Prince Andrew Gets Heat for Being Jeffrey Epstein's Pal

The English royal is under scrutiny in the UK for his friendship with the convicted sex offender

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After spending 13 months in prison for soliciting prostitution from a minor, secretive billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's reputation has fallen so low that he told the NY Post, ""I'm not a sexual predator, I'm an 'offender.'" But until last week's Daily Mail scoop about Prince Andrew palling around with Epstein and his entourage of underage "erotic masseuses,'" his friends had largely been out of the spotlight.

With the publication of a photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around the midriff of one of these underage masseuses, Virginia Roberts, that may have changed. The New York Post, in covering the Daily Mail's scoop, points out "there is no suggestion" that the masseuse had sex with the Prince. But it perhaps reveals that it doesn't look so good to be a friend of what the Post calls a "Manhattan sex-fiend financier."

The British press, it appears, is not giving Prince Andrew (who serves as foreign trade ambassador) any passes for his apparent friendship with Epstein. "I would advise the royal family's advisers to read more about Epstein and to ask whether he is an appropriate companion for the United Kingdom's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment," wrote The Guardian's Roy Greenslade even before the latest picture of Prince Andrew surfaced. "It seems reckless of Andrew—the UK’s representative for international trade—to have friends of Epstein’s calibre," wrote The Daily Mail's Peter McKay, before hedging on the matter.

Another pair of Daily Mail reporters Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy put the Prince's position even more bluntly: "He clings on to his ambassadorial role, just as he clings on to the friendship with Epstein. But, after publication of the photo with Epstein’s 17-year-old masseuse, for how much longer?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.