Prince Andrew 'could be FBI's next target' after Ghislaine Maxwell jailed for 20 years

29 June 2022, 12:02

Ghislaine Maxwell was jailed for 20 years on Tuesday.
Ghislaine Maxwell was jailed for 20 years on Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Lawyers representing the victims of Jeffrey Epstein have called for other associates, including Prince Andrew, to be investigated after sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell was jailed for 20 years.

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The disgraced British socialite was sentenced by a New York judge on Tuesday to 20 years in prison for her "pivotal" role recruiting young girls for her ex-boyfriend during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Maxwell, 60, told her victims in court she was "sorry for the pain" caused and that Epstein "fooled all of those in his orbit".

Following her sentencing, lawyers have called for other associates of Epstein and Maxwell to be investigated, including the Duke of York.

Andrew was stripped of his HRH status, military titles and royal patronages earlier this year after reaching an out-of-court settlement with his accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

She claimed she was trafficked by Epstein when she was a minor so she could be sexually abused by Andrew.

Andrew has always denied the allegations against him.

Read more: Ghislaine Maxwell jailed for 20 years over sex trafficking underage girls

Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Jeffrey Epstein.
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Jeffrey Epstein. Picture: Alamy

Brad Edwards, who helped secure the Duke of York’s sex accuser Virginia Giuffre settlement, appealed to the FBI not to stop its probe.

“Obviously, Andrew is one of the targets they will be looking into," he told The Mirror.

“He should definitely be concerned, but.. if he did nothing wrong, then come forward and tell the full story to the FBI, not the media.”

Asked about others possibly linked to Maxwell and Epstein, he said: "Let’s hope they’re the next target. If we have anything to do with it, they will be."

Read more: Prince Andrew 'crushed and confused' by Garter Day ban

Meanwhile, Lisa Bloom, who represents several Epstein victims, said: "We call upon the FBI to fully investigate Prince Andrew.

She told The Mirror: "Virginia Giuffre's civil case should be just the beginning. Everyone associated with Epstein and Maxwell should be carefully investigated."

Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said her client had been “pilloried” and “convicted in the court of public opinion”.

Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Jeffrey Epstein.
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Jeffrey Epstein. Picture: US Department of Justice

She said Maxwell would appeal, and suggested jurors saw her as a stand-in for Epstein – who died in jail awaiting trial – adding: “Clever and cunning to the end, Jeffrey Epstein left Ghislaine Maxwell holding the whole bag.”

Maxwell plans to appeal her 20-year sentence, her legal team said.

According to the Telegraph, Maxwell plans to make a formal application to be transferred back to the UK for the bulk of her prison sentence.

The 60-year-old has British, French and US citizenship but under US law she must spend the first three years in an American jail.

She can then apply to be sent to a UK prison to be closer to her family.

"There are extremely strong issues, both legal and factual, for the Court of Appeals to consider and to overrule the conviction and sentence," her defence lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim.

"I'm very optimistic".

Maxwell entered the New York courtroom on Tuesday with shackles around her feet and gave a "hollow" apology to the victims - saying that meeting Epstein was the biggest regret of her life.

Prince Andrew's and other royals birthdays will no longer warrant the Union Flag be flown over government buildings
Lawyers representing the victims of Jeffrey Epstein have called for other associates, including Prince Andrew, to be investigated . Picture: Getty

The 60-year-old said she hoped her sentencing would allow them "peace and finality" after the court heard emotional testimony from the women.

She said she "empathised deeply with all the victims in this case" and that Epstein "fooled all of those in his orbit".

Her association with him would "permanently stain" her, she added, claiming she felt it was "the biggest regret of my life that I ever met him".

Annie Farmer, one of Epstein's victims, Maxwell's last-ditch attempt to apologise had sounded "hollow".

Ms Farmer, who delivered her own victim impact statement in person to the court during the sentencing said: "Her statement very like a very hollow apology to me and she did not take responsibility for the crimes that she committed.

"It felt like once more her trying to do something to benefit her and not at all about the harm she had caused."

She added: "We're very happy with the sentence."

Meanwhile, reacting to his sister's 20-year jail sentence, Kevin Maxwell said the family will be "solidly behind her all the way".

"It is our sincere hope that her trial, the conviction and this sentencing will allow the victims some closure," he told reporters outside the courthouse in the Southern District of New York.

"Ghislaine will be exercising her right to appeal her conviction and sentence and we, the family, will be solidly behind her all the way."

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