After Prince Andrew announced that he’s taking a “step back” from public duties over his affiliation with Jeffrey Epstein, lawyers for the alleged victims of the convicted sex offender are calling on the British royal to speak to U.S. investigators immediately.
Following a disastrous interview with the BBC about his relationship with the late Epstein, Prince Andrew revealed on Wednesday he’s asked Queen Elizabeth if he can “step back” from his public duties, a request the 93-year-old monarch granted.
Now, famed attorney Gloria Allred said Andrew should contact American authorities “without conditions and without delay.”
Andrew, 59, was interviewed by BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis last week about his involvement with Epstein, a sit-down many agree was a total public relations disaster for the Duke of York.
Allred said the 59-year-old prince needs to be more clear about his intentions.
“Is he insisting that he be served with a subpoena to testify, or is he willing to speak to law enforcement without being legally required to do so?” she asked on the BBC.
It is not clear if U.S. authorities are investigating Andrew for any possible wrongdoing. Many of the court papers related to the Epstein case are still sealed and unavailable to the public.
Lisa Bloom, Allred’s daughter and another lawyer for Epstein’s victims, tweeted that Andrew “and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents.”
Prince Andrew (right) is dealing with harsh backlash from critics and media personalities over an interview about his relationship with now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and the numerous sexual assault allegations against the British royal.
Businesses, charities and educational institutions affiliated with Andrew’s charity work quickly began distancing themselves from him this week after his BBC interview about his long friendship with Epstein. The financier died on Aug. 10 while in jail on sex-trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide by New York’s medical examiner.
Many in the media were quick to deride Prince Andrew for not only defending his friendship with Epstein but for failing to show empathy for the convicted sex offender’s victims.
Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, has said Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew in 2001 when she was 17. She says Epstein flew her around the world on private planes to have sex with powerful men and that she had sexual encounters with Andrew in London, New York and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Andrew denied the allegations.
“It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” the Duke of York said in his interview.
Giuffre had recently challenged the British royal to speak out, telling reporters in New York “he knows exactly what he’s done.”
Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves the headquarters of Crossrail at Canary Wharf on March 7, 2011 in London, England. Prince Andrew is under increasing pressure after a series of damaging revelations about him surfaced, including criticism over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier.
(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
“And the answer is nothing,” Andrew told the BBC.
The scandal has bloomed into the biggest challenge for Britain’s monarchy since the 1997 death of Princess Diana, when Queen Elizabeth II was accused of appearing aloof and out of touch amid an outpouring of national mourning for the popular royal with the common touch.
Andrew’s decision to withdraw from public life is unprecedented for a royal in recent decades. He is the queen’s third child and second son. His older brother, Prince Charles, is heir to the throne but Andrew is eighth in line, after Charles’ sons and grandchildren.
On the official royal website, Andrew was listed as a patron or involved in dozens of charitable roles that will now be eliminated as he begins a new phase without royal duties.
Despite Andrew’s announcement on Wednesday, there are still many unanswered questions about his future status.
Elizabeth has not commented on his troubles and is not expected to make any public statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.