andy.
‘I was very surprised to see him again. Epstein and Maxwell were making lewd jokes about Randy Andy. I had the impression Andy had come to see Epstein and have sex with me. There was no apparent purpose for Andy to be there.’
She was purportedly paid $400 on that occasion for her services.
Flight logs appear to confirm witness accounts that earlier the same day Roberts (pictured), Epstein, Maxwell, and another young, though not under-age, female masseuse called Johanna Sjoberg had flown to New York on the tycoon’s private jet
In his Maitlis interview, the Duke was challenged about the encounter and Sjoberg’s evidence. Asked if he visited Epstein’s mansion that month. He replied: ‘I probably did… because of what I was doing, I was staying with the consul general which is further down the street on Fifth so I wasn’t… I wasn’t staying there. I may have visited but definitely didn’t, definitely, definitely no, no, no activity.’
After an overnight trip to Boston to carry out Outward Bound duties, the Mail investigation established Andrew returned to New York and stayed, with a police bodyguard, at Epstein’s mansion. The sources said Roberts was not present then, nor was Epstein or anyone aside from housekeepers.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF LITTLE ST JAMES
Her Complaint, Paragraph 40:
‘On another occasion Prince Andrew sexually abused Plaintiff on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Little St. James.’
Our investigations confirmed, for the first time, that Andrew was on Epstein’s island at the same time as Miss Roberts during the Easter weekend of 2001. Immediately after leaving New York, Andrew was due to travel to the Bahamas to join his estranged wife and their two daughters for a family holiday.
Instead, on Good Friday, April 13, 2001, we revealed that Andrew flew to Little St James after new travel arrangements were made by Ghislaine Maxwell. Flight logs and personal accounts suggest Epstein, Maxwell, Roberts and Sjoberg had flown there ahead of Andrew. The Prince and his bodyguard spent 48 hours as Epstein’s guest at a ‘weekend-long party’ before flying to the Bahamas for the delayed rendezvous with his family.
Sources close to the Duke conceded to the Mail that Andrew had been on the island that Easter. So was a US financier called Gwendolyn Beck.
Our investigations confirmed, for the first time, that Andrew was on Epstein’s island at the same time as Miss Roberts during the Easter weekend of 2001
In emails to a third party in 2016, Beck, 42, recalled: ‘The Prince was always charming, polite and a gentleman to me. As I remember, he arrived very late at night (on Little St James) spent the next day/night, and left early the following morning. He was in the bungalow next to me, and I heard no strange noises or anything unusual. If anything, he was flirting with me.’
Flight logs suggest Beck left the island on Easter Monday with Epstein, Maxwell and Roberts. Roberts has told a different story of Prince’s behaviour on Little St James. Or, rather, stories. She alleges the third sex attack on her by the Prince took place on the island during an open-air orgy involving up to eight other teenage girls – not during that 2001 Easter break, but later that year.
Yet there are inconsistencies in Miss Roberts’s accounts that remain unexplained. In 2011 she wrote the draft of a personal memoir called The Billionaire Playboys’ Club in which she described an episode she claims took place on Little St James days after her 18th birthday on August 9, 2001.
After French model agency boss Jean-Luc Brunel arrived with an entourage consisting of Russian models, the group repaired to Epstein’s cabana. Roberts wrote: ‘There was no need for words here… Through glimpses in between bodies crossing over me, I could see Jeffrey and Brunel watching us, sitting in a chair with their hands around their (genitals).
‘“The best part is they don’t even speak English, so there’s never a need to keep them amused,” I could hear one of the men divulge and (I’m) pretty sure it came from Jeffrey.’
Under oath in January 2015 she described an identical scenario, save for an important change in participants. ‘The third time I had sex with Andy was in an orgy on Epstein’s private island,’ she stated. I was around 18 at the time. Epstein, Andy, approximately eight other young girls, and I had sex together.
Immediately after leaving New York, Andrew (file image) was due to travel to the Bahamas to join his estranged wife and their two daughters for a family holiday. Instead, on Good Friday, April 13, 2001, we revealed that Andrew flew to Little St James after new travel arrangements were made by Ghislaine Maxwell
‘The other girls all appeared to be under the age of 18 and didn’t really speak English. Epstein laughed about the fact they couldn’t really communicate, saying that they are the “easiest” girls to get along with.’
Now Andrew rather than Brunel was Epstein’s companion at the orgy. That second scenario was repeated in a 2015 newspaper interview she gave.
All three accounts had striking similarities: The seven or eight Russian or East European girls provided by Brunel; their lack of English; Epstein’s joke about the utility of the language barrier; the provocative photoshoot which degenerated into an orgy.
But in the first version of the orgy, described in her memoir from which she hoped to make significant profit, the Duke does not appear at all. In fact there is no suggestion she had sex with him on the island.
THE VANISHED RANCH SEX ALLEGATION
Miss Roberts’ varying accounts of the this orgy are not alone in being potentially troublesome to her case against Andrew if it goes to court.
There was a fourth and final claim of sexual abuse committed by the Prince against Miss Roberts, which appears in the draft of her 2011 memoir, which has since become a legal exhibit.
She described being sent by air to Epstein’s Zorro Ranch in New Mexico to spend two days with the Duke, alone save for security and domestic staff. Their time was filled with horse riding and ‘erotic massages’. In other words, sexual activity which, Roberts made plain, she didn’t want.
There was a fourth and final claim of sexual abuse committed by the Prince against Miss Roberts, which appears in the draft of her 2011 memoir, which has since become a legal exhibit. Pictured: File image of Prince Andrew walking with Jeffrey Epstein in 2011
But this interlude was never again mentioned by Miss Roberts; at least not in any of her affidavits, court testimonies or media interviews. Why?
Andrew denies ever having met her at the ranch, with sources close to him suggesting to the Mail he could not have gone riding with her because of a serious horse allergy. A contemporaneous note kept by his police bodyguard, says Andrew’s companion was not Miss Roberts but a 28-year-old doctor called Melanie Walker.
If the Duke never met Miss Roberts at Zorro – in a subsequent account delivered under oath she described the claim as a ‘mistake’ made by a journalist with whom she worked – what impact could that have on the credibility of her other allegations?
Additional reporting: Simon Trump.