Prince Andrew, The Duke Of York, has reportedly remained in contact with Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's ex-girlfriend. According to an article by The Sun, the senior royal has been communicating with Maxwell via phone and email, despite increased scrutiny on the Duke of York's past friendship with Epstein, the now-deceased convicted pedophile.
Their source said that Andrew and Maxwell, a British socialite, are fiercely loyal to one another as they both continue to defend themselves against accusations of wrongdoing connected to their relationships with Epstein.
"Andrew has always been very stubborn and as far as he is concerned both he and Ghislaine have done nothing wrong and so why should anything get in the way of a friendship that has lasted more than 20 years," the source said. "They talk regularly. If he wasn't in the spotlight at the moment he would have found a way to meet up with her."
The source did not claim to have any knowledge of the content of their conversations.
The Sun reports that Maxwell last visited Buckingham Palace in June and met with Andrew in private. The following month, Epstein was arrested for sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.
The Daily Mail reports that Andrew and Maxwell's friendship dates back to their time in college. She introduced Epstein to Andrew in 1999 while she and the billionaire were dating.
Maxwell has been accused of recruiting girls for Epstein's sex trafficking operation, accusations that she has denied.Virginia Giuffre, who claims to have been one of Epstein's victims says that she had sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew on three occasions and that it was all arranged by Epstein and Maxwell.
As a previous article by The Sun notes, Andrew is pictured with his arm around Virginia's waist in a photograph that was reportedly taken in 2001 when she was 17 years old. Maxwell is seen smiling in the background. Virginia has said that Epstein took the photo but sources close to the prince have suggested the image could have been altered to incriminate the royal.
Prince Andrew denied allegations that he had sex with Virginia when she was a teen in a recent interview with BBC's Newsnight. He claimed to have gone to a pizza restaurant with his daughter, Beatrice, on one of the nights that Virginia claims they slept together. Andrew said that he went straight home after the pizza outing because the Duchess of York was away at the time, making him solely responsible for the care of their children.
"I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy so, therefore, I was at home," he said.