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Ghislaine Maxwell ‘will be naming names’

Jul 5, 2020 | , , ,

Jeffrey Epstein’s arrested ‘pimp’ is ‘set to cooperate with FBI’ in ominous news for Prince Andrew and she could be held in prison where pedophile ‘killed himself’

Daily Mail

  • Maxwell was arrested yesterday on charges of procuring underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse
  • She was arrested at a $1million home in New Hampshire and subsequently appeared in court by video-link 
  • Pressure is growing on Prince Andrew to give evidence to prosecutors about his links to Epstein and Maxwell
  • Epstein’s former boss, Steven Hoffenberg said the paedophile’s ex-girlfriend Maxwell ‘knows everything’ and will ‘totally co-operate’ 
  • Between 2007 and 2011, Epstein transferred more than $20million into Maxwell’s bank accounts 
  • She was arrested on Thursday morning at a luxury $1million estate in New Hampshire 
  • Maxwell is currently in the custody of US Marshalls and her exact whereabouts is unclear 
  • She is likely to appear in court in New York on Monday, after the 4th of July holiday weekend  
  • Sources close to the Duke say they are ‘bewildered’ because he has repeatedly offered to help the inquiry
  • Andrew denies having sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who last night celebrated news of Maxwell’s arrest 

 

Ghislaine Maxwell will be ‘naming names’ and ‘fully co-operating’ with the FBI and Prince Andrew is among those ‘very worried’ about what she might reveal, a former associate of Jeffrey Epstein has claimed.

Maxwell’s dramatic arrest on sex-trafficking charges yesterday has raised hopes among Epstein victims that prosecutors will untangle a ‘spider web’ of rich and powerful associates of the pair.

The socialite and daughter of late British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell was seized at a $1million home in New Hampshire and later appeared in court by video-link.

She is now awaiting transfer to New York to face charges of procuring girls as young as 14 for Epstein to sexually abuse – and could even be held in the same Manhattan jail where Epstein died last year.

If convicted on all counts, Maxwell faces 35 years behind bars at a maximum. It would mean she’d be 93 by the time she’d be released.

The latest twist in the case has ramped up the pressure on Andrew to testify about his relationship with Epstein and Maxwell, but sources close to the Duke say they are ‘bewildered’ because he has repeatedly offered to help.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the Epstein accuser who dragged Andrew into the mire by claiming she had sex with him in the early 2000s, last night celebrated Maxwell’s arrest and called her an ‘insidious creature’ who deserved to be locked up. Andrew denies her allegations, saying he has no recollection of meeting Miss Roberts.

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Ghislaine Maxwell will be ‘naming names’ and ‘fully co-operating’ with the FBI and Prince Andrew is among those ‘very worried’ about what she might reveal, a former associate of Jeffrey Epstein has claimed (Epstein and Maxwell are pictured together in New York in 2005)

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Prince Andrew (pictured during his BBC Newsnight interview last year) is under increasing pressure to give evidence – but the Duke’s legal team insists he has offered to help US investigators

Speaking to The Sun, Epstein’s former employer Steven Hoffenberg said the paedophile’s ex-girlfriend Maxwell ‘knows everything’ and will ‘totally co-operate’ after her arrest.

Hoffenberg, a convicted fraudster who employed Epstein at Towers Financial in the 1980s, said ‘there’s a lot of people very worried’ about what Maxwell could reveal. ‘She’s going to cooperate and be very important. Andrew is definitely, definitely concerned,’ Hoffenberg said.

On Thursday, a source close to the Duke of York’s legal team told DailyMail.com that he was ‘bewildered’ by prosecutors’ remarks that they wanted to speak to him.

‘The Duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month and to-date, we have had no response.’

On Thursday, Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss said the investigation into Epstein’s decades of abuse is ongoing and that she’d ‘welcome’ Prince Andrew ‘coming in to provide a statement’, prompting speculation that he may among people investigators may focus their attention on next.

