Organiser: Ghislaine Maxwell looks on as Andrew put his arm around Virginia. Robert Maxwell’s daughter invited her to work as Epstein’s personal masseuse soon after her 15th birthday
She describes being flown across world to meet Prince Andrew
Epstein trained her ‘as a prostitute for him and his friends’
“Epstein had trained me to do whatever men wanted. I was a paedophile’s dream.”
Daily Mail | Mar 2, 2011
Prince Andrew and the 17-year-old girl his sex offender friend flew to Britain to meet him
By Sharon Churcher
As the UK’s special representative for international trade, the Duke of York holds an important position, requiring sound judgement and widespread respect.
But those qualities have been thrown into question since photographs of Prince Andrew with his billionaire financier friend Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted child-sex offender who was jailed for 18 months for soliciting underage prostitutes, appeared last weekend.
Today, however, even more serious doubts are cast on his suitability after a woman at the centre of the Epstein case revealed to The Mail on Sunday that she had, as a 17-year-old employed by Epstein, been flown across the world to be introduced to the Prince.
On one of those occasions Virginia Roberts was subsequently paid $15,000 (£9,400). Her shocking account of her four years as Epstein’s personal masseuse is supported by court documents, an eyewitness, photographs and flight details of Epstein’s private jets.
One of those girls, Virginia Roberts, has this week lifted the lid on life in the Epstein zoo, describing how, at the age of 17, she was flown to London to meet the Duke, spending time with him alone after a night on the town. In a civil claim filed against Epstein in Florida – one of a dozen claims by alleged victims settled out of court – she describes how, from the age of 15, she was “continually exploited to satisfy [Epstein’s]) every sexual whim” and “sexually exploited by [Epstein’s] male peers, including royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and other professional or personal acquaintances.”
One picture, said to have been taken by Epstein during Andrew’s first encounter with the girl in March 2001 and published today by The Mail on Sunday, shows the Prince with his arm around her waist.
This is not the first time the Duke of York’s judgment and choice of associates have been questioned. He appears to relish the company of super-rich oil billionaires from the Middle East, North Africa and the former Soviet Union.
The peculiar sale of his former marital home to a Kazakh businessman for £15 million after it had languished unsold for five years at £12 million has never been satisfactorily explained.
In the recent leak of American diplomatic cables it was revealed that he had criticised an official corruption investigation into the huge Al-Yamamah arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia, while he is also said to be close to Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the beleaguered Libyan president, and may have had a role in the early release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi.
But it is Andrew’s friendship with Epstein, whom he has known since at least 2000, and with Epstein’s confidante Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late disgraced newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, that gives most concern.
He was first seen with the pair on holiday in Thailand, and was pictured cavorting with Ghislaine at a Halloween fetishthemed party in Manhattan.
The photograph that appeared last weekend shows the prince strolling through Central Park with 58-year-old Epstein. Andrew was said to have spent four days at his New York mansion in December, when he was joined by other distinguished guests, including Woody Allen, at a dinner.
It is by no means the first New York soiree Andrew has attended as Epstein’s guest.
A lengthy profile of the financier in Vanity Fair magazine some years ago reported that Andrew was a guest at a cocktail party thrown by Epstein and Maxwell packed with young Russian models. ‘Some guests were horrified,’ said the article’s author, Vicky Ward.
It should not be forgotten that Epstein is a registered sex offender after recently completing his sentence for offences relating to child prostitution.
However, he avoided trial on more serious charges that carried a potential life sentence. And no one reading The Mail on Sunday’s interview with the woman who was prepared to testify against him can be in any doubt of the seriousness of the charges.
Epstein, a Wall Street money manager who once counted Bill Clinton and Donald Trump among his friends, became the subject of an undercover investigation in 2005 after the stepmother of a 14-year old girl claimed she was paid $200 (£125) to give him an ‘erotic massage’.
The subsequent FBI probe uncovered at least 20 girls levelling sexual allegations against him. Eventually, Epstein struck a ‘plea bargain’ with prosecutors – a practice not permitted under British law – under which he was allowed to plead guilty to two relatively minor charges.
Police claim that his donations to politicians and his ‘dream team’ of influential lawyers deterred prosecutors from bringing more serious charges of sex-trafficking. The deal certainly kept the names of a lot of Epstein’s famous friends out of an embarrassing court case.
However, an unusual part of the agreement was that Epstein’s alleged victims were allowed to bring civil proceedings against him.
