Prince Andrew: Idea I was involved in Epstein sex scandal is 'abhorrent'

Lucia Binding, news reporter
Prince Andrew has said he is "appalled" by recent sex abuse claims surrounding Jeffrey Epstein after footage emerged of the royal inside the convicted paedophile's Manhattan mansion in 2010. (Sky News)

Prince Andrew has said he is "appalled" by recent sex abuse claims surrounding Jeffrey Epstein after footage emerged of the royal inside the convicted paedophile's Manhattan mansion in 2010.

The video was reportedly shot on 6 December 2010, around the time the Duke of York was photographed with disgraced billionaire Epstein in New York's Central Park.

It shows Andrew peering out from a large door of the mansion waving goodbye to a woman after Epstein leaves to get in a chauffeur-driven car.

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A Buckingham Palace statement released after the footage was obtained by MailOnline said: "The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes.

"His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent."

Andrew, 59, has been dogged by accusations of a lack of judgement about his links with Epstein, who was found hanged in his prison cell in New York on 10 August.

The royal has quit his role as UK trade envoy after fallout from the Central Park photos.

The Palace has issued strong denials over claims from a woman who said she was forced to have under-age sex with the duke.

Virginia Roberts alleged in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

She claimed she had sex with the duke "three times, including one orgy" in London, at Epstein's home, and at an "orgy" on his private island in the Caribbean.

However, the Palace said the allegations are "false and without any foundation", stating that "any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors" by the duke was "categorically untrue".

Epstein was a registered sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.

However that conviction was also shrouded in controversy, as he pleaded guilty in exchange for the justice department's agreement not to prosecute him on similar charges.

He served 13 months in jail and agreed to register as a sex offender under the 2008 plea deal, which is now widely seen as too lenient.

Epstein's death sparked outrage as he was facing a 45-year sentence if convicted of multiple counts of sexually abusing under-age girls.

The 66-year-old had been on suicide watch at the prison, having been found with marks around his neck on 23 July.

He was reportedly taken off suicide watch after a week and put back into the high-security housing unit where he was less closely monitored.

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