Prince Andrew shared private jet with Epstein's underage 'sex slave' Virginia Roberts twice, claims pilot
Despite repeated denials from Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace regarding the former's involvement with disgraced multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex-trafficking ring, recently uncovered court documents paint a very different picture of their ties.
David Rodgers, a pilot of one of Epstein's private planes, has now claimed that Andrew was twice on flights where Virginia Roberts—the financier's alleged sex slave who said she was forced to have sex with the royal—was also present.
Rodgers' claims were part of a deposition that was amongst 2,000 court documents pertaining to a settled defamation case involving Roberts and Epstein's 'highest-ranking employee' British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, according to the Sun.
Rodgers said the first time Andrew was on the same flight as Roberts was on March 31, 2001, when he flew a 22-seat Gulfstream jet from Santa Fe to Florida. He said that Epstein and Maxwell were onboard as well.
The second occasion was on April 11 the same year, when all four flew to the U.S. Virgin Islands, which was allegedly the center of Epstein's sex-trafficking operation.
Rodgers also said that, on August 7 that year, the Prince was on the maiden flight of the 'Lolita Express,' the same plane which Epstein was accused of using to transport underage girls to and from the Virgin Islands.
Royal court documents obtained by the Sun show that Andrew had engagements in London on March 28 and April 2, which could indicate that the royal may indeed have been on the private plane on the dates Rodgers mentioned in his deposition. Andrew also did not have any diary events listed for August 2001.
While Rodgers does not accuse Andrew of any wrongdoing, the deposition, which was released to Roberts' lawyers in New York two weeks ago, is reportedly the first time that allegations have emerged that the royal and Roberts were on Epstein's jet at the same time.
Buckingham Palace moved quickly to discredit the pilot's claims.
"This evidence statement was submitted in a case in which the Duke was not a party and in which any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue," a statement read. "The statement shows a number of inconsistencies between the Duke’s alleged location and his actual location when checked with the court circular. In some cases, he is on different continents."
Indeed, there are certain discrepancies in Rodgers' testimony. He had claimed that Andrew was on a July 4, 2001, flight from the Virgin Islands to Florida along with Roberts and Epstein. But the royal diary shows that the Prince was in the UK on that date.
"It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts," Buckingham Palace's statement continued. "Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."