US lawyer calls for Prince Andrew to assist with Epstein sex trafficking inquiry

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A US lawyer has called on the Duke of York to "stop playing games" and assist authorities with their investigation into the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking inquiry.

Lisa Bloom, who represents five of Epstein's alleged victims, said it was time for Prince Andrew to "do the right thing" and speak with investigators in the US.

It comes as US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said at a news conference the duke had provided "zero cooperation", despite his lawyers being contacted by prosecutors and the FBI as part of the investigation.

Ms Bloom told BBC News on Tuesday: "It is time for anyone with information to come forward and answer questions.

"Prince Andrew himself is accused of sexual misconduct and he also spent a great deal of time with Jeffrey Epstein.

"So it's time to stop playing games and to come forward to do the right thing and answer questions."

Ms Bloom said attorney Mr Berman had been left with "no choice" but to comment publicly about Andrew's alleged lack of cooperation into the investigation.

She said: "He [Mr Berman] doesn't have the power to subpoena Prince Andrew as part of the criminal investigation, so what else can he do except use the power of the press to come forward publicly and say 'you know what, Prince Andrew you said you would fully cooperate with law enforcement and you have not done it'."

Mr Berman, who is overseeing the Epstein investigation, told reporters outside the disgraced financier's New York mansion that "to date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation".

Buckingham Palace was not commenting on the matter, but a source said: "This issue is being dealt with by the Duke of York's legal team."

Jeffrey Epstein death

Andrew stepped down from royal duties in November following a disastrous Newsnight interview in the wake of the scandal.

At the time, he said: "I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency."

Following the interview, he was accused of failing to show regret over his friendship with the disgraced financier, who took his own life in prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein, said in an interview with BBC Panorama that she was left "horrified and ashamed" after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew in London in 2001.

Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre.

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Queen attends church in Norfolk
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a church service at St Mary the Virgin Church in Hillington, Norfolk, eastern England, on January 19, 2020. - Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy. The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II arriving at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington, Norfolk to attend a Sunday church service. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (C) accompanies Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as she arrives at St Mary the Virgin Church in Hillington, Norfolk, eastern England, on January 19, 2020. - Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy. The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends church at St Mary the Virgin at Hillington in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend church at St Mary the Virgin at Hillington in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (R) accompanies Britain's Queen Elizabeth II as she arrives for a church service at St Mary the Virgin Church in Hillington, Norfolk, eastern England, on January 19, 2020. - Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy. The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: St Mary the Virgin at Hillington in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Duke of York (right) arriving at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington, Norfolk to attend a Sunday church service. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II arriving at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington, Norfolk to attend a Sunday church service. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II with the Duke of York arriving at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington, Norfolk to attend a Sunday church service. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a morning church service at St Mary the Virgin church in Hillington, Norfolk. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend church at St Mary the Virgin at Hillington in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves (R) after attending a church service at St Mary the Virgin Church in Hillington, Norfolk, eastern England, on January 19, 2020. - Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy. The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Queen Elizabeth II attends church at St Mary the Virgin church at Hillington in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
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