Prince Andrew formally stepped back from royal duties amid his explosive BBC interview about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein in November

By Stephanie Petit
January 27, 2020 01:31 PM
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Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images; Neil Rasmus/Patrick McMullan

Federal prosecutors and the FBI have asked to interview Prince Andrew as part of their Jeffrey Epstein investigation — however, Queen Elizabeth’s son has not responded to their requests, according to Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.

Berman said at a news conference Monday that Prince Andrew, who had ties to the disgraced financier, has provided “zero cooperation” in the ongoing investigation into Epstein, who was arrested last summer on sex trafficking charges before dying by suicide while in federal custody, reports the New York Times.

Berman said that the Southern District of New York is investigating possible co-conspirators of Epstein.

Prince Andrew, 59, formally stepped back from royal duties amid his explosive BBC interview about his ties to Epstein in November. In the statement announcing the bombshell news, the father of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie stated: “Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”

Prince Andrew
BBC/Mark Harrison

In the interview, Andrew discussed his years-long friendship with Epstein and the sexual abuse allegations of Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre). Giuffre’s accusations, which the prince denies, mentioned coercion to have sex with the royal three times between 1999 and 2002 in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein, starting when she was just 17 years old.

The Queen’s second son was widely criticized for not showing empathy for the victims of Epstein — who died by suicide in jail in New York City in August while awaiting trial on multiple sex charges — and for his decision to stay with at the financier’s New York home in December 2010. That came just months after Epstein had served 13 months of an 18 month sentence for procuring a minor for prostitution.

Andrew also said he had “no recollection of ever meeting” Giuffre — despite posing for a photo with her.

Prince Andrew; Virginia Roberts Giuffre
Alexander Koerner/Getty; Today

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Despite being removed from his hundreds of charitable patronages and his office being forced out of Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew has been seen out and about with the 93-year-old monarch. Earlier this month, the mother and son attended a church service in Sandringham.

The decision “shows that the royals can move very swiftly and very ruthlessly,” royal historian Robert Lacey tells PEOPLE.

While Prince Andrew will not perform any more public duties as a member of the royal family, not much else will change at this time.

He remains a member of the royal family,” a royal source said. “As a royal colonel and a war veteran, you can expect to see him at Remembrance Sunday. You can expect to see him on the balcony at Trooping the Colour too.”