Prince Andrew flew on a private jet with friend Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged 17-year-old sex slave Virginia Roberts, a pilot claims. The allegation, made in court papers, is the first to place Andrew and Roberts on Epstein’s plane together.
In court testimony David Rodgers, 66, said one trip saw Epstein, Andrew and the then 17-year-old Virginia heading to the US Virgin Islands. The financier, who apparently killed himself in jail 11 days ago ahead of a trial for sex trafficking minors, had a private island there where he is said to have held orgies involving under-age girls.
Rodgers legal deposition marks the first time anyone has alleged Andrew and Virginia were on Epstein’s plane at the same time. Virginia claims Andrew had sex with her when she was a teenager. He has always strenuously denied it. Rodgers’ claim will increase the pressure on Andrew to now reveal everything he knows about Epstein.
The deposition to Virginia’s lawyers was released in New York 12 days ago. It is among 2,000 court documents relating to a settled defamation case involving her and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Roberts claimed Maxwell, Epstein’s sometime girlfriend, groomed underage girls for him. That case was later struck out and the claims have never been tested in court. Rodgers does not allege any wrongdoing by Prince Andrew on the flights.
His testimony says he flew Epstein’s private jet which ferried VIP guests including ex-US President Bill Clinton, model Naomi Campbell and sex-scandal Hollywood star Kevin Spacey. It also claims Andrew was aboard a number of times, including two flights with Virginia.
He says the Virgin Islands flight took place on 11 April 2001 — with Maxwell also among the guests. Rodgers’ also claims Andrew was on a flight on 31 March from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Florida. He says others passengers on the 22-seat Gulfstream jet included Epstein, Maxwell and Virginia.
Royal Court Circular documents show Andrew had engagements in London on March 28 and April 2 — so it is possible he could have been on the Epstein plane. Buckingham Palace refused to further clarify Andrew’s movements over that period. On April 9 Andrew began an official visit to the US — arriving in New York that day.
Flight logs show Virginia flew to New York with Epstein on April 9. The Prince also flew to Boston for official engagements before returning to New York on April 11. On that day, Rodgers says Andrew flew from New Jersey to the Virgin Islands.
Court Circulars do not state Andrew’s whereabouts for the next few days — but a newspaper report places him “in the Bahamas” by April 15. Rodgers also claims that on 7 August 2001 Prince Andrew was on the maiden flight of Epstein’s infamous “Lolita Express.”
The Boeing 727, replacing his Gulfstream, had a bed which Epstein allegedly used for orgies. The Duke did not have any diary events listed for August 2001.
There are also discrepancies in Rodgers’ testimony. He claims Andrew was on a 4 July 2001 flight from the Virgin Islands to Florida along with Roberts and Epstein. But the Royal diary shows he was in the UK on that date. Flight logs for the trips do not feature Andrew’s name but the initials AP.
The initials had previously been used for Epstein’s designer Alberto Pinto. Rodgers identifies Andrew in his testimony. The initials AP may have also been used for Epstein’s chef Adam Perry Lang.
The inquiry is now focusing on several alleged co-conspirators, believed to include Maxwell, 57, the daughter of disgraced newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell. Virginia claims she was held a sex slave by Epstein and trafficked to his friends while a teenager.
A source close to Andrew said: “If law-enforcement agencies or police want to talk to the Duke or any royal they just need to ask.”
Buckingham Palace said: “This evidence statement was submitted in a case in which the Duke was not a party and in which any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.
“The statement shows a number of inconsistencies between the Duke’s alleged location and his actual location when checked with the court circular. In some cases he is on different continents.
“It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. “Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.