20:31 GMT +323 January 2020
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    The Queen's son landed in hot water after court documents, unsealed hours before Jeffrey Epstein's suicide, earlier this month named Prince Andrew in a 2015 lawsuit against an alleged procurer for the disgraced US financier's suspected child sex trafficking circuit. The prince said in a statement that he was "appalled" by the reports of Epstein's purported crimes.

    Prince Andrew is willing to cooperate with the FBI on the sex trafficking case against now-deceased billionaire Jeffrey Epstein if approached, the Daily Mail reported, citing an unnamed Buckingham Palace source.

    "Members of the Royal Family would always co-operate with the police in an appropriate way", the insider said.

    The claim followed a statement by the Metropolitan Police that they would not investigate the 2015 allegations that the Duke of York had sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was a teen.

    In the lawsuit, Guiffre claimed that she was recruited as a "sex slave" by Epstein and his friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxine, who allegedly acted as a "madame" for the financier's child sex trafficking ring, and was forced to have sex with famous and powerful people, including Prince Andrew.

    "We acknowledge the considerable interest and concern around this case and have revisited that decision making and believe it remains entirely appropriate. Therefore no further action is being taken. The Met will always take seriously any allegation concerning sexual exploitation", the Met spokesperson said.

    The Met's decision was made shortly after Prince Andrew finally addressed his alleged links to Epstein, who committed suicide in a Manhattan jail in early August - a month after being arrested on multiple child sex trafficking allegations.

    Prince Andrew is seen with Virginia Roberts during a visit to New York with Andrew's friend and alleged pimp Jeffrey Epstein
    Prince Andrew is seen with Virginia Roberts during a visit to New York with Andrew's friend and alleged "pimp" Jeffrey Epstein

    The royal dismissed the speculation that he had either witnessed or suspected "any behaviour of that sort" during the time he knew Epstein.

    In his statement, the Duke said he met the registered sex offender in 1999 and "saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year", but admitted that he "stayed in a number of his residences".

    He said he had made a "mistake and an error" when he met with Epstein in 2010 - shortly after the financier's release from prison, where he served a 13-month sentence on charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution.

    "I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour", he added. 

    Prince Andrew broke his silence on the Epstein case days after the Daily Mail released a video, supposedly filmed on 6 December 2010, that showed the royal inside the financier's New York mansion. The footage was allegedly recorded hours before Andrew was photographed strolling through Central Park with Epstein.

    Epstein hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York on 10 August, where he was detained pending trial on child sex trafficking allegations. At first, his death sparked conspiracy theories, with many speculating that he might have been murdered by "powerful friends" who were concerned he might expose their secrets, but the New York Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that it was a suicide.

    Tags:
    sex trafficking ring, Sex Trafficking, FBI Investigation, FBI, Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein
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