Ghislaine Maxwell says she ‘feels bad’ for ‘dear friend’ Prince Andrew

A split image shows Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew. Getty Images

In her first interview from a U.S. prison cell, convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell says she “feels bad” for Prince Andrew.

Maxwell, 60, says she understands why she can no longer be friends with the Duke of York and why his lawyers made sure to downplay their relationship.

“I feel so bad for him,” she told Daphne Barak, an Israeli-American documentary filmmaker, in August. “I follow what’s happening to him.”

In the bombshell interview, one of two conducted for an upcoming CBS-Paramount Plus documentary, she called the disgraced royal a “dear friend.”

This flies in the face of what Andrew’s lawyers argued in a legal filing in January. They asked that the sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre be dismissed because they said her claim that Maxwell and Andrew were close friends was false.

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FILE – Virginia Roberts Giuffre holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court following the jailhouse death of Jeffrey Epstein, Aug. 27, 2019, in New York. Bebeto Matthews / The Associated Press

Giuffre had alleged that Maxwell helped Epstein groom her as part of their sex trafficking ring and that Andrew sexually assaulted her. Maxwell continues to deny the charges.

Speaking from the Florida prison where she’s serving a 20-year sentence for sexually abusing, recruiting and trafficking girls for Epstein, she said she understands why her friendship with Andrew had to end.

“I accept that this friendship could not survive my conviction. He is paying such a price for the association. I consider him a dear friend. I care about him.”

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When asked whether she and Andrew could be friends once she’s freed, she said: “I don’t have an expectation. People who I have been friends with, and very close friends with…I can’t think about what they will want to do or not do.”

Andrew strenuously denies Giuffre’s allegations and in February of this year reached an out-of-court settlement. At that time, Andrew’s lawyer said in a statement the prince would make a substantial donation to Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.

“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others,” the statement read.

Britain’s Prince Andrew is seen in this April 5, 2015 photo in London. Neil Hall / PA via The Associated Press

“He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”

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Prince Andrew was stripped of all his military titles and patronages in the wake of the lawsuit, returning them to Queen Elizabeth II in January. He is no longer allowed to use the title ‘His Royal Highness’ and his royal duties have been distributed among other members of the British Royal Family.

In her interview, Maxwell described her relationship with Epstein as the “greatest regret of my life,” saying that she could go out of her way to “avoid meeting him” if she could.

She also said she felt “honoured” when former U.S. president Donald Trump sent his well wishes ahead of her trial.

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