‘We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us. We would like to have the benefit of his statement. Our doors remain open. We would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement,’ she said.

It opens the door to questions of jurisdiction and whether or not US Attorney Strauss may charge for alleged incidents that happened in London and not America. Among the claims in the indictment is that Maxwell groomed one of the victims in London. At her press conference, Strauss said some of the sexual abuse also happened at Maxwell’s house in London.

US attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents one of Maxwell’s accusers, said ‘all others accused of enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s predations must immediately be brought to justice as well’.

‘Maxwell’s brutal, ruthless behaviour caused my client tremendous pain,’ Ms Bloom said in a statement, adding that she and her client applauded the socialite’s ‘long overdue arrest’.

One Epstein accuser, Michelle Licata, has previously voiced hopes that prosecutors looking into Epstein were ‘going to start digging into his life… and start pulling out this spider web of people that were related to it’, according to the New York Post.

Former federal prosecutor Jessica Roth told Bloomberg: ‘There is no way for prosecutors to present a case against her without going into all the evidence they had against Epstein, because the charges here are intertwined.

‘The original indictment against Jeffrey Epstein made it clear that he didn’t act alone and that the government had evidence that other people were also involved.’

Celebrating Maxwell’s arrest, Prince Andrew’s accuser, Roberts said last night: ‘Thank you to the FBI, Southern District of New York and anyone involved in the arrest of this insidious creature. Hope the judge throws the book at her. So so so happy- she’s finally where she belongs.’

The 36-year-old’s claims against Andrew are not part of the charges against Maxwell and a judge ordered them struck from court records in a separate case in 2015, without ruling on their veracity.

However, Miss Roberts is relevant to the charges because Maxwell is accused of perjury by claiming during a lawsuit against her in 2016 that she had no involvement in procuring underage girls.

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 Maxwell was picked up by the FBI and NYPD detectives at 8.30am at the property in Bradford, New Hampshire, she had bought in December 2019 using a limited liability company called Granite LLC to shield her name

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Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, gestures as she speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in New York

Ghislaine Maxwell’s $20million bank transfers with Epstein

Bank accounts linked to Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein exchanged more than $20million between 2007 and 2011, the US government says.

Prosecutors say the transactions took place between 2007 and 2011, covering the time when Epstein was in prison in Florida.

Maxwell’s accounts received more than $20million from Epstein’s financial empire – ‘including amounts in the millions of dollars that were then subsequently transferred back to accounts associated with Epstein’, prosecutors claim.

The details emerged in a document arguing that Maxwell should be denied bail because of her large financial resources, frequent travel habits and record of living ‘in hiding’ for the last year.

Investigators have found more than 15 different bank accounts linked to Maxwell, with balances ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars up to more than $20million.

She has also transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars between her accounts, including a $500,000 switch in March 2019, the government says.

Prosecutors say Maxwell sold a New York City residence for $15million in 2016 and moved much of the proceeds into another bank account.

‘Her numerous accounts and substantial money movements render her total financial picture opaque and indeterminate,’ they say.

Andrew, 60, has been at loggerheads with US prosecutors for months after they claimed he was failing to co-operate with their Epstein probe.

The Duke’s lawyers say he has offered to help on ‘at least three occasions this year’ but US officials claim he has ‘repeatedly declined our request’ for an interview.

Royal commentators say the discrepancy may lie in the nature of the offer, with Andrew’s lawyers offering a ‘witness statement’ while former US attorney Geoffrey Berman made it clear he was seeking an ‘interview’.

Andrew’s last verbal interview on the subject – his BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis – was widely seen as a disaster and led to his resignation from public life just days later.

The prince was criticised for failing to show any empathy towards Epstein’s victims, and many of his explanations attracted ridicule. In a subsequent statement he said he ‘regretted my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein’ and ‘deeply sympathised with everyone who has been affected’.

‘Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required,’ he said at the time.

