Britain's Prince Andrew, who last week dismissed as "abhorrent" claims that he was involved in Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex trafficking, now says he simply had no idea what his billionaire former friend was up to. Calling it a "mistake" to socialize with Epstein after the latter left prison in 2010, the BBC reports that Andrew says that "at no stage" during "the limited time that I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction"—though the British royal admits "I have stayed at a number of his residences" and that "during the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year."
One of Epstein's accusers has said the financier "lent" her to Andrew for sex on multiple occasions when she was 17. The New York Times notes that the statement was released in Andrew's name, and not under the auspices of Buckingham Palace. A palace rep says that Andrew's 2010 meeting with Epstein was the only one that took place after his prison term, though the Times notes that at around that time Epstein arranged for $18,000 to settle debts of Andrew's ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson. Says the royal: "(Epstein's) suicide has left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure." (Read more Jeffrey Epstein stories.)