Prince Andrew's tall claims of not knowing Virginia Roberts, who had accused him of sexually abusing her at the age of 17 years, fell flat after an email surfaced during BBC One's documentary Panaroma, aired Monday night.
The email, part of the civil investigation into the Epstein scandal, was written by the Duke of York to Ghislaine Maxwell, American sex offender Jeffery Epstein's recruiter, seeking details about Virginia Roberts, in 2015.
Andrew wanted to know about Roberts
The contents of the email were made public by the British broadcaster during its highly anticipated Panaroma documentary titled 'The Prince and the Epstein Scandal. The email was written by the disgraced prince on 3 January, 2015, at 5.50 am.
"Let me know when we can talk. Got some specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts," the Duke of York wrote in the email to Maxwell. In response, Maxwell wrote: "Have some info. Call me when you have a moment."
The email was written a day after Andrew was asked about the allegations levelled by Virginia Roberts that she was forced to have sex with the British royal three times, the first at the age of 17 years. The following day, Virginia went public with her claims of sexual abuse by Andrew.
Truth behind the infamous photo of Andrew and Virginia
During the documentary, BBC also claimed to have an affidavit from the then boyfriend of Virginia who said that she confided in him about having forced sex with the Prince.
He also claimed to have been shown the infamous picture of the duo clicked at Maxwell's London house in March 2001, after they went clubbing in London.
While Virginia claimed that the picture, which had prince hugging her with Maxwell standing in the background, was real, the Duke of York called it a fake adding that he had no memory of it being taken.
The authenticity of the picture was further clarified by the photographer who clicked the copy of the original photo. "There's no way that photo is fake," the photographer said on the show. "It wasn't like [Giuffre] pulled the photo of Prince Andrew out — it was just in amongst the rest of them. These were 5×7 photos that looked like they had come from [a London drug store], nothing more complicated than that. They were just typical teenage snaps," he added further.
Prince didn't last long
Revealing the horrific details of the night, Virginia said that she was flown into London at the behest of Epstein. "I was introduced to Andrew and taken to Tramp Club. He is the most hideous dancer I've ever seen in my life. It was horrible and this guy was sweating all over me, his sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere, I was just like grossed out from it, but I knew I had to keep him happy because that's what Jeffrey and Ghislaine would have expected from me."
The 35-year-old went on to say: "In the car Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey. And that made me sick. I didn't expect it from royalty. I didn't expect it from someone that people look up to and admire - the royal family."
Explaining the sexual encounter which left her 'horrified, disgusted and ashamed' Virginia said that she had sex with the British royal in a room located upstairs at Maxwell's house in Belgravia.
"There was a bath and it started there and it led into the bedroom. It didn't last very long the whole entire procedure. It was disgusting. He wasn't mean or anything. But he got up and said thanks and walked out. And I sat there in bed just felt horrified and ashamed and felt dirty. I had just been abused by a member of the royal family."
Abused as a child, Roberts urges Britons to support her
Speaking about her bitter childhood, Virginia revealed to the Panorama reporter Darragh Macintyre that she was sexually abused from the age of seven years. "I was abused from a very young age. Seven years old and my childhood was quickly taken away from me. I was just so mentally scarred already at such a young age and I ran away from that. I found nothing on the streets except for hunger and pain and abuse and it was scary, I wanted to get out of it.'
Urging the British public to believe her story and stand up against the human trafficking, Virginia said on the show: "I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK. This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, This is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys' royalty.'
Lawyers seek Andrew's testimony
The documentary also showcased that five victims of Jeffery Epstein want Prince Andrew to provide testimony in the case filed against Epstein in the US courts. The lawyers of the victims said that that they have prepared the pre-trial witness subpoenas which could be served once Prince Andrew comes to the United States.
The victims have claimed that the Prince, who was a close friend of Epstein, had witnessed them giving massages at the American paedophile's houses in Florida, New York and the Caribbean during his numerous visits. In the BBC interview, that eventually led to his sacking from the royal duties, Andrew had denied witnessing any suspicious activity or behaviour during his visits.
David Boies, the lawyer representing the five victims, highlighted the importance of Andrew's testimony in the case. "One of the things that we have tried is to interview Prince Andrew and to try to get what his explanation is. He was a frequent visitor. They ought to submit to an interview. They ought to talk about it'.
Buckingham Palace denies the allegation
Meanwhile, in a statement issued to the BBC, Buckingham Palace has denied all allegations against the Duke of York. "It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation," said the statement.