I would like to register my disquiet at the claims being made against Prince Andrew by a woman in America. I have no independent information relating to any of the claims, other than what is in the media, but the claim is that a 17-year-old was introduced to Prince Andrew by the billionaire Jerry Epstein, who spent some time in prison for “under-age” sex. It is also claimed the woman, Virginia Roberts, entered Epstein’s entourage at the age of 15.
A number of points need to be made. Firstly, the woman is now 30, and I think it is far too late to be making claims of any type that date back well over a decade. The claim by “rape charities” that “abuse” gives rise to life-long trauma must be questioned. We are infantilising a whole generation of people by telling them you can never get over your past. Many (most?) people do recover from embarrassing episodes in their past.
Secondly, with all such claims, the quality of the available evidence is dire. If anyone, whether prince of the realm or otherwise, had a private massage from a 17-year-old, only the two of them will know precisely what happened. It becomes “he said” versus “she said”, which amounts to no evidence of anything at all.
Thirdly, there is no claim of any “compulsion”. This woman was a willing member of Epstein’s entourage/harem, and, or so the claim goes, a trusted companion of his who could be relied upon to give a good time to Epstein’s friends. Claims this woman was a “sex slave”, or was compelled to take part in such orgies, seems to be false. If her claims are true, she was a willing participant, and charged a fee for her services. This does not at all sound like a forced and reluctant performer of insalubrious acts.
Finally, there is the age of the woman. We are told that 17 years of age is “under age” in Florida. That may be so, but 17 years of age is not under age in the real world. This is five or six years past puberty. It is beyond credulity that a state should legislate such that 18 becomes the minimum age for sexual consent. This is absurd. She has been quoted in newspapers referring to Epstein as a “paedophile”, but having sex with a 17-year-old is not paedophilia. Having sex with a 15-year-old is not paedophilia either. Both might be regarded as unpleasant, giving the gap in age and wealth, but neither a 15-year-old nor a 17-year-old is a little child. There is no evidence whatsoever that Epstein is attracted to pre-pubescent children.
This young woman appears pert and nubile in photographs of her with Prince Andrew. It is simply ridiculous to argue that sex with this woman—which is not proved to have taken place—would have been some kind of paedophilia.
Such women hang round the famous precisely because they afford them access to a celebrity lifestyle and money. Why did this girl, even at 15, visit Epstein? This is not at all the same thing as Epstein jumping out of a bush to force himself on a passing schoolgirl. This story reads like a very knowing and precocious girl, many years past puberty, who joined the Epstein household voluntarily and benefited financially therefrom.
While it is kind of amusing to see even Establishment figures falling foul of such hysteria, we should bear in mind that even if the claims prove to be true, or are held to be true (which is not the same thing), there is nothing unusual about an older man feeling attracted to an older teenage girl. I defy any heterosexual male to look at the photograph of her in the newspaper at 17 years of age and not feel attracted to her. This is a monstrous wrong being done to Prince Andrew—and I regard it as a shakedown for money.