Jeffrey Epstein prostitute: How I met Prince Andrew
Girl who worked as Wall St billionaire's masseuse recounts her evening with Prince Andrew
An Australian woman has revealed how she was "trained" as a teenage prostitute by the convicted American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein for his and his friends' entertainment. And while in the billionaire hedge-funder's employ, she once went dancing with Prince Andrew, a close friend of Epstein's.
It is not claimed that Virginia Roberts and Prince Andrew had sex. But her story puts further pressure on the prince to explain his continued relationship with a man who has served jail time for soliciting an underage prostitute and is on the US sex offenders' register.
Epstein finished a two-year prison sentence only last summer - half of it in prison, the other half under house arrest in Florida - after being caught in a FBI sting operation discovered relationships with 17 underage girls.
Epstein's high-profile friends at the time included Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, both of whom - it was assumed - were keeping their distance since his crimes came to light.
However, earlier this month, the News of the World carried a photograph (above) showing Prince Andrew and Epstein strolling together in New York in December 2010. It was headlined 'Prince Andy & the Peado' and the papers asked: "Just what is the 4th in line to the throne doing meeting a convicted child-sex pervert... even if he is a billionaire?"
As media commentator Roy Greenslade wrote, it was an entirely valid question "that highlights, yet again, the prince's lack of judgment".
Now the Daily Mail has persuaded Virginia Roberts to tell her story. The paper believes more questions will be asked about Andrew's role as Britain's special representative for international trade - "an important position, requiring sound judgment and widespread respect".
Virginia Roberts is now 27, married and living in Australia. She claims she was just 15 when she was introduced to Epstein by Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late publishing tycoon Robert Maxell, and a confidant Epstein's.
Ghislaine told the 15-year-old she she knew a powerful man who was looking for a travelling masseuse. Virginia would get training and be paid well, Ghislaine promised.
Virginia was driven to Epstein's Palm Beach mansion where she was led through Epstein's bedroom into a massage room where he lay face down naked on a massage table.
After asking about Virginia's childhood - and eliciting the facts that she had been a runaway and lost her virginity - Epstein told her he was ready for a massage. It quickly became sexual.
"My face was red with embarrassment," she told the Mail. "But I felt under immense pressure to please them."
Afterwards, Virginia was given two $100 notes and told to return the next day. She would spend four years working for Epstein, always being given cash after any sexual encounter.
Two years into her period of employment, Epstein began asking Virginia to entertain his friends. It started, she said, with him telling her: "I've got a good friend and I need you to fly to the island [a private island he owned in the Caribbean] to entertain him, massage him and make him feel how you make me feel."
Virginia told the Mail: "I was shocked but I told myself he was sharing me around because he trusted me and I was special."
She was 'given' to several men a world-famous scientist, a respected liberal politician and a foreign head of state. None appeared to find the arrangement unusual.
In 2001, Virginia accompanied Epstein on a six-week tour of Europe and north Africa. In London, they stayed at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell, who told her one morning: "We've got to go shopping. You need a dress as you're going to dance with a Prince tonight."
That evening, Prince Andrew arrived. "Ghislaine served tea from a porcelain pot and biscuits. She knew Sarah Ferguson and they talked fondly about Andrew¹s daughters."
According to Virginia, Ghislaine asked Andrew to guess how old he thought Virginia was. "He guessed 17 and they all laughed. Ghislaine made a joke that I was getting too old for Jeffrey.
"She said, 'He'll soon have to trade her in.' It was widely known that he [Epstein] liked young girls."
The four went out to dinner and on to the London nightclub Tramp, where she and Andrew danced.
They all returned to Ghislaine's home. Andrew later left, but not before Epstein snapped a photograph of Andrew and Virginia, the prince with his arm around the 17-year-old's waist. "I wanted something to show my Mom," she said.
The next morning, Virginia claims she was told by Ghislaine: "You did well. He had fun".
The party flew back to the States and at the end of the trip, Virginia says she was paid $15,000 by Epstein. "It was amazing money, more than I'd ever made on a trip with him before.
"He didn¹t say there was any special reason, but I felt like I¹d done everything he wanted. He was very pleased."
Virginia Roberts claims she was prepared to tell her story to the Mail because she was "horrified" to see Prince Andrew photographed with Epstein in New York after all that has happened.
"I am appalled," she told the Mail. "To me, it's saying, 'We are above the law'. But Jeffrey is a monster."
Neither Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell nor Prince Andrew has commented to the Mail about Virginia's story. ·