Trump claims he doesn't know Prince Andrew despite several photos of them together

Chris Riotta
Getty Images

Donald Trump has denied knowing Prince Andrew despite having met the embattled royal on several well-documented occasions, including the president’s official state visit to the UK earlier this year.

When asked about the Duke of York, who has stepped down from his royal duties after being accused of sexual assault, Mr Trump responded: “I don’t know Prince Andrew, but it’s a tough story, it’s a very tough story.”

The president was referring to allegations made in an new interview with a woman who said she was sex trafficked by the late billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and forced to have sex with the duke when she was 17 - below the age of consent.

“There was a bath, and it started there and then it led into the bedroom”, Virginia Giuffre said about the alleged incident in an interview with the BBC programme Panorama. “It didn’t last very long, the whole entire procedure. It was disgusting.”

She added: “He wasn’t mean or anything but he got up and he said thanks and then he walked out and I sat there in bed, just horrified and ashamed and felt dirty.”

The prince has denied the allegations against him and said he had no recollection of ever meeting Ms Giuffre. Meanwhile, Mr Trump has also sought to distance himself from the Epstein scandal, who was found dead while in federal custody earlier this year from an apparent suicide.

While Mr Trump said he did not know the prince, photos show the two warmly greeting each other during the president’s visit to the UK this year.

Mr Trump was photographed with the prince at his own Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, in a picture that also features Melania Trump and Epstein, as well as his closest former confidant, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ms Maxwell has been accused of aiding Epstein in his sexual abuse against multiple young women, including Ms Giuffre.

Ms Giuffre said she was approached by the British socialite when she was just 17-years-old to work as a supposed massage therapist for Epstein. At the time, she was working as a locker room attendant at Mar-a-Lago.

And while the prince has insisted he never met Ms Giuffre, a photo reported to be from 2001 shows him standing with his arm wrapped around her waist when she was just 17. Standing off to the side of the photo is Ms Maxwell.

The BBC has also reported that it obtained an email from the prince to Ms Maxwell in 2015, in which he refers to Ms Giuffre and says he has “some specific questions” about her.

Ms Giuffre has called the prince’s denials “ridiculous” and called on British people to support her as she spoke out against him.

“I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK,” she said. “This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked. This is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guy’s royalty.”