Although he's publicly stated that he's willing to help federal prosecutors investigating Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew is not, in fact, cooperating. According to People, Queen Elizabeth II's son has closed off the option of voluntarily helping U.S. prosecutors.
"Contrary to Prince Andrew's very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein's co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation and our office is considering its options," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.
Earlier this year, Berman said that Andrew had provided "zero cooperation" as federal investigators continue to look into the disgraced financier. Berman has not yet made clear whether the federal government will work to force the royal to cooperate with the investigation. Andrew, who had ties to Epstein, stepped back from his role as a working member of the royal family in November following an explosive interview in which he failed to clarify his relationship with Epstein.
In the statement announcing his decision to step back, Andrew suggested a willingness to cooperate with law enforcement.
"Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required," he said at the time.
Epstein was arrested last summer on sex trafficking charges and then he committed suicide while in federal custody.In the interview that led to Andrew's decision to step back from the family, he discussed his friendship with Epstein and the allegations of sexual abuse made by Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre). Giuffre alleges that she was coerced into having sex with Andrew on three separate occasions between 1999 and 2002. She alleges that the incidents took place in London, New York, and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein. Andrew vehemently denied the allegations.
Following the interview, Andrew drew ire for his decision to stay at Epstein's home in December of 2010, which came just months after Epstein had been released from a 13-month prison sentence for procuring a minor for prostitution. The royal was also criticized for failing to show sufficient sympathy for Epstein's victims.
Since stepping back from the royal family, Andrew has still been spotted publicly with his mother, Queen Elizabeth. While he no longer engages in any formal duties for the royal family, he'll also walk his daughter, Princess Beatrice, down the aisle when she is married to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in May of this year. The ceremony is set to take place on May 29 and will be held in St. James Palace in London.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.