Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway has spoken about her links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to reports. Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports that the royal, 46, admits she met Epstein on several occasions between 2011 and 2013, after the American financier was first convicted in 2008.
In a statement to DN, Mette-Marit said: "I would never have had anything to do with Epstein if I had been aware of the seriousness of his criminal acts. I should have investigated Epstein's past and regret that I did not."
The communications manager at the royal court told the newspaper: "The crown princess chose to end contact with Epstein in 2013, partly because she experienced that Epstein was trying to use the connection he had had with the crown princess to influence other people."
Crown Princess Mette-Marit is the wife of Crown Prince Haakon, the heir apparent to the throne of Norway.
Prince Andrew speaking on BBC Newsnight
It comes after the Duke of York spoke about his connections with Epstein during a BBC Newsnight interview last month. Prince Andrew, 59, has since stepped down from royal duties for the "foreseeable future."
Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, gave an interview to BBC Panorama on Monday night, in which she spoke about her alleged meetings with the royal, including at Tramp nightclub in London in 2001 and a photograph of them together.
WATCH: Virginia Giuffre talking in BBC's Panorama interview
Buckingham Palace have responded, denying Virginia's claims. A statement released on Monday evening read: "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."
The palace also spoke out about the Duke of York's association with Jeffrey Epstein, stating: "The Duke of York unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein’s suicide left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims. The Duke deeply sympathises with those affected who want some form of closure. It is his hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. The Duke is willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required. The Duke has already stated that he did not see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and conviction. He deplores the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour."
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