has seen Prince Andrew accused of having sex with a teenage girl, has
hit out at the media coverage of the issue, claiming in his first formal
statement on the controversy that he and his associates have been the
subject of “outlandish” attacks.
Prince Andrew at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this month. Photo / AP
In a court filing in Florida,
Epstein, a convicted paedophile, denounced what he described as the
“gossip media” as he requested a judge to block the release of thousands
of pages of correspondence between his lawyers and US prosecutors.
is a widely watched and reported case,” said his filing before Judge
Kenneth Marra in the US District Court of the Southern District of
It continued: “Mr Epstein and a host of other individuals have
been the subject of the most outlandish and offensive attacks,
allegations and plain inventions. The media frenzy has not been fed by
Mr Epstein or the government.”
The New York-born financier is at
the centre of a controversy focusing on allegations made in court by an
American woman, Virginia Roberts, who claims she was forced to have sex
with a number of his friends, one of them Prince Andrew.
claims she had sex three times with the Prince when she was 17. Prince
Andrew and Buckingham Palace have repeatedly denied the claims.
Last week, speaking at Davos, the Duke of York reiterated the denial and said: “My focus is my work.”
was one of numerous high-profile people who once associated with the
62-year-old Epstein. Former US president Bill Clinton and actor Kevin
Spacey were both associates.
But after Epstein’s conviction in
2008 of one count of soliciting sex from an underage girl and his
sentencing to 18 months in jail, many high-profile figures appear to
have avoided him.
Prince Andrew, however, maintained his
friendship with Epstein – a contributory factor to him being asked to
give up his role as Britain’s trade envoy in 2011.
13 months before being freed and forced to register as a sex offender.
It has been alleged that he received special treatment from US
prosecutors after lobbying from Prince Andrew, something Buckingham
Palace has also denied.
Epstein’s court filing late on Monday
focused on efforts to keep correspondence between his lawyers and
government prosecutors private.
The lawyers said Epstein could be “irreparably harmed” if such letters and emails were made public.
cited the 1978 US Supreme Court ruling in favour of former president
Richard Nixon and his efforts to bar television networks from access to
his secret White House recordings. This followed his resignation after
the Watergate scandal.
“Issuing the limited protective order is
precisely the type of discretionary judicial management power that this
court has over its records and proceedings,” said the filing by
“The purpose of discovery is to resolve legal disputes between parties, not to provide newsworthy material.”