The alleged secrets of Jeffrey Epstein's friends could haunt them even after his death as the disgraced American financier is said to have kept a personal diary detailing his interactions with the rich and famous, including UK Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and media heiress, as an "insurance policy", The Mirror speculated, citing unnamed sources.
"All Jeff ever had he bought, including his friends. He used his wealth to buy buddies and then bestow his money on those he courted. Jeff knew his relationships with the rich and famous brought him protection. He kept a diary in meticulous detail in case he ever needed it. One former congressman said there are a lot of people 'breathing a huge sigh of relief' now Jeff is dead. They should hold their breath for a long time to come. It ain't over", one source said.
The claim follows reports that court documents from the sex trafficking trial of Epstein revealed that Prince Andrew was named in a 2015 lawsuit, in which the plaintiff, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, alleged that the son of Queen Elizabeth II groped her when she was a minor at the financier's New York mansion.
Giuffre sued Maxwell, who was accused of being the "madame" for Epstein's professed underage girl sex trafficking ring, and claimed that she was used as a "sex slave" to perform acts with multiple famous men, including the Duke of York.
Buckingham Palace has dismissed "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors" as "categorically untrue", saying that the case relates to legal proceedings in the United States, "to which The Duke of York is not a party".
Prince Andrew, who's eighth in line to the British throne, wasn't charged with anything back in 2015.
The case was settled out of court two years later, but documents still state "an undisputed fact that multiple witnesses deposed in this case" have testified that Maxwell "operated as convicted paedophile Epstein's procurer of underage girls".
Epstein's 'Apparent Suicide'
US Attorney General William Barr has ordered the FBI and the Federal Inspector to investigate his "apparent suicide" since it happened just days after he was taken off suicide watch. New York City's chief coroner, meanwhile, is convinced that the billionaire took his own life, but is waiting for the results of the autopsy.
The timing of Epstein's suicide and mysterious circumstances surrounding his death, including reports that prison guards failed to follow procedure and check on inmates every 30 minutes the night he killed himself, has given rise to multiple conspiracy theories, including suggestions that the financier believed someone had tried to kill him.
His apparent suicide came three weeks after he was found unresponsive in his prison cell with mysterious marks on his neck. It was not immediately clear whether they were self-inflicted, or he was assaulted in his cell, but he was reportedly put on suicide watch until 29 July.
The convicted sex offender was arrested on 6 July over numerous allegations of sex trafficking underage girls in the early 2000s at his New York and Florida estates. The 66-year-old, who served a 13-month jail term on prostitution-related charges involving minors in 2008, pleaded not guilty.