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A 39-year-old woman who claims she was groped by Prince Andrew when she was 21, as she sat on his knee at a party in Jeffrey Epstein’s cavernous New York home, is reportedly ready to give evidence to the FBI.
This comes after a weekend that saw Andrew’s 60th birthday party canceled by the Queen, a new uncropped version of the picture with his arm around Virginia Giuffre Roberts released by the Mail on Sunday, cold water poured on his apparent suggestions it was a fake, and the prince forced to step down from all 230 of his charities and patronages.
The Mirror reports that Johanna Sjoberg, who worked for Epstein as a masseuse and an air hostess on his private jet, nicknamed the Lolita Express, is ready to speak to investigators and could give crucial evidence over Andrew’s links to Epstein.
A source told the paper: “As a victim of Epstein, Sjoberg’s testimony over how she was recruited and abused is vital to the FBI.
“Andrew has had serious allegations made against him and agents are determined that a person’s standing in life does not make them immune from being questioned.”
The agency is thought to be exploring methods by which they might interview the prince in the U.K.
They could only interview him on British soil with his permission, however given his frequent insistence that he will co-operate with any law-enforcement requests, it is hard to see how he could refuse.
Andrew’s lawyers are said to be preparing for an approach by the FBI.
U.S. Justice Department sources told the Sunday Times: “There’s been active discussions between the FBI and Department of Justice about interviewing Prince Andrew in relation to the Jeffrey Epstein case. If he agrees to an interview, he could potentially provide some very unique and helpful insights and make a considerable difference to the investigation.”
Speculation that American law-enforcement operatives would come knocking at Andrew’s door has been rife all week, but now The Sunday Times says U.S. detectives are “examining ways to interview the prince in Britain through the U.S. Justice Department.”
Sjoberg alleged, in a deposition in a now-settled defamation case brought by Roberts against Ghislaine Maxwell, that Epstein flew Johanna and Roberts from Palm Beach, Florida, to Manhattan to help entertain Andrew.
Inside the house, they presented the prince with a latex puppet of himself from a satirical British TV show, Spitting Image.
In papers filed in New York for the defamation case, Sjoberg detailed what happened next during the Easter 2001 visit.
The documents say that Sjoberg testified that she remembered,“Someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to get on the couch. And so Andrew and Virginia sat on the couch, and they put the puppet... on her lap. And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine.”
Roberts’ lawyers argued at the time that the testimony from Sjoberg corroborated her account of being lent out to Prince Andrew.