The issue was thrown into further confusion last month when Berman was fired by the Trump administration in a separate row.

Prosecutors renewed their appeal for Andrew to give evidence as they announced the charges against Maxwell yesterday, saying that ‘we would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us’.

US lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents some of Epstein’s victims, said yesterday: ‘It is long overdue for Prince Andrew to stop making excuses and to stop playing the victim. He should contact the FBI immediately and agree to appear for an interview.’

A source close to the Duke said Andrew was ‘bewildered’ by the latest pressure, saying: ‘We have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month and to date we have had no response.’

Asked about the Duke in an LBC radio interview today, Boris Johnson declined to say how Britain would respond if US authorities make an approach to interview Andrew.

‘No such approach has been made and otherwise it really is a matter for the royal family,’ the PM said.

Andrew’s legal representatives are adamant that the Duke ‘is not and has never been a target’ of the criminal investigations and that US prosecutors are seeking his help as a witness. He denies any wrongdoing.

The prince was friends with Epstein and Maxwell during the 2000s but said in the BBC interview that he never witnessed or suspected any of Epstein’s crimes.

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Maxwell has an astonishing network of high profile friends and acquaintances. She is shown at Chelsea Clinton’s 2010 wedding as former president Bill Clinton walks his daughter down the aisle

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Maxwell with Epstein and Donald and Melania Trump in 2000

Epstein died in his Manhattan jail cell last August after he was arrested on sex-trafficking charges. He was already a convicted pedophile after pleading guilty to a separate child sex charge in Florida in 2008.

Maxwell could be locked up in same Manhattan jail where Epstein died

Ghislaine Maxwell could end up in the same jail where Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide last year when she is transferred to New York.

Maxwell is expected to be transferred to New York City on Friday or Monday, where she could be housed at one of two federal lockups – the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan or the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Manhattan’s MCC is where Epstein was found dead of an apparent suicide last August while awaiting trial on a slew of sex-trafficking charges.

The lockup came under fierce scrutiny in the wake of Epstein’s death amid questions over how he was able to hang himself while he was supposed to be under close supervision – as the financier’s family insisted that he was murdered.

Two MCC guards have pleaded not guilty to charges for falsifying records and failing to check on inmates in the hours before Epstein died.

The jail faced further criticism in May after a court-ordered inspection found it was failing to adequately protect inmates from the coronavirus.

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The Metropolitan Correction Center in Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein died nearly a year ago

At a press conference announcing the charges against Maxwell, acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss was asked if any special precautions would be taken to ensure the defendant’s safety in custody.

‘As you know, we are sensitive to that concern and certainly we’ll be in dialogue with the Bureau of Prisons about it,’ Strauss said in response.

Jack Donson, a consultant who formerly worked for the federal Bureau of Prisons, told Bloomberg News that it’s possible federal officials will choose to hold Maxwell somewhere outside of New York to avoid press attention.

‘Maybe they’ll want to get her out of New York entirely,’ Donson said, adding that Maxwell will need to be evaluated for suicide and other risks no matter where she ends up.

Maxwell was taken into custody yesterday morning in Bradford, a small town in New Hampshire, on Thursday morning. Special Agent William Sweeney said at a press conference later that the FBI had been ‘discreetly keeping tabs’ on her for some time and that she recently moved to the property.

Maxwell is believed to have bought the 156-acre property with cash, using an LLC to hide her identity, in December. Agents ‘moved in’ yesterday morning. No other circumstances surrounding her arrest are known.

According to a memo filed in court on Thursday asking for a judge to deny her bail, Maxwell changed her phone number and her email address. She registered a new phone number under the name ‘G Max’, and used a different, unspecified fake name to have packages delivered to her, it is claimed.

She also moved money between 15 different bank accounts, the total balance of which has varied from hundreds of thousands of dollars to $20million over the last few years, according to investigators. In one case, she moved $500,000 from one account to another.

