Prince Andrew’s pals say he needs Ghislaine Maxwell’s support from prison ‘like a hole in the head’

Ghislaine Maxwell in prison. Hold for paper. Hold for Steve Waring. Sun On Sunday Exclusive One Time Use Only.

PRINCE Andrew needs disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s public backing from her prison cell “like a hole in the head”, pals claim.

One said the Duke was trying to rebuild his life and keep out the spotlight so “receiving words of support from a convicted sex trafficker isn’t very helpful”.

Prince Andrew needs disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s public show of support from prison ‘like a hole in the head’, claim pals

Andrew, Virginia, aged 17, and Maxwell in 2001

Pals Andrew and Maxwell at the Royal Ascot races in June, 2000

It comes after Maxwell, 60, called the Duke of York, 62 — who lives at Windsor Lodge with ex-wife Fergie — a “dear friend” in an exclusive Sun on Sunday interview.

Warped Maxwell, who procured young women for paedophile tycoon Jeffrey Epstein, a pal of Andrew’s, said of the royal: “I feel so bad for him.

“He is paying such a price for the association. I consider him a dear friend. I care about him.

“I accept that this friendship couldn’t survive my conviction.”

The Duke’s lawyers defended him against claims he sexually abused Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a sex slave of Epstein who died in prison on remand in 2019.

A now infamous photo emerged of Andrew with his arm around Virginia, then 17, with Maxwell beside them.

It was taken by Epstein at Maxwell’s London home in 2001.

Virginia sued Andrew in New York earlier this year and he paid her, we understand, £7million out of court.

Maxwell, who previously said the photo “looks real”, now claims it is fake She said there were “over 50 problems” with it.

Maxwell — serving 20 years for trafficking — also claimed another lag plotted to kill her as she slept in jail in New York, after her arrest in 2020.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, Sigrid McCawley, said she was puzzled as to why Maxwell agreed to be interviewed when the case against her had been “clear and compelling”.

She said the jury was “the only audience that matters”.

Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents Epstein victims, said Maxwell had done Andrew “no favours” by reminding the public of the scandal.

Spokesmen for the Duke of York and Buckingham Palace did not want to comment.

Andrew and Fergie return to their Windsor home yesterday

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