Britain's Prince Andrew declared on Saturday, August 24th, that he never saw or suspected any sex crimes during the time he spent with US financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to Reuters.
The second son of Queen Elizabeth, Andrew, who has faced weeks of scrutiny over his friendship with Epstein, issued a lengthy statement saying he wanted to "clarify the facts" around his relationship with Epstein.
"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," Andrew stated.
Epstein, 66, took his own life in a Manhattan jail cell earlier this month while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
The Daily Mail published a picture taken in 2010, two years after Epstein pleaded guilty to a Florida state felony prostitution charge and registered as a sex offender, which they said showed Andrew waving goodbye to a woman from inside a Manhattan mansion owned by Epstein.
According to US court papers, Epstein had socialised with Andrew and other high-profile figures including US President Donald Trump and former president Bill Clinton.
The Duke of York, who said he first met Epstein in 1999, said it was a "mistake and error" to see Epstein in 2010 after he pleaded guilty to paying a teenage girl for sex.
"His suicide has left many unanswered questions, and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. What I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know," said Andrew.
His statement on Saturday was issued just days after Buckingham Palace issued a statement in which Andrew, 59, rejected any suggestion that he participated in Epstein's alleged sex crimes.
Allegations against Epstein began to surface in 2005 when the parents of a 14-year-old girl told police in Florida he had molested their daughter at his Palm Beach home.
By 2007, Epstein was facing a potential federal indictment for sexually abusing dozens of girls between 1999 and 2007. Epstein struck a deal, however, to plead guilty in 2008 to the Florida state felony prostitution charge and register as a sex offender.