A lobbyist with ties to the Trump administration and a client list that includes governments accused of human rights abuses has declined to represent Prince Andrew, it was claimed last night.
The 'New York Times' said the Duke of York's lawyers approached the Washington-based lobbyist Robert Stryk "in recent weeks".
Mr Stryk has a history of "taking on clients with unsavoury reputations" the newspaper reported but it claimed he "expressed discomfort about the possibility of assisting Prince Andrew".
Meanwhile, a friend of Ghislaine Maxwell has claimed she would "never" disclose information about Prince Andrew in the case surrounding paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Former investment banker Laura Goldman said the British socialite regarded Andrew as a friend and was "never going to say anything" about him to investigators.
It comes as Ms Maxwell appeared in court in the US last week accused of helping disgraced financier Epstein "identify, befriend and groom" multiple girls, including one as young as 14.
The Duke of York , who is a former friend of Epstein, has since been urged to provide information to the investigation by a US attorney.
Ms Goldman, who claims to have known Ms Maxwell since she moved to the US, told the BBC she would "have to" go for a plea deal with prosecutors.
Asked whether Ms Maxwell would speak about the duke as part of the investigation, Ms Goldman said: "She has always told me she would never, ever say anything about him.
"I think she felt he was her friend and she was never going to say anything about him.
"She felt in the 90s when her father died that Prince Andrew was there for her."
Ms Goldman said she last spoke to Ms Maxwell "a couple of weeks ago" prior to her arrest in New Hampshire on Thursday, adding: "She knew she was coming to the end of the road."
She claimed Ms Maxwell was a "victim" of Epstein and had been always "a little afraid" of him.
Ms Goldman said: "I think she thought if she did one more grooming, found him one more girl, he would marry her. Is that OK? No.
"She honestly thought at the end of the day she would be Mrs Jeffrey Epstein and that was the prize she wanted."
Ms Maxwell, daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell, has previously denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of sexual misconduct by her former boyfriend Epstein. He killed himself in jail last August while awaiting trial.