A British newspaper is reporting the FBI is looking into how it can interview Prince Andrew over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender. Queen Elizabeth’s second son is already facing consequences within the royal household.
The prince is stepping aside from all the charities he’s involved in – at least for now. It appears to be a drastic move to stop organizations distancing themselves from him. But the palace is not commenting on whether the FBI is trying to interview him.
“Would you be willing to testify or give a statement under oath if you were asked?” BBC’s Emily Maitlis asked the prince in an interview that aired more than a week ago.
“Well, I’m like everybody else, and I would have to take all the legal advice that there was before I was to do that sort of thing,” Prince Andrew said. Battling backlash after the BBC interview, Prince Andrew has since said he will cooperate with law enforcement agencies investigating his late friend, Epstein. Now the FBI reportedly wants to interview him.
“We understand that the FBI [is] looking for ways speak to him in Britain through the U.S. Justice Department to see logistically how that could be done. And sources close to Prince Andrew have said he’d be happy to do that,” royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah said.
The news comes as Buckingham Palace confirmed Prince Andrew is “temporarily standing back” from the more than 230 charities he’s involved in. Several organizations, like the English National Ballet and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, had already cut ties with him.
Queen Elizabeth has not commented publicly on the scandal. On Friday she was spotted horseback riding with Prince Andrew – in what was seen as a public show of support. But now she’s reportedly canceled a big party she’d planned to host in February for his 60th birthday. That birthday bash is expected to be downsized to a private family dinner.
“Privately, she’s supporting him, he’s her son,” Nikkhah said. “But you know, she’s pretty frustrated that this has been overshadowing a huge amount of members of the royal family, the work they’re doing.”
One British tabloid, The Sun, is reporting that the prince’s friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, will speak to the FBI about their ties to Epstein. The two appear in a photo with an American woman who accuses him of having under-age sex with her at an Epstein party.