Shocking photo of Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attending Princess Beatrice’s £400,000 Victorian-themed ‘coming-of-age’ 18th birthday party piles fresh pressure on Prince Andrew
- Grinning trio posed together at Windsor Castle party hosted by Prince Andrew
- Epstein was on verge of arrest over child-sex allegations at the time of the party
- Prince Andrew has insisted that he was not aware of the allegations at the time
- He added Epstein was invited as Ghislaine Maxwell’s guest to the celebration
A photo showing billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, his alleged pimp Ghislaine Maxwell and disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein together at Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday party has emerged.
The grinning trio posed together at the Windsor Castle party – hosted by Beatrice’s father Prince Andrew – before the sex scandals that engulfed them all.
Astonishingly, as they rubbed shoulders with royalty at the Victorian-themed party in 2006, US police had already raided Epstein’s Florida mansion and prepared an arrest warrant for him to answer child-sex allegations.
Andrew, 59, has said he was not aware of the investigation or the warrant when he invited Epstein to Beatrice’s party, adding that he had been invited as socialite Miss Maxwell’s guest.
But the photo, which was published in the Sun on Sunday, raises fresh questions about the prince’s relationships with the rich and powerful and his apparent willingness to invite them into the heart of the British Establishment.
Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at Beatrice’s 18th birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2006
Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s rape trial is due to start next month. The 67-year-old has denied the charges against him, including a sexual assault in 2006 – the same year as Beatrice’s party.
Miss Maxwell has not been seen in public for several months and is under investigation by the FBI over claims she procured girls for Epstein, who was found dead in prison earlier this year.
And the Duke of York was forced to step back from his public duties last month following a disastrous television interview about his friendship with Epstein.
A lawyer for several Epstein victims told The Sun on Sunday that a ‘fairly extensive investigation’ was under way into the financier’s depraved abuse of teenage girls by the time of Beatrice’s coming-of-age party.
Jack Scarola said: ‘It is absolutely certain that at the time of the Windsor Castle gathering, Jeffrey Epstein was aware an investigation was going on – a search warrant had been executed on his home.
‘I will leave it to others to judge whether it goes to the heart of concerns about the conduct of Prince Andrew.’
Several women want Andrew to be called as a witness over their claims they were abused by Epstein. They say the duke saw young women giving massages at Epstein’s homes in Florida and the Caribbean.
As Epstein, Weinstein and Maxwell (pictured with Epstein), rubbed shoulders with royalty at the Victorian-themed party in 2006, US police had already raided Epstein’s Florida mansion and prepared an arrest warrant for him to answer child-sex allegations
He has denied he saw anything suspicious and has repeatedly denied claims by one of the women, Virginia Roberts, that she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17.
The scandal forced the prince to resign from his patronages and royal duties, although there were reports yesterday that he planned to make his first public appearance on Christmas Day, by joining the Queen and other Royal Family members at the church service at Sandringham in Norfolk.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman told The Sunday Times: ‘The Duke of York is still part of the Royal Family and you can expect to see him at family occasions.’
The Palace refused to comment on the photograph of Epstein, Miss Maxwell and Weinstein at Beatrice’s party, which was a ‘private event’. The Queen threw the £400,000 party at Windsor for her granddaughter, although she and Prince Philip did not attend.
Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s rape trial is due to start next month. The 67-year-old has denied the charges against him, including a sexual assault in 2006 – the same year as Beatrice’s party
Some 400 guests were invited to the Victorian-themed masked ball, including Prince Edward and wife Sophie, and Peter and Zara Phillips.
Beatrice posed for a formal photograph with her father Andrew, mother Sarah Ferguson and younger sister Eugenie, taken against the same backdrop as the Epstein photograph.
Beatrice wore a £10,000 blue taffeta gown designed by Georgina Chapman, who later married Hollywood producer Weinstein.
Weinstein, who wore formal evening dress, has since been accused of sexually abusing and harassing several actresses and aides. He denies the allegations.
Epstein, who wore a US Navy dress uniform to the party, was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
His former girlfriend Miss Maxwell, the daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell, who was pictured wearing a gold mask and feathered red head-dress, was invited to meet Andrew at Buckingham Palace earlier this year. During his disastrous Emily Maitlis interview on Newsnight, the duke denied they had discussed the Epstein scandal or Miss Roberts’ claims that she was forced into having sex with Andrew.
Miss Roberts, now a married mother-of-three, gave an extraordinary interview to the BBC’s Panorama – aired last week – in which she said she was ‘abused’ by Andrew and left feeling ‘ashamed and dirty’. Her lawyer Mr Scarola said: ‘We want Prince Andrew to give evidence under oath and tell us all he knew about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.’
Andrew has said he would co-operate with law enforcement authorities ‘if required’.
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