SHAMED socialite Ghislaine Maxwell insists she has “no memory” of Prince Andrew and his sex accuser Virginia Giuffre ever spending time together in the UK or US.
She sensationally claims the infamous snap of the Duke of York with his arm around a 17-year-old Virginia — in which she is seen smiling in the background — is a fake.
Shamed socialite Ghislaine Maxwell insists she has ‘no memory’ of Prince Andrew and his sex accuser Virginia Giuffre ever spending time together
She sensationally claims the infamous snap of the Duke of York with his arm around a 17-year-old Virginia is a fake
In her first filmed interview from behind bars — parts of which will air on TalkTV tomorrow night — convicted sex trafficker Maxwell, 61, insists: “I have no memory of them meeting. And I don’t think that picture is real.
“There is no original of that photo, (just) copies of copies and parts of it, according to some experts, look like it has been photoshopped. I don’t remember her in my home.”
Maxwell — a former lover of dead paedophile tycoon Jeffrey Epstein — added: “I know that Virginia travelled with Jeffrey, and so it’s entirely possible.
“It wasn’t something so outrageously out of left field that it couldn’t have happened.
“But the photo doesn’t appear to be real. And I don’t recall it being taken. I have no memory of Virginia and Prince Andrew meeting.”
The new interview has encouraged the Duke of York, who is considering fresh legal action against the high-profile victim of Epstein, who died four years ago.
Last February, Andrew agreed to pay Virginia, 39, a settlement to drop her civil action — in which she claimed she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17.
Insiders suggest his lawyers negotiated a deal close to £3million.
But new evidence has led him to consult with lawyers in the US in the hope of forcing a retraction.
The infamous photo — which also shows Maxwell smiling in the background — sparked scandal for Andrew
Maxwell does admit that her ‘dear friend’ Andrew could have handled the scandal better
It comes after Virginia dropped a lawsuit against Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz last year — admitting that she “may have made a mistake”.
Maxwell — who is in Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institute — says Andrew should be “uplifted” by developments in the US.
She said: “The story people have created here and embellished and not investigated properly has yet to unfold.”
Maxwell — who was herself acc- used by Virginia of grooming her for sexual abuse — said: “I’ve read a lot of her depositions, and her statements are very categorical and her stories very detailed and elaborate, including claiming that she went to his (Dershowitz’s) house.
“So I think her ‘memory lapses’ are disingenuous. If her memory is so poor, then how can you rely on anything she says?
“When you give a lot of details and make claims that last five, six or seven years, and then suddenly at the last moment decide that it was a memory lapse, I find that hard to credit.”
But Maxwell does admit that Prince Andrew could have handled the scandal better.
She described his damaging BBC TV interview with Emily Maitlis in 2019 as “unfortunate”, adding: “I wish he hadn’t done it.”
Virginia dropped a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz last year
Maxwell described Andrew’s damaging BBC TV interview with Emily Maitlis in 2022 as ‘unfortunate’
And she questioned his decision to visit Epstein in 2010 — two years after the investment tycoon was convicted of child sex charges.
She said: “Obviously, it was not good judgment, because it had very severe repercussions. But I was leading a completely separate life from Epstein at that point.”
Last week we revealed how Maxwell met Queen Elizabeth II.
Through her friendship with Andrew, the socialite was a guest at Buckingham Palace on a number of occasions, but was also invited to a more intimate gathering at Balmoral in the summer of 1999 while the Queen was believed to be in residence.
Maxwell said of the late monarch: “The longevity of her reign, her elegance, and her dedication to her work was just astonishing. It was one of the greatest privileges of my life to briefly meet her.”
During filming for CBS Productions, Maxwell said she believed the Queen’s death in September would have contributed to an “annus horribilis” for Andrew.
It came after his legal battle over claims by Virginia resulted in him stepping back from royal duties.
In a message to the duke and his ex-wife Sarah, Maxwell said: “I wish them the happiest New Year that you can have under such difficult circumstances. I am profoundly sorry for the loss of his mother, who was one of the great women.
“I hope 2023 has more uplifting and lovely things than what was clearly his annus horribilis in 2022.”
Maxwell was charged with luring girls as young as 14 to be abused by Epstein, and convicted in December 2021 on five counts, including trafficking a minor, and sentenced to 20 years’ jail.
US Attorney Damian Williams said at the time the sentence held her “accountable for perpetrating heinous crimes against children”.
He added: “This sentence sends a strong message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice.
“We again express our gratitude to Epstein and Maxwell’s victims for their courage in coming forward, in testifying at trial, and in sharing their stories as part of today’s sentencing.”
Epstein was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in 2019.
Epstein was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in 2019
Now, as she waits for her appeal to play out, Maxwell is determined to move on from the high-flying life she once had, as the well-connected friend of President Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea.
She said: “I was incredibly fortunate to have an opportunity to spend time with President Clinton and get to know him. The Clintons used to be very close to me. I hosted parties for them.”
But she puts the cooling of their friendship down to her previous support for Donald Trump rather than the Epstein scandal.
Her latest husband, Scott Borgerson, abandoned her after her arrest, and she has struggled to get him to release her money to fund her legal case during the divorce process.
“Looking back, love does not seem to have been my strongest suit,” she said wryly.
“But I wouldn’t say every man that I fell in love with was a mistake. Some of them have been just wonderful and remain very good friends. The one that I obviously regret the most was Epstein.”
Through her friendship with Andrew, Maxwell was a guest at Buckingham Palace on a number of occasions and met the Queen
So she is focused on the future, and her hopes for rebuilding her life after losing her reputation, her social connections and her fortune.
“I’ve lost everything,” she admits. “But I’m not focused on money. I’m focused on being more helpful to other people, and trying, in what remaining time I have left, to see what I can do to help others.
“Prison is truly one of the most barbaric and terrible experiences any person can undergo.
“Literally the only thing that drives me and keeps me sane is the belief I still have something to give.
“I’m going to pour my energy into helping other people I have met who are incarcerated.
“If the war in Ukraine is still going on, I could use my EMT (emergency medical technician) and paramedic skills and maybe I could go out and help there.
“And I will correct some of the lies that have been told, and reveal some of the hidden truths.”
- DAPHNE Barak is a documentary filmmaker who has interviewed the likes of Nelson Mandela, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
- Extracts from her interview will be shown exclusively on Jeremy Kyle Live: Ghislaine Behind Bars tomorrow night on TalkTV at 7pm.