Prince blasted for fake photo claim
LAWYERS for one of Jeffrey Epstein's victims have blasted Prince Andrew's claims a photo with the royal's arm around her is a fake.
In a new letter to the Duke of York they say his denials are "hurtful" to Virginia Roberts and ask to interview him about his friendship with wealthy paedophile Epstein, The Sun reports.
Ms Roberts has alleged she was "lent out" Epstein to Andrew for sex - claims he vehemently denies.
Prince Andrew was once pictured with his arm around her when she was 17 at a party thrown by billionaire Epstein and his alleged Brit "madam" Ghislaine Maxwell.
Maxwell has also strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
It has been reported the Prince and his lawyers have cast doubt on the authenticity of the pictures with sources saying his fingers are "chubby" and do not resemble the hand seen in the infamous picture.
Epstein, 66, was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial involving girls as young as 14.
Lawyers for Ms Roberts, who also uses her married name Virginia Roberts Giuffre, have now written to the Duke of York and even offered to fly to London to speak to him.
"We now see, for instance, a troubling assertion attributed to you that a well documented photograph depicting you, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell in each other's company is a 'fake '," say Brad Edwards and David Boies.
The lawyers say "public denials and assertions on your part concerning our client are hurtful to her".
In their letter, a copy of which has been obtained by The Sun Online, the lawyers say that in "light of similar denials we would request an interview with you".
During the meeting "lawyers representing various victims of Mr. Epstein, including lawyers representing Ms. Giuffre, would ask you questions about your relationship with Mr. Epstein".
The lawyers give the Prince their assurance "that we will proceed with the utmost respect as we explore your relationship with Mr. Epstein, Ms. Maxwell, and Ms. Giuffre".
"This would, of course, allow you to fully respond in a dignified manner and appropriate setting that would, we believe, clarify the record for everyone's benefit, including your own," they say.
They also say they are "puzzled" and "disappointed" Prince hasn't replied to previous requests for his co-operation.
Despite Epstein's death, 16 of Epstein's alleged victims were given the chance to tell their harrowing stories.
Outside New York's Southern District court in Manhattan, Ms Roberts said of Andrew: "He knows what he has done and he can attest to that.
"He knows exactly what he's done - and I hope he comes clean about it."
Epstein was jailed for 18 months in Florida in 2008 on charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution.
But despite the conviction, Prince Andrew continued to see Epstein - and was pictured staying with him at his $113 million Manhattan mansion in 2010.
At the end of last month the Duke broke his silence is silence to express "tremendous sympathy" for Epstein's victims in a lengthy statement issued by the Palace.
He also said it was a "mistake" seeing Epstein after his release from prison.
A previous Buckingham Palace statement has said: "The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes.
"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."
A 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."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission