00:18 GMT25 January 2020
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    Prince Andrew has kept in constant contact with Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged mistress Ghislaine Maxwell even as they both became increasingly involved in the scandal, according to a Sunday report.

    The prince reportedly had a secret meeting with Epstein’s ex at Buckingham Palace in June, and has been talking with her throughout the escalating that made him leave his royal duties, according to The Sun. The anonymous source told the tabloid that the two “have remained constantly in touch by phone and email.”

    “They talk regularly. If he wasn’t in the spotlight at the moment he would have found a way to meet up with her,” the source added.

    The prince has remained close to Maxwell, according to The Sun, even after she is reportedly at the heart of an ongoing FBI investigation over allegations that she recruited young girls for Epstein’s trafficking purposes.

    “Andrew has always been very stubborn and as far as he is concerned both he and Ghislaine have done nothing wrong and so why should anything get in the way of a friendship that has lasted more than 20 years. The Duke has an unswerving loyalty to Ghislaine and she is also very loyal to him. Ghislaine will do anything to protect the Duke and the feeling is mutual. They both share the same view they have done nothing wrong,” the source told the paper.

    This line of behaviour corresponds with Andrew’s interview with BBC when the member of the royal family said he remained friends with Epstein even after his conviction due to the sense of “loyalty.”

    Virginia Roberts-Giuffre said she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and allegedly had sex with Prince Andrew in 2001 when she was 17 years old. Prince Andrew denied ever having a sexual relationship with her in a recently aired interview and defended his friendship with Epstein. Since then, he has stepped away from his royal duties after a loss of public support for "not expressing sympathy for Epstein’s many young female victims," according to the AP.

    The Duke of York is also said to have recently stepped down from public duties because the Epstein scandal has “caused a major disruption for the royal family,” with Prince Andrew saying he is “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigation if required.”

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    Tags:
    Jeffrey Epstein, UK, Prince Andrew
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