Prince Andrew, 60, met deceased billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein through their mutual friend and British socialite, Ghislaine Maxwell. The Duke of York has since been claimed to have been a target of Epstein with a former friend of Ms Maxwell saying it “fascinated him” that Andrew was staying with the convicted paedophile. In a new four-part documentary titled ‘Surviving Jeffrey Epstein’ on the digital channel Crime + Investigation, Christopher Mason recounted when he once bumped into Andrew and Maxwell while walking in Madison Avenue in New York.
He said: “I remember one day I was walking up Madison Avenue and I ran into Ghislaine Maxwell who was with Prince Andrew and she introduced me to him.
“He told me he was staying at Jeffrey’s townhouse that kind of fascinated me.
“It just seemed like a kind of perfect instance of the kind of people that Jeffrey was hanging out with.”
Lady Victoria Hervey, formerly friends with Prince Andrew and Maxwell, told the programme that friendship with Epstein offered the Duke a form of escapism.
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She said: “Jeffrey definitely enjoyed the idea of being friends with the Queen’s son.
“Prince Andrew has just gone through a divorce, there was this American billionaire that wants to fly him around the world and introduce him to people.
“It was probably escapism for him.”
In the documentary, Virginia Giuffre said she was 17 when she was introduced to the Queen’s second son in London, and described him as an “abuser” and “not the prince from the fairy tale stories you read”.
In a clip released ahead of the programme, Ms Giuffre said of Andrew, who is the father of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie: “Before he abused me, when we just met, Ghislaine does this guessing game and he guessed right, I was 17 and he compared me to his daughters, saying, ‘Oh, my daughters are a few years younger than you’.”
She added: “Prince Andrew is not the prince from the fairy tale stories you read.
“Andrew deserves to be outed. He deserves to be held accountable. He’s an abuser.”
Sources close to the Duke have emphatically described allegations of abuse as “baseless”.
Prince Andrew has continuously denied any involvement with the “abhorrent” activities of Epstein through several statements from the Palace.
Andrew stepped down from royal public life in November following his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview, which had led to criticism of a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the convicted sex offender.
Representatives for the Duke declined to comment on the claims when contacted by Express.co.uk.