U.K. authorities dropped an investigation into Prince Andrew concerning an accusation of sexual assault of a minor tied to Jeffrey Epstein.
The prince, who was spotted in and around the late sex offender's Upper East Side townhouse, will no longer be investigated by the Metropolitan Police. He had been accused of sexually abusing then–17-year-old Virginia Giuffre at socialite and alleged Epstein trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell's London home. The claims led to him stepping back from royal duties.
The police's investigation is "complete" after reviewing documents that included one pertaining to the U.S. civil lawsuit filed in August, and while "no one is above the law," Commissioner Cressida Dick asked her team to "have another look at the material," according to a report. The team will continue to "liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein."
Andrew faced criticism after the accusations emerged, most notably after a November 2019 BBC interview through which he seemed to stumble.
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A New York Times journalist called the interview "disastrous," while a CNN columnist called it a "PR nightmare and a national joke," and Town & Country referred to it as a "disaster."
He admitted during the interview that he regretted spending time with Epstein after the convicted sex offender was released from a Florida prison in 2009. Epstein was serving what many dubbed a "sweetheart deal" after prosecutors let him out on work release 12 hours daily during the 13-month sentence for prostitution-related charges.
"I kick myself," the prince said.
He "absolutely and categorically" denied involvement with Giuffre after a photo was published, allegedly of the prince with his arm around the 17-year-old's waist.
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When confronted about Giuffre's depiction of him "profusely sweating" while dancing with her at a London nightclub, Andrew claimed that was inaccurate.
His response: "There's a slight problem with — with — with — with — with the sweating because I — I have a peculiar medical condition, which is that I don't sweat — well, I didn't sweat at the time — and that was — how old was she? — yes, I didn't sweat at the time because I, um, had — had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at, uh, and I simply — it, it was — it was — it was almost impossible for me to sweat."