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Date TimeAugust 22, 2019
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Duke of York should answer questions, father of alleged Epstein victim says
The Duke of York must "answer questions" about allegations he had sex with Jeffrey Epstein's teen "sex slave," the girls's father said. Virginia Giuffre alleged in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with the Duke when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state. Buckingham Palace has vehemently denied the allegations. But Sky Roberts, her father, put further pressure on the Duke, telling The Daily Telegraph he believed the royal family was complicit in blocking a full telling of what happened in the Epstein scandal. Speaking for the first time since video emerged of the Duke inside the paedophile's mansion in 2010, Mr Roberts, 62, accused the Duke of trying to distance himself. Mr Roberts, who lives in Florida, said: "He [the Duke] should answer questions. It's been a long time but they [the royal family] are trying to step away from it - just like everyone else tried to do." He said nobody knew "everything that went on," but there were "lots of friends of Epstein. Some of them may have been good people, some bad people." Asked if he believed the royal family was trying to "cover up" and stop the Duke having to give evidence in the case, he said: "Of course - but that's not for me to say." A picture of Virginia Giuffre with the Duke of York Mr Roberts was hired as a maintenance worker at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, and got his daughter a job as an attendant there in 2000. She was then allegedly recruited into Epstein's world, and the following year was photographed with the Duke's arm around her. All the allegations about the Duke were struck from the court record in 2015 after being described as "immaterial and impertinent" by a judge. The Duke has always denied the allegations and any involvement. Epstein, a convicted paedophile, took his own life in a New York jail cell on August 10 while awaiting trial on further underage sex trafficking charges. As the Duke faced increasing scrutiny over his links to Epstein it emerged the financier had taken steps to shield his fortune from dozens of alleged victims who may sue. A will, signed two days before he died, and filed in the US Virgin Islands, put Epstein's $577 million in assets into a trust called the "1953 Trust," named after the year of his birth. It shrouded from public view the identities of the beneficiaries. Legal experts said prying open the trust and obtaining damages could take years. Jennifer Freeman, who represents child sex abuse victims, said: "This is the last act of Epstein's manipulation of the system, even in death."

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