Prince Andrew’s presence in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial was most felt in a photo in which he did not appear.
overnight exhibition GX-347 showed a photograph of Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein on a veranda bench on the grounds of the Queen’s Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands.
The photo was taken on a trip the couple took in 1999 to the royal house as a guest of Prince Andrew.
It was among 19 images released to the jury of Epstein and Maxwell in exotic locations that seem to be in love that were found on CDs taken from a 2019 FBI robbery at Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted of five of the six federal charges against her last week, including sex trafficking and transporting a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. She was not found guilty of “enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.”
On the 1999 trip to Balmoral, Prince Andrew, Epstein and Maxwell were joined by an entourage that included young women.
One of the group told The Daily Mail that they had stayed in the castle with 52 rooms before being entertained on the grounds of the 50,000-acre estate.
Epstein and Maxwell also attended a royal party at Windsor Castle in June 2000 to celebrate Prince Andrew’s 40th birthday, Princess Anne’s 50th, Princess Margaret’s 70th and Prince William’s 18th, The Mail reported.
While prosecutors kept their focus firmly on Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein during the trial, Prince Andrew remained a peripheral figure.
Expectations that Maxwell’s process could reveal new information about her famous connections were diminished when Judge Alison Nathan warned of any “needless” namedropping.
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Epstein’s personal pilot Larry Visoski testified in the long run that he returned on the flight of Prince Andrew, along with Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey, aboard the so-called “Lolita Express”.
Mr Visoski said he flew Epstein on average every four days between his properties in New York, Florida, New Mexico, the US Virgin Islands and Paris.
Prince Andrew would appear in Maxwell’s “little black book” of nearly 2,000 famous contacts, and on flight logs made by Epstein’s private jets.
But the infamous directory was not released to the jury after an agreement was reached between the two sets of attorneys, and only a small portion of the flight logs were displayed with passenger names redacted.
Prince Andrew was introduced to Epstein by Maxwell in the early 1990’s, and the trio enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial friendship, even after Epstein was convicted of having a child for prostitution and for applying for a prostitute in 2008. .
Prince Andrew continued to visit Epstein in New York following Epstein’s conviction for child sexual offenses in Florida.
He was pictured opening the door of Epstein’s palatial village house on the Upper East Side in December 2010, and strolling through Central Park.
The royal has said he made the trip to break ties with Epstein. But his association with the late pedophile continued to haunt him.
Epstein killed himself in prison in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting his own trial for sex trafficking.
In 2019, Epstein prosecutor Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed a lawsuit in Manhattan alleging that she had sex with the royal three times when she was 17 years old.
Prince Andrew strongly denies the allegations. But after a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview in 2019, in which he expressed no remorse for his friendship with Epstein and did not express much empathy for his alleged victims, he was relieved of his official duties by the Queen.
The royal’s lawyers say a secret agreement signed between Epstein and Mrs Roberts Giuffre in 2009 protects him from “any and all liability”.
Two Manhattan federal judges have ruled that the document should be made public on or about January 3rd.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A Kaplan, who is presiding over the civil case between Ms. Giuffre and Prince Andrew, will hold a video teleconference on Tuesday as a request from the duke’s legal team to dismiss the case.