The former top New York prosecutor has accused the palace and British establishment of “protecting” Prince Andrew from his investigation into Jeffrey Epstein.
In a memoir published days before Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, Geoffrey Berman said he was getting “absolutely nowhere” with his efforts to bring her favorite son to justice for his ties to the pedophile financier.
Berman, the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, writes that Andrew’s lawyers rejected his requests for an interview, saying they would “consider it.”
He claims that even Scotland Yard did not help when he formally asked for help regarding the Duke, although they were normally very cooperative.
Berman’s conclusion was that “someone” rejected his attempts to save Andrew from answering questions about alleged sex with a 17-year-old Epstein victim.
Former top prosecutor Geoffrey Berman says he got ‘absolutely nowhere’ with his efforts to bring Prince Andrew to justice over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein
Berman, the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, writes in his new book that Andrew’s lawyers have denied his requests for an interview. Berman is seen announcing charges against Epstein in 2019
Epstein and Prince Andrew are pictured walking in New York’s Central Park in 2010. Duke has been forced to withdraw from public life because of his association with Epstein
The timing of Berman’s memoir could complicate the already thorny arrangements for Andrew’s role at the funeral of his mother, Queen Elizabeth.
The Duke has been forced to withdraw from public life due to his association with Epstein, but he will attend Monday’s service in honor of his mother.
Andrew has reportedly been banned from wearing a military uniform and has already been yelled at by a heckler as he followed his mother’s coffin to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.
Berman was in office until June 2020 when he was fired by Donald Trump – Berman claims he refused to investigate the former president’s enemies.
In Holding the Line: Inside the Leading US Law Firm and the Battle with the Trump Justice Department Berman writes that he “normally doesn’t mention anyone’s name in connection with an ongoing investigation,” but Andrew was an “exception.”
The Duke’s sparring with Berman began in November 2019 when Andrew gave a ‘disastrous’ interview to the BBC about his association with Epstein.
Epstein was arrested in August of that year, and Andrew came under fire for claims by Virginia Roberts that she had been smuggled to him three times for sex when she was 17.
Andrew issued a press statement saying he would be willing to assist with any law enforcement investigation and said the same to the BBC.
But Berman writes that he quickly became frustrated after asking two of his accusers to contact Andrew’s people for an interview.
It took them “two weeks to find out who his lawyers were,” Berman writes.
He writes: ‘We tried to call Buckingham Palace, but they didn’t help. We tried the attaché from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no luck. When we finally got his lawyers, they had all these questions.
‘What kind of interview will it be? Are there protections? Is there this? Is that there? And we kept answering, and all of that led to further questions and they said you know, ‘We’ll consider it’.
Berman writes that it was an “endless email exchange and it was obvious we got the redirection.”
The book states: ‘He did not sit down with us for an interview, despite assuring the public that he was willing, willing and able to cooperate’.
Berman alleges that “someone” tried to save Andrew from answering questions about alleged sex with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts. Andrew, Virginia and Ghislaine Maxwell are seen in 2001
Prince Andrew clearly knew Epstein and Maxwell. He was on the island. He was at the mansion in New York. He was with them in London. We had a lot of questions for him and those questions went unanswered,” says Berman. Andrew and Maxwell are pictured in 2000
In January 2020, at a press conference outside Epstein’s mansion, Berman was asked about Andrew’s help with the investigation. He replied that there had been ‘zero cooperation’.
Berman’s comments brought Andrew’s lawyers “back to the table.”
He writes: ‘But it was more of the same. Repeated emails back and forth with no commitment on his part. We said if they’re serious about working together, just name the time and place and we’ll be there. The lawyers never did that.”
Berman writes that he ‘normally doesn’t mention anyone’s name in connection with an ongoing investigation’, but Andrew was an ‘exception’
Berman says they “got nothing,” so he decided to “force” Andrew to talk to them by filing a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request through the State Department, which stands for .
An MLAT is an agreement between countries to assist each other in criminal investigations.
Berman writes that because of his “very good relations” with Scotland Yard, they “almost always got what we asked for” with an MLAT request.
He writes: ‘But that’s not what happened to Prince Andrew. We got nowhere at all. Did they protect him? I assume someone was.”
A war of words escalated between the two sides, and Andrew’s lawyers accused Berman of “seeking publicity rather than accepting the help offered” in a June 2020 statement.
Berman writes: ‘Just to be clear. No help was offered. The Prince offered to send us some sort of written statement, but that’s not how we conduct investigations, not even for British royals.
Prince Andrew clearly knew Epstein and Maxwell. He was on the island. He was at the mansion in New York. He was with them in London. We had many questions for him and those questions remained unanswered.”
According to Berman, then-Attorney General Bill Barr called him after making his “zero cooperation” comments to congratulate him.
Barr is said to have said, “I really liked your comments about Prince Andrew. Can you keep it up?’
The Duke’s sparring with Berman began in November 2019 when Andrew gave a ‘disastrous’ interview to the BBC about his association with Epstein
Andrew was known as the Queen’s favorite son. They are pictured in 2019 during the Trooping The Color before losing his military titles
Berman writes that Barr saw Andrew’s situation as a “chit” in a dispute with the UK over Anne Sacoolas, the American wife of a CIA agent who murdered a British teenager near the UK military base where her husband worked.
Sacoolas collided head-on with 17-year-old Harry Dunn while driving on the wrong side of the road and fled the country, claiming diplomatic immunity.
Britain wanted Sacoolas to be extradited for a criminal trial, but the Trump administration refused.
Berman writes: “Barr told me that the public disagreement over Prince Andrew’s refusal to attend an interview was helpful in this other case.
“It’s done PR damage, I felt, and made it more pleasant for the government to stand firm,” apparently referring to its refusal to extradite Sacoolas.
Berman said this seemed “questionable” but it “didn’t affect” his approach to Andrew, who to this day has still not interviewed prosecutors.
Last year, Roberts, a mother of three living in Australia under her married name Giuffre, sued Andrew in New York for sexual abuse in a civil case that further embarrassment.
Her lawyers spent weeks trying to serve the Duke, who eventually settled the case for a reported $12 million.
Andrew is said to have discussed a possible return to public life with the Queen before her death, but faces strong public opposition to do so.