Maxwell family bathroom ‘stunt’ said to prove Prince Andrew’s ‘innocence’ is shameful, say friends
Friends of Virginia Roberts last night poured scorn on a bizarre ‘stunt’ said to prove Prince Andrew’s ‘innocence’ of alleged sex crimes against her.
A photograph on the front page of the Daily Telegraph showed a man and a woman lying fully clothed in a bath in the former London home of convicted child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, wearing makeshift masks bearing the faces of the Prince and his accuser.
It was published under the headline: ‘The photo that “clears Duke” over bath sex’ and was said to disprove Ms Roberts’s story that the Prince had engaged in intimate acts with her in its confined space. Ghislaine’s brother Ian told the newspaper that the image, posed by two of his sister’s acquaintances, ‘show[s] conclusively that the bath is too small for any sort of sex frolicking’.
Ms Roberts has claimed that in 2001, the Duke licked her toes in the bath before they had sex in the bedroom, when she was 17.
A photo on the front page of the Daily Telegraph showed a man and a woman lying fully clothed in a bath in the former London home of convicted child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell , wearing makeshift masks bearing the faces of the Prince and his accuser
She alleged she was forced to have sex with Andrew by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein – who died in 2019 awaiting trial for child sex trafficking offences – and his close friend, Ghislaine Maxwell. The Duke has repeatedly and vehemently denied Ms Roberts’s claims.
One source connected to Ms Roberts, who now goes by her married surname Giuffre, told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘If this shameful stunt is the best Maxwell’s side can do in defence of Prince Andrew then it’s laughable.
‘It’s a disgusting attempt to discredit a victim of sexual abuse and would be risible if it were not so offensive. Plus they have their facts totally wrong. Virginia never said they had sex in the bath.’ Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represented several victims of Epstein and Maxwell’s sex trafficking web, added: ‘What a surreal, bizarre photograph. It proves nothing.
Virginia Roberts (right) has claimed that in 2001, the Prince Andrew (left) licked her toes in the bath before they had sex in the bedroom, when she was 17
‘Virginia said that she and Andrew were in the bath. The photo shows that two full-sized humans can fit in the bath. Virginia said that Andrew began by playing with her feet in the bath. The photo shows that would certainly be possible.
‘Virginia said that she and Andrew then moved into the bedroom where the sexual activity occurred. Nothing in the photo disproves that.
‘Ghislaine and her supporters must be getting desperate. Instead of continuing to attack victims, she should be apologising for the pain she has caused to so many.’
And lawyer Spencer Kuvin, who also represented victims of Maxwell and Epstein, said: ‘It’s absurd. If they want to know how two people can have sex in a bathtub they need to merely google it on the internet. This half-hearted attempt [to discredit Virginia] is laughable.’
In a 2011 interview, Ms Roberts claimed she and the Duke got into the bath where ‘he started licking my toes’ before moving to the bedroom, a story she repeated in a 2019 interview with BBC’s Panorama, saying: ‘There was a bath and it started there and then led into the bedroom.’
In a 2011 interview, Ms Roberts claimed she and the Duke got into the bath where ‘he started licking my toes’ before moving to the bedroom, a story she repeated in a 2019 interview with BBC’s Panorama
In her unpublished memoir, The Billionaire’s Playboy Club – which she admitted was partly fictionalised – she wrote about entering the bath: ‘We kissed and touched each other before submersing into the hot water… he was adoring my young body, particularly my feet, caressing my toes and licking my arches.’
After drying off they moved into a nearby bedroom ‘for the longest ten minutes of my life’.
A longtime friend of Ms Roberts said: ‘The memoir was never accepted into evidence by the judge because it was never presented by Virginia as a factual account of her experiences. Some of it is fictionalised.
‘But that is besides the point. This is an attempt at victim-shaming at its worst. How arrogant do you have to be to think a photograph like this will in any way help your case?’
Last night, Ms Roberts’s lawyers declined to comment but a source close to her said: ‘This feels like a coordinated attempt to try to discredit her but the truth is the truth. Virginia has consistently told the truth about Prince Andrew and no amount of stunted-up photographs will change that.’
Meanwhile, a smiling Prince Andrew, 62, was photographed driving a Range Rover in the grounds of Windsor Castle yesterday and appeared carefree as he later rode through the castle grounds on horseback.
Last week, it emerged he has been telling friends that a ‘mystery development’ will restore his disgraced reputation in the coming months, and that he intends to challenge the multi-million pound settlement he struck with Ms Roberts last year.