Prince Andrew is said to be 'panicked' by renewed scrutiny over his friendship with serial sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein, and has been spirited away to Spain by ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, it has been reported.
Upon arrival, the Duke and Duchess were driven by limousine to the luxury Sotogrande resort to a private villa valued at upwards of £38 million, which is subject to heavy security measures to deter unwanted visitors.
Epstein, whose death is widely suspected to have involved foul play of some kind, was awaiting trial for federal sex trafficking charges.
The bulk of the material relates to Virginia Giuffre, who alleges she was recruited by Epstein’s longtime companion, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, at the age of 16 to work as the financier’s masseuse – the job being a cover for sexual abuse by Epstein, Maxwell and an entire retinue of the pair’s elite contacts and friends.
Those Giuffre alleges she was forced to have sex with at Epstein’s demand include “a well-known businessman”, a “world-renowned scientist”, a “respected liberal politician”, a “foreign head of state” and Prince Andrew.
Andrew’s name appears 56 times in the documents – Giuffre claims Maxwell acted as the Prince’s ‘madame’, forcing her to have sex with him in the bathtub at Maxwell’s London apartment, when she was 17.
Andrew has consistently denied the allegations - but whatever the truth of the matter, it’s clear he was a close with Epstein, given the latter’s ‘little black book’ of both contacts and sex is said to contained 16 separate numbers for the royal, including a mobile number, one marked “Palace ex-directory”, and details for royal Scottish retreats Balmoral and Sandringham.
Intriguingly, there are also 18 phone numbers for Sarah Ferguson – and it’s been reported Epstein once paid off a £15,000 debt she’d racked up.