Prince Andrew defended his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and called objections to it 'puritan,' 2011 report says

 

  • Prince Andrew and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein are known to have been friends for nearly 20 years.
  • According to a 2011 Vanity Fair article, Prince Andrew robustly defended their friendship even after Epstein was convicted of being a sex offender.
  • Andrew reportedly told a friend who warned him to abandon Epstein: "You're such a puritan ... Jeffrey's my friend... And I'm going to be loyal to him."
  • It comes in stark contrast a statement this week, in which said he was "appalled" by reports of Epstein's alleged sex crimes.
  • Andrew also hosted Epstein and his entourage at Balmoral Castle, the Queen's estate in Scotland, about 20 years ago, The Daily Mail reported on Monday, citing a woman who joined the trip.

Prince Andrew once defended his controversial friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, telling a friend who warned him against it that they were being "such a puritan," a 2011 report from Vanity Fair claimed.

It comes in stark contrast to a Buckingham Palace statement on Monday, which said Andrew is "appalled" by reports of Epstein's alleged sex crimes.

The article, by feature writer Edward Klein for the August 2011 issue cited an unnamed source, "who knows both men well," as saying:

"After Jeffrey was convicted, I phoned Andrew and told him, 'You cannot have a relationship with Jeffrey. You can't do these things.'

"And he said, 'Stop giving me a hard time. You're such a puritan.'

"From there, our conversation descended into a screaming match, and finally Andrew said, 'Leave me alone. Jeffrey's my friend. Being loyal to your friends is a virtue. And I'm going to be loyal to him.'"

Epstein was convicted of sex crimes and registered as a sex offender in 2008, three years before the Vanity Fair article, and at a time when many of Epstein's former associates had already distanced themselves from him.

Epstein died by apparent suicide in a New York jail last Saturday while awaiting trail on sex-trafficking charges.

Andrew and Epstein were friends for nearly 20 years, according to documented contact of their relationship.

The latest account of their friendship came on Monday, when the Daily Mail reported that Andrew hosted Epstein and his entourage at Balmoral — the Queen's estate in Scotland — during a weeklong trip about 20 years ago.

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 08: Two of the purported victims of multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild leave a Manhattan court house after a hearing on sex trafficking charges for financier Jeffrey Epstein on July 08, 2019 in New York City. Epstein is charged with having operated a sex trafficking ring in which he sexually abused dozens of underage girls. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Two of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild (R), exit the courthouse after the billionaire financier appeared for a hearing on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich during his arraignment in New York federal court, Monday, July 8, 2019. Epstein pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges. The 66-year-old is accused of creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
NEW YORK, US - JULY 08: David Boies, attorney for the alleged sex victims of the US financier Jeffreey Epstein case, delivers a speech to the media outside the United States Federal Court on July 08, 2019 in New York, United States. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: A residence belonging to Jeffrey Epstein at East 71st street is seen on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein is charged with running a sex-trafficking operation out of his opulent mansion. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Prosecutors exit the room after US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Member of the press listen as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: A protest group called "Hot Mess" hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein and President Donald Trump in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in New York, Monday, July 8, 2019. Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents unsealed Monday show Epstein is charged with creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
In this courtroom sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, second from right, listens along with defense attorneys, from left, Marc Fernich, Michael Miller, and Martin Weinberg as Judge Richard M. Berman denies him bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (Aggie Kenny via AP)
FILE - This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges Thursday, July 18, 2019, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)
In this courtroom sketch, Judge Richard M. Berman speaking as he denies Jeffrey Epstein bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (Aggie Kenny via AP)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and his attorney Martin Weinberg listen during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein's lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
This courtroom sketch shows Judge Richard Berman as he speaks during the Jeffrey Epstein bail hearing in federal court, Monday July 15, 2019. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, listens as accuser Annie Farmer, second from right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Farmer says she was 16 when she "had the misfortune" of meeting Epstein and later went to spend time with him in New Mexico. Accuser Courtney Wild, right, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. Epstein's lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and attorney Reid Weingarten, second from right, listen as attorney Martin Weinberg, right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein's lawyers have insisted he will not run. They want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. Courtney Wild, third from left, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. She called him a "scary person" and urged detention "for the safety of any other girls" out there. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
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The group stayed overnight at Balmoral Castle and the following day in the grounds, the Mail reported, citing an unnamed woman who was part of the trip. She was a model in her 20s at the time.

She added that she made "chitchat" with the prince. She said: "He was really nice. He was very polite. [He had his] guard up," according to The Mail.

The newspaper added that the visit likely took place in late summer or early autumn, when the Queen may have been in residence.

During the trip they also stayed at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's ex-girlfriend and alleged "madam," who is accused of scouting and lining up girls for the businessman.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment when Business Insider asked about the Vanity Fair quote, as well as Epstein's reported visit to Balmoral.

This is not the first account claiming Epstein' had access to the royal family via Andrew.

In June 2000, Epstein and Maxwell attended the Dance of the Decades, a joint party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew's 40th, Princess Anne's 50th, Princess Margaret's 70th, and Prince William's 18th birthdays, according to The Daily Mail.

In the following years, the duke hosted Epstein and Maxwell for shooting parties at Sandringham House, the Queen's country retreat in eastern England, according to New York Magazine.

Buckingham Palace has never denied a friendship between Epstein and Andrew. It has repeatedly denied claims, made in legal documents linked to Epstein, that Andrew had sexual relations with any underage girls.

Andrew's name was also in Epstein's "Little Black Book" and on flight logs for the financier's plane.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged Epstein victim who says she was recruited at 15 years old, accused Andrew of making sexual advances on her in a trove of court documents unsealed earlier this month.

'It was Jeffrey who taught Andrew how to relax'

Andrew and Epstein were reportedly introduced in the 1990s by Maxwell, who was often seen with high-profile figures in both British and US society.

Epstein was the one who taught Andrew "how to relax," Vanity Fair's source said in 2011.

"Jeffrey had Andrew put on a pair of sweatpants for the first time in his life," the person said. "He had him wear blue jeans for the first time. It was Jeffrey who taught Andrew how to relax."

According to the 2011 Vanity Fair story, the Queen asked Andrew why he was friends with Epstein despite FBI investigations into his links with young women.

"The duke assured his mother that he had no sexual relationship with Virginia Roberts or any of Jeffrey Epstein's girls," the source said, referring to Giuffre.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the Queen's reported meeting with Andrew.

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