PRINCE Andrew is saying that “at no stage” during his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein did he suspect any criminal behaviour.
The millionaire Epstein, 66, committed suicide in a jail cell last month while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
In a statement, the Duke of York said he wanted to “clarify the facts” around his “former association or friendship” with the US financier.
He said it was a “mistake” to meet Epstein after he left prison in 2010.
“During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year,” the 59-year-old prince said.
“I have stayed in a number of his residences. At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”
The duke – who said he first met Epstein in 1999 – added that he had “tremendous sympathy” for all those affected by Epstein’s behaviour.
“His suicide has left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”