Before that, between 2007 and 2011, more than $20million was allegedly transferred from bank accounts linked to Epstein into accounts linked to Maxwell, and then back again.

The prosecutors point to the fact that Maxwell has three passports – British, French and American – and say her high-flying, international lifestyle makes her a major flight risk. They say she has made at least 15 flights in the last three years to countries including the UK, Japan and Qatar.

Prosecutors claim she ‘made intentional efforts to avoid detection’ during the last year, including moving locations at least twice, and say her ‘transient’ lifestyle means she would have no reason to remain in the US if freed.

In a video-link court appearance on Thursday afternoon, her attorneys agreed to have the case moved to the Southern District of New York – where she is being charged.

There was confusion at the start of the call when a woman with a British accent was heard repeatedly asking ‘what the f**k’ and saying ‘I don’t understand’.

She became increasingly upset and had to be reminded to mute her line.

The woman is not thought to have been Maxwell though. She spoke later to answer the judge’s questions and was calm in her one word answers.

Journalists could not see her but they were permitted to dial in to listen to the proceedings.

Prosecutors asked the judge to deny her bail, saying she is a flight risk with an international network of friends and access to unlimited resources. She has been held for now without bail and is likely to appear in court in New York City either tomorrow or on Monday.

It is unclear where she will now be detained before her next court appearance but the judge said she would be ‘temporarily’ placed in custody. If she is moved to New York she could be held in the same Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan where Epstein died last August.

A grand jury returned a sealed, six-count indictment against her on June 29, almost a year after Epstein was charged.

The indictment alleges:

  • Maxwell groomed three unnamed girls, all under the age of 18, in London, New York and Florida, and New Mexico between 1994 and 1997 
  • She befriended them by taking them to the movies or on shopping sprees and ‘normalized’ abusive behavior by getting undressed in front of them herself 
  • She encouraged them to travel to meet Epstein and engage in sex acts with them and him like ‘group massage sex’ in Epstein’s homes  
  • Her introduction of them to him resulted in him abusing them when she was not present  
  • She lied in 2016 depositions while being sued by Virginia Giuffre Roberts that she’d never groomed or had sex with underage girls herself  

Maxwell, who has yet to enter a plea, faces 35 years in prison if convicted. She has previously denied any involvement in Epstein’s crimes.

The indictment reads in part: ‘Ghislaine Maxwell facilitated Jeffrey Epstein’s access to minor victims knowing that he had a sexual preference for underage girls and that he intended to engage in sexual activity with those victims’.

THE ALLEGATIONS

THE CHARGES

Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (5 years)

Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (5 years)

Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (5 years)

Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (10 years) 

 X 2 counts of Perjury (10 years)

THE ‘FACTS’ 

Prosecutors say Maxwell groomed three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein. 

They are not named in the indictment, but she allegedly targeted them in London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.

Maxwell, it is alleged, would befriend the girls by asking them about their life and their schooling. She would put them at ease by taking them to the movies and taking them shopping, winning their trust to later deliver them to Epstein, it’s alleged.

To ‘normalize’ the abuse that would come later, prosecutors say she undressed in front of the girls herself and asked them sexual questions. 

She then not only facilitated Epstein abusing them, prosecutors say, but took part in some of it herself. 

The alleged sex abuse includes ‘sexualized group massages’. 

The indictment also says Maxwell made the girl feel ‘indebted’ to Epstein by encouraging them to take money from him and let him pay for their education and travel. 

Among the allegations in the indictment is that Maxwell groomed the girls, including one in London.

‘Victim 1’ met Maxwell when she was 14 in 1994, the indictment reads.

Maxwell allegedly groomed her by taking her to the movies and on shopping trips, asking her about school, her classes, her family and other aspects of her life.

‘She then sought to normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by, among other things, undressing in front of her and being present when she undressed in front of Epstein,’ according to the indictment.

The trio then engaged in ‘group sexualised massages’ on more than one occasion, the indictment claims. The victim was allegedly encouraged by Epstein and Maxwell to travel to the financier’s homes in New York and Florida ‘for the purpose of sexual encounters with Epstein’.

