The arrest on child-sex charges of Ghislaine Maxwell, one-time partner of US child molester the late Jeffrey Epstein, has caused Prince Andrew to step up his efforts to protest his innocence and lack of involvement in the pair’s nefarious activities.
According to my Buckingham Palace sources, the FBI’s decision to charge Ms Maxwell with sourcing and grooming underage girls for Epstein’s sexual exploitation had prompted His Royal Highness the Duke of York to rethink his strategy of avoiding arrest by maintaining an aloof silence or issuing short statements through his lawyers denying allegations made against him.
My royal sources told me His Royal Highness had made a video detailing his concerns about a key piece of evidence cited by those making claims against him — the photograph showing him and one of the young women Epstein abused and with Ms Maxwell in the background (pictured at right).
“In his now famous, or infamous more like it, TV interview with the BBC last year His Royal Highness raised the possibility that the photo was doctored,” one royal insider said.
“If you recall, he claimed to have no recollection of the photo being taken and, furthermore, that the positioning of him and the young girl in question was perhaps physically impossible.
“So in his video His Royal Highness analyses the photo, the placement of those in it, and mounts the argument that it is not physically possible for him to appear in it the way he does.”
The royal source said his only concern about the home-made video — to be uploaded soon to You Tube — was the fact that Prince Andrew appeared in it wearing a sweatshirt.
“I raised with His Royal Highness my concern that his appearance in a, shall we say, downmarket sweatshirt might detract from his message and he might consider reshooting it wearing a suit or even one of his many military uniforms,” the source revealed.
The royal insider said the Duke had brushed aside the concerns by saying it was quite appropriate that he would wear a sweatshirt in the video.
According to my source His Royal Highness’s exact words were: “I sweat like a pig. I can’t help it. I have done so every day of my life.”