Jeffrey Epstein: Prince Andrew’s pedophile billionaire pal ‘bullied journalist into suppressing exposé’
A journalist who planned to expose the Wall Street tycoon at the centre of the Prince Andrew “sex slave” saga says he bullied her into silence.
(Convicted pedophile: Jeffrey Epstein is a registered sex offender)
Vicky Ward claims that in 2002 two young sisters gave her harrowing accounts of how convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had molested them.
British-born Vicky said Epstein “attacked both me and my sources” and “spooked” everyone at America’s influential Vanity Fair magazine out of printing the girls’ stories.
Her decision to speak out comes a week after it emerged that Virginia Roberts had claimed in court papers that she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was Epstein’s 17-year-old “sex slave”.
(Royal scandal: Prince Andrew pictured leaving Verbier ski resort in Switzerland recently)
Buckingham Palace emphatically denies any sexual contact took place between the Prince and Roberts, now 30 and a mother-of-three.
Explaining how Epstein exerted sinister pressure, Vicky wrote: “Letters purporting to be from the women were sent to Graydon (the editor), which the women claimed [and gave evidence to show me] were fabricated fakes.”
Vicky said of the girls’ stories: “The oldest daughter…had told me, weeping as she sat in my living room, of how Epstein had attempted to seduce both her and, separately, her younger sister, then only 16.”
She says the girls’ mother told her: “At the time I wanted to go after him. I mean, physically, mentally, you know, in every way, shape, and form.
“And the advice I was given was, you know, he is so wealthy, he can fight you, he can make you look ridiculous, he can make your daughters look ridiculous, plus he can hurt them.
“And that was the thing that frightened me was that he would know where they lived and could possibly just send somebody when they walk the dog at night or something around the corner, and we’d never hear from them again.”
(Former friend: Andrew has said relationship with Epstein was “a mistake”)
Epstein was eventually arrested in 2005 after the stepmum of a 14-year-old girl told police he paid the teen for an erotic massage.
Epstein was convicted in 2008 yet Prince Andrew remained friends with him until public pressure forced him to cut ties when a photo of them together was published in 2011.
The former friendship came back to haunt Andrew when Roberts’ claims emerged.
Vicky wrote on website The Daily Beast today: “It has often struck me that if my piece had named the women, the FBI might have come after Epstein sooner and perhaps some of his victims…would have been saved.”
Epstein has been accused of using connections to secure a generous plea bargain that saw him admit just one offence of soliciting sex with a minor for which he got 18 months jail.
The deal gave him and potential “co-conspirators” immunity from future prosecution.
Dozens more women have come forward and said he abused them in his Palm Beach mansion, on his private Caribbean island and in other locations. He has settled with many out-of-court.
[via Daily Mirror]