People say a picture is worth a thousand words. Can it also be the first step in convicting a royal of a salacious crime? Recently, pictures of Prince Andrew with his arm around a young teenage girl accompanied by convicted sex trafficker, Ghislaine Maxwell, have circulated in the media.
The photo was taken by sex trafficker/abuser Jeffrey Epstein — making Prince Andrew look all the guiltier. Yet, the question remains, do these pictures of Prince Andrew prove the allegations against him to be true? Here’s what we know.
The prince, the girl, and the trafficker
The girl in the photo is Virginia Guiffre, who at that time was known as Virginia Roberts. Virginia Guiffre’s testimony against Jeffrey Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell explained that in the early 2000s, the high-powered couple instructed her to engage in sexual relations with Prince Andrew. However, according to an interview with BBC, Prince Andrew denies any recollection of that photo being taken.
“The prince said he has ‘no recollection’ of ever meeting Giuffre and ‘absolutely no memory’ of the photograph showing them together, with Epstein associate, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, in the background.”
Prince Andrew has also responded to questions about being seen with Epstein after his 2008 conviction, “I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times,” Prince Andrew told the BBC. “I went there with the sole purpose of saying to him that because he had been convicted, it was inappropriate for us to be seen together.”
Prince Andrew has yet to be charged with any crimes connected to Jeffrey Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell. Although, the photos that included images of Prince Andrew are from the documentation of the case against Maxwell.
The Duke of York AKA “Randy Andy”
Mazher “Maz” Mahmood is a successful tabloid photographer for the News of the World British paper. Mahmood was no stranger to photographing Prince Andrew and his antics. In fact, Prince Andrew obtained the tabloid nickname, “Randy Andy.”
In December 2010, he got a tip that Prince Andrew was taking a trip to New York City. Mahmood was known for dressing in disguises to catch the rich & famous doing unmentionable things on hidden cameras. Although this time he couldn’t follow the prince to the states.
He contacted Annette Witheridge, a former News of the World and New York freelancer, to inform him of any ‘funny business’ or suspicious behavior. Witheridge followed socialite Ghislaine Maxwell because she often frequented the royal palace, expecting the prince to join her in New York.
It turns out Prince Andrew was Epstiens house guest, not Maxwell’s. There was a rumor that the Duke of York was not visiting the Big Apple for fun but for money. He was looking to ask Jeffrey Epstein for a bail-out due to a gambling bet gone wrong. Prince Andrew & Jeffrey Epstein were photographed together in Central Park on December 5th, 2010.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Mahmood illustrated how impactful his photos were in catching bad guys. It seems that Mahmood’s pictures of Prince Andrew put him among a long list of deviants.
“During my career at the paper, I was responsible for over 250 criminal prosecutions, including of pedophiles, people traffickers, drug dealers, pimps, and even a doctor who took me on as a hitman to murder his former mistress and was jailed for attempted murder.”
Will Prince Andrew be let off the hook?
Not only was the Prince photographed with Epstein & Maxwell (before and after sexual abuse convictions), but witnesses & victims claimed to have seen the prince on Epstein’s private jet nicknamed “Lolita Express Plane.” In addition, the prince has been accused of participating & receiving sexual favors from underage girls.
Currently, Prince Andrew faces a lawsuit from Roberts Giuffre filed last August. His lawyers are doing their best to avoid any conflict and association with the sexual allegations against him. The royal’s attorneys are confident that Prince Andrew will be dissolved of any crime.
According to CBS, “Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered the terms of a 2009 settlement between Epstein & Roberts Giuffre to be made public by Monday. Andrew’s lawyers say that agreement shields the prince and others from lawsuits by Roberts Giuffre, and they hope the judge will take it as sufficient grounds to dismiss her suit against the royal”.
If the trial proceeds, the prince must give a deposition for the U.S. court, meaning he would have to give sworn testimony concerning the allegations against him. The court can call witnesses, possibly leading to the prince’s conviction. Roberts Giuffre must win at least 50% of the case to prosecute Prince Andrew.
Do these pictures of Prince Andrew prove he’s guilty?
The public’s speculation against Prince Andrew’s innocence has significantly risen, bringing shame to his family and the monarchy. The royal family has visibly created distance from Prince Andrew, stripping him of any duties and representation of the crown. The pictures of Prince Andrew may not have served as hard evidence for a guilty verdict yet, but it seems that the pressure for answers is on. All eyes are on the prince.