He has so far made 17 out-of-court settlements, and some cases are ongoing. One of these girls was to have been a key witness for the prosecution had the case gone to trial. She was just 15 years old when she was drawn into Epstein’s exploitative world in 1998.
In her civil writ against him, under the pseudonym Jane Doe 102’ she alleged that her duties included being ‘sexually exploited by Epstein’s adult male peers including royalty’.
Now, horrified by the evidence of Epstein and Andrew enjoying each other’s company in New York, Jane Doe 102 has agreed to waive her anonymity and tell for the first time her deeply disturbing story.
Her real name is Virginia Roberts and she now lives in Australia, where she is a happily married mother of three.
Over the course of a week during which she spoke at length to The Mail on Sunday, she appeared sometimes vulnerable, and sometimes steely, but always quietly resolute and consistent.
Revisiting events from a past that she had hoped she had left behind,Virginia occasionally buried her face in her hands.
Some recollections – and, for reasons of taste, not all the details can be included here – caused her to flush with shame. ‘I’m telling you things that even my husband didn’t know,’ she said.
Virginia, who has undergone counselling to try to come to terms with her past, is honest about her initiation into Epstein’s depraved world.
She was a troubled teenager, whose slender figure, delicate complexion, hesitant voice and soulful blue eyes made her look young for her years.
Born in Sacramento, California, in August 1983, Virginia spent her early years on a small ranch on the West Coast of America.
This seemingly idyllic childhood ended when she was sexually molested by a man close to her family.
The fallout from that led to her parents temporarily splitting up. Blaming herself, Virginia began to get into trouble Aged 11, she was sent to live with an aunt but repeatedly ran away.
Living on the streets, she was beaten up and slept with at least two older men in return for food. ‘I was a paedophile’s dream,’ she says.
Three years later, she was reunited with her family and started a new life with her father who had moved to Palm Beach,
Florida, where he was maintenance manager at Donald Trump’s country club, Mar-a-Lago.
Virginia got a part-time job as a changing room assistant –which is where, soon after her 15th birthday, she met Ghislaine Maxwell, who invited her to work as Epstein’s personal masseuse.
‘I was wearing my uniform – a white miniskirt and a skin-tight white polo top – when I was approached by Ghislaine,’ Virginia says.
‘I told her I wanted to become a masseuse and she said she worked for a very wealthy gentleman who was looking for a travelling masseuse.
I’d get training and be paid well.’Virginia’s father gave his blessing, believing his daughter was being handed the opportunity to learn a skill and to work for a wealthy and respectable employer.
He drove her to Epstein’s pink mansion on the Palm Beach waterfront – he also owns a nine-storey home in New York, the city’s biggest private residence; a 7,500-acre ranch called ‘Zorro’ in New Mexico and Little Saint James, a private 70- acre atoll in the US Virgin Islands.
Virginia says: ‘Ghislaine said I was to start immediately and that someone would drive me home.
My father left and I was told to go upstairs.’ She was led by another woman through Epstein’s bedroom into a massage room where he lay face down naked on a table.
He started to interviewed Virginia. This was unconventional, but Virginia had no suspicions. Presumably, she thought, this was how the wealthy conducted their business.
Epstein elicited the information that Virginia had been a runaway, and was no longer a virgin.
Virginia was then told to start massaging Epstein, under the instructions of the woman who had shown her in. The massage quickly developed into a sexual encounter.
Virginia was uncomfortable, but reluctant to deny such important people. ‘My face was red with embarrassment,’ she says. ‘But I felt under immense pressure to please them.
The whole time it was going on, they were promising me the world, that I’d travel with Jeffrey on his private jet and have a well-paid profession.’ Afterwards, she was given two $100 bills and told to return the next day.
That was the beginning of the four years she spent with Epstein.
For three of those years, she was under Florida’s age of consent, which is 18.
Virginia was fascinated by his life story: the son of a humble New York City parks worker, he was a teacher before becoming a Wall Street broker and friends with the upper echelons of the political, financial and academic establishment.
As a confused teenager, Virginia easily fell into the practice of sexually gratifying him for money.
He guaranteed her a minimum of $200 each time she gave him what he called an ‘erotic massage.’
Virginia said: ‘I would always receive the money immediately. He would give me the cash from a wad he carried in a black duffel bag or an assistant paid me.
’And, because of the way Epstein had warped her sensibilities, every time she took the cash, Virginia felt even more indebted to him. Secretly, he was also preparing her for an even more disturbing role.