Prince Andrew “must cooperate” with U.S. officials investigating Jeffrey Epstein, a lawyer representing some of his alleged victims has urged.
The demand came after Andrew – the Queen’s second son – announced he would step away from public duties for the “foreseeable future,” an unprecedented move for a modern royal.
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who describes herself as “fighting for victims of discrimination, harassment and abuse,” said she had been working with five Epstein clients “for months.”
Replying on Twitter to the royal family’s announcement that the Duke of York would be stepping away indefinitely from his royal duties, she said he “was simply not credible” in his interview.
“He and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents,” she added. “We are just getting started.”
She also drew attention to an apparent lack of remorse from the senior royal, calling his response to questions “shocking.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today program, she said: “The real issue is the interview, where we saw him for nearly an hour show no sympathy for the victims, completely lack credibility in his answers, having inconsistent answers on really important questions like why he went to visit Epstein after he was criminally convicted or if he had any regret he had for the long friendship he had with a pedophile, and he says no because he introduced him to so many interesting people.
“What a shocking thing to say – surely a member of the royal family can meet virtually anyone in the world they would like to meet? The only decent answer to that question should have been, ‘I absolutely regret every knowing this man, knowing now what I do.’”
Prince Andrew came under renewed scrutiny over his relationship with Epstein after the disgraced financier died while imprisoned on charges of child sex trafficking in August.
In a bid to tackle the accusations against him, Andrew undertook a disastrous interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis on Saturday evening, which has since led to increasing pressure for further scrutiny.
The royal said in a statement on Wednesday evening that he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
During the Today program interview, Bloom said she would be willing to serve a subpoena “personally” to Andrew, and it was a matter of speaking with her clients and deciding on the relevance of information the duke may hold.
When asked about whether Prince Andrew could have relevant information, Bloom said: “Absolutely, we know that Prince Andrew had many contacts with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell and we think that anybody who has had a lot of interaction with them should be speaking not only to law enforcement but to the lawyers for the victims – people like me who are doing investigations.
“I also think all of the staff who work for Prince Andrew should come and give information and evidence, and documents should be turned over – emails, texts, calendars, phone logs, travel logs – so that we can get to the bottom of this.
Of the five women Bloom represents, two – known only as Jane Doe One and Jane Doe Two – had filed lawsuits, with more to be filed “soon.” Both were young models in 2004 in New York at the time they were allegedly sexually assaulted by Epstein.
Bloom said: “The two we’ve already filed allege that they were young models in New York in 2004. A young female recruiter came and asked them to give her ‘boyfriend’ a massage for a couple of hundred dollars.
“After she earned their trust they went to his home, he sexually assaulted them, they fled and they never spoke to him again.”
She explained that while some of her clients were eager to resolve the matter and put what happened behind them, some were “braver” and were “in it just to get answers.”
“This is very important to women trying to put their lives back together,” she said.
Bloom’s mother and fellow lawyer Gloria Allred, who also represents victims of the U.S. financier, said Andrew’s position on assisting the authorities was unclear.
She told the BBC: “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?
“My clients who are victims of Jeffrey Epstein have spoken to law enforcement without being ‘required’ to do so.”
She then suggested two potential next steps to uncover the truth about Epstein’s activities.
“One is the criminal justice investigation to see if charges should be filed in reference to anyone who might have knowingly conspired with Mr. Esptein to recruit and to sex traffic underage girls to him.”
The other option was the pursuit of civil lawsuits, like that which she filed on behalf of a woman known as Jane Doe 15, who alleged assault by Epstein when she was aged 15.
In the days since the interview, companies such as BT and Barclays have distanced themselves from Andrew, alongside universities and charities.
It is understood there have been ongoing discussions within the royal family about the situation, with Andrew talking to the Queen and the Prince of Wales.
The duke met with the Queen on Wednesday, visiting her at Buckingham Palace before his decision to step down was announced.
As well as offering a number of bizarre alibis for accusations against him, Andrew has been widely criticized for displaying a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with Epstein himself.
In the Newsnight interview, the duke denied claims he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage.
He said the alleged encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.
Giuffre said the same alleged sexual liaison began with the duke sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, however, Andrew said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he could not sweat.
He said he had no recollection of meeting Giuffre.
When asked by Maitlis if he regretted the “whole friendship with Epstein”, the duke replied: “Now, still not and the reason being is that the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”
The duke canceled a visit to flood-ravaged communities in South Yorkshire on Tuesday.
He faced a barrage of firms and other organizations terminating or reviewing their association with his Pitch@Palace tech entrepreneurs initiative.
Barclays said it was concerned about the situation and was keeping its involvement with Pitch@Palace under review, while BT warned it would only continue to back the digital skills award program, iDEA, if Andrew was dropped as patron.
Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered joined KPMG in deciding not to renew its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace.
London Metropolitan University was considering the duke’s role as its patron, while a student panel at Huddersfield University passed a motion to lobby Andrew to resign as its chancellor.