Prince Andrew 'pleaded with Maxwell to defend him over Epstein'
Prince Andrew begged Jeffrey Epstein's alleged "madam" to clear his name by publicly defending him but she refused, it has been claimed.
Ghislaine Maxwell is the only other person said to have been present on the night Virginia Roberts Giuffre has alleged she was forced to sleep with him when she was 17. The Duke of York categorically denies the allegations.
"Andrew pleaded with Ghislaine to publicly defend him," a source told the 'New York Post'. "She carefully considered it, but decided no good would come of it. It isn't in her best interests."
As a result, the duke went ahead with his own disastrous television interview that effectively resulted in his sacking from public duties.
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The interview, on the BBC's 'Newsnight', backfired when he failed to show any empathy for the late Epstein's victims or regret over his friendship with the paedophile financier.
Ms Maxwell, a close friend of the Duke's, went into hiding after Epstein killed himself in prison in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. It was claimed yesterday she is being protected by her network of powerful friends and associates in "safe houses" all over the world.
Although the British socialite has not been seen in public for several months, she has been helping with the investigation into Epstein's crimes.
She recently sent a letter urging a judge not to unseal a series of documents which have depositions from 29 people, including a number of new witnesses.
Ms Maxwell is last known to have met Queen Elizabeth's second son in the summer at Buckingham Palace, two weeks after US prosecutors announced they wanted to reopen their probe into Epstein.
The meeting took place on or about June 5, the day before Ms Maxwell took part in a four-day charity motoring rally from London to Monte Carlo.