“Abhorrent”: Prince Andrew speaks out over Epstein scandal

“Abhorrent”: Prince Andrew speaks out over Epstein scandal

The Duke of York has broken his silence over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. 

Prince Andrew, 59, says he is “appalled” by the recent reports of Epstein’s alleged crimes. 

The statement comes after footage emerged showing the Duke peering out from behind the door of Epstein’s multi-million dollar Manhattan mansion - footage filmed in December 2010. 

He is taped waving goodbye to a brunette woman and less than an hour later, Epstein is seen leaving his property with a blonde woman. 

Buckingham Palace has released a statement on behalf of the Duke, to The Telegraph saying he is dismayed by Epstein. 

"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes.

"His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent."

The “damaging” footage was taken while the Duke was in New York while he was the UK’s Special Representative for Trade. 

He stayed with Epstein in his NY home, two years after the accused was convicted of child sex offences and put on the sex offender register. 

"The new footage is damaging in terms of the Duke of York's judgement," The Telegraph's Camilla Tominey, told Today.

"He was criticised at the time because photographs emerged of his visit to Jeffrey Epstein in 2010 and he explained to the press and public afterwards that he had made an error of judgement and that he should haven't met with the convicted paedophile.

"It wasn't then known that he had stayed with Jeffrey Epstein so I think this footage is damaging to the Duke's reputation."

Last week the Queen was pictured with her third eldest son, leaving church following Sunday mass at Crathie Kirk. 

He was staying at Balmoral Castle with Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. 

Since then, he and his family have left and are now in a private villa in Mallorca, Spain. 

"He was conspicuous by his absence this morning, not being in Scotland with his mother and other members of the royal family but out in Spain with reports suggesting the couple is trying to have a holiday with their daughters," Tominey said.

"In fact, the Duke was contemplating playing a round of golf in a very famous course there."

Buckingham Palace has vehemently denied any allegations made against the Duke - particularly Virginia Roberts, one of Epstein’s victims. 

"This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors is categorically untrue," a palace spokesperson said.

"It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. 

"Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."