Prince Andrew has commented directly on his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. In a statement on Saturday Prince Andrew said: "I am eager to clarify the facts to avoid further speculation. I have stayed in a number of his residences. During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction. I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know."
Although this is the first time Prince Andrew has directly commented on his past friendship with the financer, the Duke of York has previously announced that he is "appalled" by the sex abuse claims leveled at this former friend, in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace.
The Duke of York has spoken out about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein
This comment came shortly after footage emerged allegedly showing the Prince inside the disgraced financier's Manhattan mansion, back in 2010. The full statement read: "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."
MORE: Prince Andrew issues statement regarding Jeffrey Epstein abuse claims
Buckingham Palace addressed the rumours earlier this month
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Earlier this month Mr Epstein, 66, died while awaiting trial in his New York jail cell. The billionaire has also been associated with the likes of former US president Bill Clinton and current President Donald Trump. He would have faced up to 45 years in prison had he been convicted for the sex trafficking and conspiracy charges he faced.
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