‘Victim 2’ met Ghislaine in 1996 and was allegedly groomed by her at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch.

The indictment claims that Maxwell gave her a topless massage and ‘encouraged [her] to massage Epstein’.

‘Victim 3’ met Maxwell in London in 1994 and was groomed until 1995, it is alleged. Maxwell encouraged her to massage Epstein ‘knowing that Epstein would engage in sex acts’ as she did so, prosecutors claim.

The indictment alleges that Maxwell knew the three women were underage at the time.

At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District Audrey Strauss, said: ‘Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, then delivered them into the trap that she and Epstein had set for them.

‘She pretended to be a woman they could trust, all the while she was setting them up to be sexually abused by Epstein in some cases, by Maxwell herself.

‘Today after many years, Ghislaine Maxwell finally stands charged for her role in these crimes.’

FBI Special Agent William Sweeney said the bureau had been ‘keeping tabs’ on Maxwell ‘for some time’.

‘We have been discreetly keeping tabs on Maxwell for some time.

‘She slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims continue to live with the trauma inflicted on them years earlier.’

Before Epstein’s disgrace, she and Maxwell had an astonishing network of influential and important friends and acquaintances around the world, including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

Maxwell was photographed at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and she also flew with Clinton on Epstein’s private jet, dubbed the ‘Lolita Express’ because it was used to ferry young girls to his private Caribbean island or ranch in New Mexico.

She has also been photographed with Epstein and Donald and Melania Trump at parties, years before Epstein became a social pariah.

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So will Ghislaine Maxwell clear Prince Andrew – or damn him? RICHARD KAY on the agonising questions for the Queen and the Palace

By Richard Kay for the Daily Mail

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Queen Elizabeth II attends a military ceremony in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle to mark her borthday on June 13, 2020 in Windsor

There is never a good time for the proverbial ‘bad penny’ to turn up, so imagine how the Queen received news of the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell and her appearance in court on sex-trafficking charges.

Maxwell was once a welcome visitor to royal homes, an overnight guest at Sandringham as well as being invited to one of the starriest parties ever thrown at Windsor Castle, the so-called Dance of the Decades in the summer of 2000.

Nor was that her only invitation to royal glamour at Windsor. In 2006 she was a guest at Princess Beatrice’s lavish costume ball to mark her 18th birthday.

On another occasion the vivacious socialite was photographed at Prince Andrew’s side in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, where admission is at ‘Her Majesty’s discretion’.

Yesterday, with the Queen still in lockdown with Prince Philip at Windsor, there must have been the iciest of feelings at the news that the daughter of disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell had been taken into custody.

As a mother, Her Majesty will, of course, be anxious about what Maxwell’s arrest and her knowledge of the alleged activities of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein mean for her son.

And as monarch there will be anger at the prospect of the good name of the Royal Family being dragged through the mud once again.

No family matter has concerned her more than the shadow hanging over Andrew. To her, it is infinitely more serious than the selfish trivialities of the exiled Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex.

For more than seven months it has been an ongoing crisis, with every sordid revelation lapping that bit closer to Buckingham Palace.

Ever since that Newsnight interview in which Andrew spectacularly failed to offer any sympathy for Epstein’s victims and showed no remorse over his friendship with the billionaire sex offender, fears about the implications for the Prince have multiplied.

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Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, aged 17 at Ghislaine Maxwell’s townhouse in London, Britain on March 13 2001

Maxwell’s arrest changes everything. She, remember, is in the famous photo of Andrew with his arm around the bare midriff of teenager Virginia Roberts — a picture of which the Duke of York has no recollection — which was taken by Epstein in Maxwell’s Belgravia home.

Does she really believe Andrew’s insinuations that the photo was doctored or manipulated?

Then there is the most damaging claim of all from Roberts, who says that, aged 17, she and Andrew had sex three times. The Prince denies it.

