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'Maxwell will never give information about Prince Andrew'

Friend claims duke thought that Epstein victims were just servants

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Prince Andrew. Photo: BBC/Mark Harrison

Prince Andrew. Photo: BBC/Mark Harrison

Prince Andrew. Photo: BBC/Mark Harrison

Ghislaine Maxwell will "never" offer any information about British royal Prince Andrew as part of a plea deal, one of her closest confidantes has revealed.

As a new photograph last night emerged of the socialite sitting in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, Laura Goldman, who has been friends with Ms Maxwell for several years, said she would "never sell out" the Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth's second son.

The extraordinary image, showing the 58-year-old lounging on a throne alongside Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey, emerged after she was arrested on sex-trafficking charges linked to Jeffrey Epstein on Thursday.

It is believed to have been taken in 2002 - three years before the police began investigating the late financier for child-sex crimes.

It is thought Ms Maxwell's arrest could have significant implications for Andrew (60), who was reportedly introduced to the billionaire paedophile by her in 1999.

In an exclusive interview, former New York stockbroker Ms Goldman sensationally claims Ms Maxwell had a "fling" with Andrew, with whom she has remained close friends, last meeting at Buckingham Palace in July 2019.

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Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Photo: Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Photo: Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Photo: Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

"The only way she can walk is if she gives someone up, but that definitely won't be Andrew," said Ms Goldman.

"She is so appreciative that when she first came to New York, the duke helped to launch her into high society. She always talks about what a true friend he is. She doesn't see any reason to speak about him to the authorities."

Ms Goldman suggested Andrew's "sense of entitlement" may have blinded him to what was going on inside Epstein's depraved world.

She said: "Ghislaine's always told me that Andrew's kind of stupid and naive and if there were girls in the house while he was there, he would have thought they were servants.

"All these people thinking he is evil are just wrong. He is just the kind of entitled person who sees everyone as a servant."

Ms Goldman suggested Ms Maxwell is more likely to talk about former US president Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump, who were among the disgraced businessman's high-profile associates. No allegations have been made about either man.

Ms Maxwell was discovered in Bradford, a small town in New Hampshire, and charged with helping to entice underage girls to travel for sex and lying to investigators. It is not known how she will plead.

It is understood she has been moved from Bradford, Pennsylvania, where she was arrested after evading investigators for a year, to a New York prison before a court appearance next week.

The youngest daughter of the late media tycoon Robert Maxwell is central to allegations made by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked from the US to London and forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17. Andrew has always strongly denied the claims, maintaining he has no recollection of meeting Ms Giuffre.

She alleges she was introduced to Andrew in Ms Maxwell's London home in March 2001, with a now-infamous photograph of the duke with his arm around the younger woman said to have been taken at the residence.

Ms Maxwell is accused of lying about Epstein's sexual activities, including the recruitment of under-age girls for sexual massages, and his use of sex toys.

The perjury allegations are the only charges brought against Ms Maxwell to date that relate to a period of time when Andrew knew Epstein.

The more serious offences of child sex trafficking and grooming are alleged to have taken place between 1994 and 1997, two years before Andrew met Epstein.

US prosecutors said they would "welcome" Andrew's testimony as part of the ongoing FBI investigation.

His lawyers claim they twice contacted the US Department of Justice in the past month but received no response.

Yesterday, his legal problems mounted after a new lawsuit from one of Epstein's alleged victims was filed on Thursday.

The civil claim is being brought by Caroline Kaufman, now 26, who alleges she was sexually abused by Epstein in 2010 when she was 17 at the financier's New York mansion. She claims she was raped while Andrew was visiting. Ms Kaufman said she was invited to the house for a "modelling interview", according to the claim seen by the 'Daily Telegraph' that was filed at the Manhattan Federal Court against Epstein's $630m (€560m) estate.

Andrew was pictured leaving the Upper East Side townhouse in 2010, two years after Epstein was convicted by a Florida state court of procuring an under-age girl for prostitution. Andrew claimed he travelled to the US to cut ties with Epstein, who committed suicide last year in a New York cell while facing fresh charges.

The lawsuit does not accuse Andrew of wrongdoing or of being aware of the alleged attack. He has previously said of Epstein: "At no stage during the limited time I spent with [Epstein] did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."

Audrey Strauss, acting US Attorney for the Southern District for New York, has urged Andrew to come forward to be questioned. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk