In November, Prince Andrew, whose older brother Prince Charles is heir to the throne, denied those allegations but said he would “help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
But he has yet to speak with New York investigators about his past friendship with Epstein, who killed himself last year while in police custody awaiting trial.
This week, his lawyers blamed the US Department of Justice, saying the prince had offered three times to give information to investigators, though on a condition that his statements be confidential.
The US attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, countered that Prince Andrew’s lawyers were misleading the public about his willingness to co-operate.
US prosecutors reportedly made a formal request through the British government to interview the prince.
Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein called that a “last resort” manoeuvre, but noted that even if it is granted, Prince Andrew is not required to answer investigators’ questions and could invoke rights against self-incrimination, like anyone.
An attorney for numerous Epstein victims, Brad Edwards, says he had also failed to persuade the prince to answer questions as part of several civil lawsuits.
“We have received correspondence that there were other loops and hoops we’d have to jump through in order to ever get him to sit for a deposition – and that even then it would be highly unlikely,” Edwards says. “I’ve always been given the impression that, whether he has immunity or not, he certainly behaves like he does.
“I haven’t really understood the game he’s played,” says Edwards, author of a new book about Epstein’s case. “It’s time to come over and just tell everybody what you know and answer all of the questions and move on. There’s no denying you have information to give and you’ve failed to give it.”
In November, Prince Andrew told the BBC he doesn’t remember Giuffre. Of sex with her, he said flatly: “It didn’t happen.” He acknowledged staying at Epstein’s residences and seeing him once or twice annually.
After the interview was widely panned by critics who said Prince Andrew seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims, the prince quit royal duties.
Longtime civil rights lawyer Ron Kuby called Andrew’s performance “a disaster.”
“Anybody who wondered as to whether or not it’s best for him to co-operate and just put this behind him changed their view after watching him on television. I mean, there’s a reason why the guy is seen and not heard,” he says.
Besides, Kuby added, “The British government is just not going to allow this to happen. It’s bad publicity.”
Experts say the prince could theoretically be prosecuted in the United States, if he was found to have committed a crime, but there are no signs the case is headed there.
Among other things, investigators are examining allegations that Epstein’s longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of deceased British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, helped recruit young girls to give Epstein massages that led to sex.
In 2011, Maxwell called the allegations “abhorrent and entirely untrue”.