"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes," Buckingham Palace said in a statement emailed to NBC News on Monday, referring to the prince by his royal title. "His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behavior is abhorrent."
The vehement denial that Prince Andrew, 59, had participated in or had any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged offenses came after Britain's Mail on Sunday published footage that allegedly showed him inside Epstein's Manhattan mansion in 2010. NBC News was not able to independently confirm that the video actually showed the prince or that it was shot in 2010.
In 2008, Epstein reached a non-prosecution deal with then-Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta's office to halt a federal sex abuse investigation involving more than 30 teenage girls. Epstein could have faced a possible life sentence. Instead, he pleaded guilty to state charges, spent 13 months in jail and paid settlements to victims.
Prince Andrew, one of Queen Elizabeth II’s four children, has previously faced accusations related to Epstein's alleged sex trafficking ring.
Earlier this month, he had to fend off new allegations that arose when he was mentioned in court documents unsealed in relation to a 2015 defamation lawsuit against British socialite and longtime Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell by one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
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The documents, released a day before Epstein's death, contained a deposition by Johanna Sjoberg — another woman who alleged she was forced by Maxwell to have sex with Epstein — who said that Andrew touched her breast while they sat on a couch in Epstein's Manhattan apartment in 2001.
In April 2015, a U.S. judge ordered Giuffre’s accusations about Prince Andrew to be struck from the record and denied her attempt to join a lawsuit that sought to undo Epstein's 2008 non-prosecution agreement.
District Judge Kenneth Marra in West Palm Beach, Florida, called the accusations "lurid," and ruled that it was unnecessary for Jane Doe No. 3 — later revealed as Giuffre — and another woman known as Jane Doe No. 4, to join the lawsuit.
He did not rule on the veracity of the claims.
On Friday, Britain's Channel 4 News reported that the Metropolitan Police began a review of "available evidence" in 2015 after receiving a complaint over claims in court papers that a girl was "forced to have sex with Prince Andrew."
London police confirmed to NBC News on Sunday that they received an allegation of "non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation."
"The Metropolitan Police Service reviewed the available evidence and the decision was made that this would not progress to a full investigation. As such, the matter was closed," a spokesperson for London police said.
The allegations leveled against Epstein caused a stir outside of the U.S. because of a number of high-profile international personalities who had ties to the disgraced financier.
In the unsealed court documents, Giuffre, now 36, said that she was directed to provide sexual services for a number powerful American and foreign men — including a “foreign president,” “a well-known prime minister” and a “large hotel chain owner.”
None of the men identified by Giuffre has been charged with a crime. The suit was settled out of court in 2017.
On July 6, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Prosecutors said he sexually abused dozens of underage girls at his homes in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. Epstein was also accused of paying his victims to recruit others, allowing him to build a vast network of girls to exploit.
He pleaded not guilty and was being held without bail before his death.
Yuliya Talmazan is a London-based journalist.
Nick Bailey is an editor on NBC News' London-based international desk.