If anyone knows the truth it must be Maxwell, whom Andrew befriended during visits to New York after his divorce from the Duchess of York.

It was through Maxwell that Andrew was introduced to Epstein, who was found dead in his New York prison cell a year ago. And on all those social occasions — including Beatrice’s party — where Ghislaine was a guest of Andrew, so, too, was Epstein.

As the Royal Family and their advisers have agonised over how best to protect the integrity of the monarchy from the fall-out of the Epstein affair, there may be some slim consolation.

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Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ascot. With them are Edward (far left) and Caroline Stanley (far right)

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Ghislaine Maxwell, shown last August – the last time she was seen publicly, although there were doubts about the veracity of the photos – was arrested on Thursday morning

The charges brought by the FBI against Maxwell relate to a period in the mid-1990s — before Prince Andrew had ever met the sleazy Epstein.

Perhaps more significantly, the decision to strip Andrew of all royal duties and force him to step down from official engagements looks even more of a wise move.

With the benefit of hindsight, the prompt action — brokered by Prince Charles and Prince William — has been the only moment when the royals have been on the front foot. Andrew’s stubborn failure to sever contacts with Epstein after he was first accused of under-age sex offences, was the major contributor to his own downfall.

He did, belatedly, end up cutting ties with him — but only after he was photographed walking with the financier in Central Park, New York.

Yet he continued to keep up his friendship with Ghislaine, the woman who brought them together and who was described as ‘Jeffrey’s pimp’.

Although the relationship between the two was said to be platonic, their lives were so intertwined that Fergie was reported to have become concerned that Maxwell was exerting an unhealthy influence on him. Even so, the two remained friends.

In the Newsnight interview, Andrew admitted he had seen Maxwell last year. The meeting, he said, was before Epstein’s arrest on sex-trafficking charges last July and that they did not discuss the billionaire. He said: ‘There wasn’t anything to discuss because he wasn’t in the news.’

Epstein and Maxwell met in New York, where she had set up home following the death of her father, who fell from his yacht and drowned in 1991.

She was a pivotal figure on the New York social scene. ‘Great fun, always was, still is,’ said a friend. ‘I’m not at all surprised that Prince Andrew likes her. She is full of energy, full of plans.

‘She would ring and say: “Ten of us are going to a restaurant then a club. Do come, it will be fun.” She was persuasive, too, and Andrew loved that.’

By 2000 Maxwell and Andrew, who were introduced by the Duchess when she was a regular fixture on the New York party circuit, were very close.

But they were not a couple. She would even introduce him to future girlfriends, such as Emma Gibbs. They were often seen together in public.

The pair caused a minor stir when they made an appearance at a Ralph Lauren launch in the city. One source observed: ‘They certainly seemed to have a good time together.’ Andrew was also a regular guest at the dinner parties she would hold at the home of Epstein, who was by then her ex-boyfriend, on the Upper East Side.

Such was the importance of the role Maxwell played in Andrew’s life that it was even claimed he once asked the Queen’s permission to take her on an official work trip. This was refused.

Andrew was widely criticised after he appeared with Maxwell at a ‘pimps and prostitutes’ theme party thrown by the model Heidi Klum.

To his ex-wife, such behaviour was beginning to damage his reputation. She was also concerned at the effect it would have on their daughters.

In 2001, when Andrew was about to take up his role as Britain’s trade envoy, a friend of the Duchess told the Mail on Sunday: ‘Fergie and a lot of other people who love Andrew believe his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein has become really dangerous. They’re using him just for his name and access and he is so innocent he doesn’t realise.’

How prophetic those words were to become. Among courtiers there is considerable anxiety about what Maxwell’s arrest means for the Duke of York. They believe that such is her intimate knowledge of Epstein, she could damn Andrew or clear him.

For Andrew, his reputation is gone — but for the Queen at 94, this latest twist to one of the most unpalatable episodes of her reign can only be troubling.

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