Ghislaine Maxwell pours scorn on claims by Andrew’s accuser

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Ghislaine Maxwell seen in 2000, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell denied finding underage sexual partners for the Duke of York and cast doubts on accounts by the royal’s accuser, including a claim sex took place in a bathtub, according to newly released court documents.

Accusing Virginia Giuffre of telling a “tissue of lies”, Maxwell said the bathtub in question – in her home in Mayfair – was too small to accommodate any sexual activity.

Maxwell, the former girlfriend of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, repeatedly denied any memory of the circumstances around Ms Giuffre’s claim Andrew slept with her when she was 17 – still a minor under US law.

The socialite is awaiting trial in the US after being charged with procuring teenage girls for Epstein to abuse. She denies the charges.

Ms Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein, alleges the duke had sex with her on three separate occasions.

Andrew has categorically denied he has had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre.

In the deposition transcript, from a since settled defamation case brought by Ms Giuffre, also known as Roberts, Maxwell accused the now mother-of-three of lying.

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Virginia Giuffre appearing in the Surviving Jeffrey Epstein documentary (Screengrab/Crime+Investigation/PA)

In the document, which had redacted the duke’s name, Maxwell was asked if she had introduced Ms Giuffre to the royal in London and replied: “I understand her story about… but again, her tissue of lies is extremely hard to pick apart, what is true and what isn’t.

“Actually I wouldn’t recollect her at all but for her tissue stories about this situation.”

Asked again if the pair had met thanks to her, she replied she had “no recollection”. When quizzed if she had introduced Andrew to any “girls under the age of 18”, she said he had only met her friends and their children.

Maxwell’s deposition, from seven hours of interviews with Ms Giuffre’s lawyers, has come to light after Manhattan US District judge Loretta A Preska on Thursday ordered the transcripts to be released, rejecting arguments from Maxwell’s lawyers the defamation interviews would jeopardise a fair criminal trial for her next July.

The Duke of York has stepped down from royal life in the wake of a TV interview about Epstein (Andrew Matthews/PA)

In the deposition, Maxwell denied all of Ms Giuffre’s sex allegations.

“What I’m representing is that her entire ludicrous and absurd story of what took place in my house is an obvious lie,” Maxwell said. “She claimed things took place in my bathroom in London. Her characterisation is just not possible.”

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Maxwell later added: “She (Ms Giuffre) then characterised things took place in my bathroom in the bathtub itself. The tub is too small for any type of activity whatsoever.”

Ms Giuffre also stated her claims in a BBC Panorama interview last December, in which she said: “There was a bath and it started there and then led into the bedroom.

“It didn’t last very long, the whole entire procedure. It was disgusting. He wasn’t mean or anything but he got up and he said ‘thanks’ and walked out.

“I sat there in bed, just horrified and ashamed and felt dirty. I had to get up and have a shower.”

In the deposition, Maxwell also cast doubt on the authenticity of a photo showing Andrew with his arm around Ms Giuffre, with Maxwell in the background, purportedly taken at Maxwell’s Mayfair home.

Maxwell said the surroundings in the photo looked “familiar”, but also said: “We can’t really establish the photograph and all that,” adding: “I don’t know if that’s true, if that’s a real picture or not.”

But in the combative display she went on to say: “Just for the record, I have never at any time, at any place, in any moment ever asked Virginia Roberts or whatever she is called now to have sex with anybody.”

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In the transcripts the socialite also repeatedly denied hiring anyone under the age of 18 for Epstein.

She also said: “I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever.”

The transcript also includes mention of an email allegedly sent to Maxwell by Andrew on January 3, 2015, saying “let me know when we can talk. Got some specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts”.

Maxwell said she had spoken to Andrew “at some point” about Ms Roberts/Giuffre, and that the two had discussed “just what a liar she is”.

Ghislaine Maxwell is currently in a US prison awaiting trail on charges, which she denies, of procuring teenage girls for Epstein to abuse (Jim James/PA)

The 2016 transcript is among more than 2,000 pages of documents that began to be released last year after an appeals court began the unsealing of documents from Ms Giuffre’s defamation case first brought in 2015.

While references to Andrew were redacted from the published testimony, it is possible to to spot where his name as been removed by referencing the document’s alphabetical index.

Ms Giuffre has alleged Maxwell recruited her at 17 to be sexually abused from 1999 to 2002.

Andrew has withdrawn from official public duties after a disastrous Newsnight interview about his relationship with Epstein, that left him criticised for showing little sympathy with the disgraced financier’s victims.

Epstein was 66 when he killed himself in jail in Manhattan in August last year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

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