Prince Andrew has yet to participate in a formal interview with U.S. federal prosecutors regarding his alleged ties to convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In a new statement from U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman released Monday, he claimed the Duke of York continues to evade questioning by authorities investigating the case. Berman's statement contradicts what Prince Andrew's legal team has said about his willingness to sit down for an interview.
"Today, Prince Andrew yet again sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate with an ongoing federal criminal investigation into sex trafficking and related offenses committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his associates, even though the Prince has not given an interview to federal authorities, has repeatedly declined our request to schedule such an interview, and nearly four months ago informed us unequivocally—through the very same counsel who issued today's release—that he would not come in for such an interview," the attorney stated.
Berman concluded, "If Prince Andrew is, in fact, serious about cooperating with the ongoing federal investigation, our doors remain open, and we await word of when we should expect him."
Berman's statement comes after Prince Andrew's legal team claimed that he "on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DOJ."
Moreover, his legal team alleged, "Unfortunately, the DOJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the Duke has offered zero cooperation. In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered."
However, NBC News reported Monday that the U.S. government is now formally requesting the British government's assistance in coordinating an interview with the Duke of York. A source told the outlet that federal authorities are requesting access to the Duke through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, a legal route that is similar to a subpoena.
According to Prince Andrew's legal team, he is "not and has never been a ‘target' of their criminal investigations into Epstein." They also said that the DOJ has previously stated that his participation would be "voluntary."
Prosecutors seek testimony from the Duke of York because of his connections to Epstein, who died by suicide in Aug. 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.
The prince is accused of having sexual relations with a then-17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed she was sex trafficked by Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. The royal has said that he doesn't recall ever meeting her—despite a widely circulated picture of himself and the teen believed to be taken inside the London home of Maxwell in 2001.
"I have absolutely no memory of that photograph ever being taken," the Duke of York said in a 2019 interview with the BBC, going as far to suggest that the photo was altered. "I don't remember going upstairs in the house because that photograph was taken upstairs and I am not entirely convinced that… I mean that is… that is what I would describe as me in that. We can't be certain as to whether or not that's my hand on her whatever it is, left… left side."
The controversy surrounding his friendship with Epstein and his widely-criticized response to the allegations ultimately led the prince to step down from his role as an acting member of the Royal Family.