The Duke of York was in his Bentley with his bodyguard as he drove out of the gates of Windsor Castle this morning where he has been keeping a low profile at his lodge in the grounds of his mother the Queen’s estate.
His rare public appearance came amid more legal drama in the US involving his friend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is in a New York jail accused of helping groom girls for abuse by Epstein.
Maxwell has made a last minute challenge to prevent documents laying bare her personal relationship with the billionaire paedophile being made public arguing they could expose ‘intrusive’ details about her own sex life.
They were due to be unsealed today – but this has been delayed until Monday pending the result of her application to the Second Circuit Court in New York.
The papers will include depositions from Ghislaine Maxwell which could explain her alleged role in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation. They are also expected to shed light on the powerful men accused of having sex with his victims.
They relate to evidence Maxwell gave as part of a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit filed against her in 2015 by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts, who also claims to have had sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17 in 2001.
Judge Loretta Preska last week ordered the unsealing of a vast tranche of documents relating to the billionaire paedophile today – Maxwell wants to block the bombshell court documents emerging.
Meanwhile Prince Andrew is involved in a war of words with the US authorities over whether he will assist their inquiries into the sex crimes of his paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein, who hanged himself in a New York jail cell last summer.
Ms Maxwell was arrested on July 2 after a raid on her remote mansion in New Hampshire and is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn after being charged with child sex trafficking and perjury.
Epstein’s ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts claimed she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17.
US Attorney General Bill Barr said earlier this year that Andrew must speak to the FBI and his team ‘definitely’ want to interview him.
He said: ‘The department wants to talk to Prince Andrew. That’s why the Southern District has been making efforts to communicate with him. We’ve made it clear that we’d like to communicate with him’.
A source close to Prince Andrew previously told DailyMail.com that he was ‘bewildered’ by the ongoing claims that he wasn’t cooperating, and says his team tried to reach prosecutors several times.
Speaking to ABC News Mr Barr said the government had Maxwell’s security ‘locked up’ to ensure she would neither be able to kill herself or be harmed, Barr answered firmly: ‘Yes. We have asked them to tell us specifically the protocols they’re following and we have a number of redundant systems to monitor the situation.’
He added that he was ‘livid’ when Epstein killed himself and that he wanted to see him brought to justice.
‘I was livid obviously. I believed very strongly in that case and I was very proud of the work done by the department, the Southern District on that case, and as you recall, after he committed suicide, I said that I was confident that we would continue to pursue this case vigorously and continue to pursue anyone who was complicit in it. I was very happy we were able to get Ms Maxwell,’ he said.
Prince Andrew has seen his legal team ‘ghosted’ by US prosecutors as they claim to have made repeated offers of help in the Jeffrey Epstein case.
Sources close to the Duke of York’s legal team say they have contacted Department of Justice representatives in the US on a number of occasions since they were first contacted at the beginning of the year.
Andrew, 60, whose close friend Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested and accused of assisting Epstein’s abuse of minors by helping to recruit and groom underage victims, was described as ‘bewildered’ by the US prosecutors claims of non co-operation.
The informed source said they had been in touch with the DOJ once Geoffrey Berman was replaced as US attorney for the Southern District of New York by Audrey Strauss.
Ms Strauss was appointed on June 22 after Mr Berman was ‘fired’ by Donald Trump.
The initial contact was made at the turn of the year when the DOJ confirmed that the Duke of York was being represented by legal firm Blackfords.
Once contact had been established, the Duke’s team offered co-operation and asked for a framework as to how the US wished to proceed, but there was no reply. The source said his team feel they have ‘effectively been ghosted.’
Judge Preska said that 80 documents due to be unsealed in the US – run to hundreds of pages.
They will also include communications between Maxwell and Epstein from January 2015 when Virginia Roberts made explosive allegations about them in court papers.