Prince Andrew is "appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes," Buckingham Palace said in a statement Monday amid renewed media focus on the connections between the billionaire sex offender and Queen Elizabeth II's second son. The statement came after the Mail on Sunday released video of the prince inside Epstein's New York home, waving goodbye to a young woman. The video was recorded in 2010, years after Epstein's conviction for soliciting prostitution involving a minor, the AP reports. The prince, who regularly socialized with Epstein in the years before the conviction, was also photographed with Epstein in Central Park in 2010.
"His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in, or encourage any such behavior is abhorrent," the palace statement said. The palace has previously denied the claim made in a 2015 defamation case that the prince groped a woman in Epstein's Manhattan home in 2001, reports the BBC. It also said claims in a lawsuit that Epstein forced an underage girl to have sex with the prince at least three times were "categorically untrue." The Guardian reports that Sarah Ferguson, the prince's ex-wife, has been "more forthcoming" about her ties to Epstein, who killed himself in his prison cell earlier this month. She admitted years ago that accepting $18,000 from the disgraced financier to help pay her debts was a "gigantic error of judgment." (In 2011, Prince Andrew resigned as a UK trade envoy over his links to Epstein.)