By VennerRoad, 3rd Jan 2015
Prince Andrew has been implicated in a sensational sex scandal.
Would you turn your back on a friend who fell from grace, even if he did something really bad? If you would, then probably you wouldn’t be much of a friend.
In 2008-09, Jeffrey Epstein served an 18 month sentence for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. Although it is always a serious offence for a man of his age to engage in any sexual activity with an underage girl, there is no credible evidence that he committed rape. He appears to have had a passion for erotic massage, and to have had a string of girls on call. He appears too to have been misled about their ages, or to have allowed himself to be so misled. The girls were well remunerated for their services, the youngest of them appears to have been fourteen. While Epstein’s activities were not comparable with those of a man who gropes a ten year old in the street, the law rightly draws a firm line with matters of this nature, and he could have expected nothing less than a gaol sentence. He served 13 months of his 18 month sentence, and could perhaps have expected more. The leniency afforded him probably has less to do with his being of previous good character than the fact that he is a billionaire, and has a proven track record of philanthropy.
Prince Andrew is the second son of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh; he is or was also a personal friend of Epstein, and because he did not drop him like a hot brick on his conviction, he has come in for severe criticism. In December 2010, the two were photographed together, and as a result he resigned or was forced to resign his post as a UK trade envoy.
Now the chickens have really come home to roost because he has been named as a co-abuser by one of the young women concerned, who is apparently so traumatised by her experiences that she is suing Epstein - at the end of the day it all comes down to money. This woman claims she was kept as a sex slave, and says in that capacity she serviced not only Epstein but Prince Andrew and the lawyer Alan Dershowitz. As might be expected, the details of her claim that have been leaked so far are salacious in the extreme; she says she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex in three different locations, including London. Like stalking and grooming, trafficking is a recent addition to the lexicon of sexual depravity; a man who has sex with a prostitute in a car can be alluded to as a trafficker.
Needless to say, both Prince Andrew (through official channels) and Alan Dershowitz have denied these allegations emphatically. What are we to make of these claims?
The Royal Family are not like other mortals, they live their lives totally in the public eye, even their private lives are not entirely private. The Queen has reigned over us for more than sixty years - a staggering achievement - and every minute of that time has been thoroughly documented. Her Majesty could if necessary produce an official record of her whereabouts on this planet for the entire period of her reign. Prince Andrew is 5th in line to the Throne, so his movements are not quite so controlled, nevertheless, he could doubtless track them accurately for the time period in question, between 1999 and 2002. Likewise, Alan Dershowitz is no mere lawyer but a Harvard academic and media pundit. His movements will be tracked by his diary and sundry official records. As for the accuser, it remains to be seen if she will be able to adduce documentation to the effect that she was in London at the material time, or ever.
One is tempted to ask how Women Against Rape and sundry other campaigning organisations will view this, including the detractors of Bill Cosby, after all, aren’t victims supposed to be believed uncritically? Having said that, we don’t know yet if this woman even knew Epstein much less gave him erotic massages.
Regardless of all the above, is Prince Andrew really at fault for allowing himself to be dragged into this sordid affair? Almost certainly not. There is also a stench of hypocrisy about it. Mike Tyson - who raped a teenage beauty contestant in his hotel room in 1991 - is still in demand, indeed immediately after he was sentenced, the biggest talk of the boxing world for the next three years was his return. Far worse than Tyson whose act might be put down to an act of madness was the calculated drugging and violating of a 13 year old girl by Roman Polanski way back in 1977. This did not stop him being granted French citizenship after fleeing the US, nor two women marrying him, nor film companies employing him, nor the Hollywood glitterati defending him, most infamously the daffy Whoopi Goldberg who said he had committed mere rape rather than “rape rape”.
The irony is that if Epstein were so keen on underage girls he could have afforded to hire a string of midgets to dress up in school uniforms and massage him, or something stronger. Whatever, none of this is the fault of Prince Andrew, and no one should condemn a man for failing to turn his back on a friend. Even if that friend is a billionaire with a track record of philanthropy.
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