Andrew, Ghislaine’s secret pact revealed
PRINCE Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell have a "mutual protection pact", according to a pal of Jeffrey Epstein's madam who still speaks to her in hiding.
The British socialite, accused of procuring underage girls for billionaire paedophile Epstein, is said to have confided in her friend that she has an agreement with the Queen's favourite son that they won't spill the dirt on each other.
The news comes a day after Prince Andrew was publicly shamed by US law chief Geoffrey Berman over the Epstein scandal for providing "zero co-operation" with attempts to interview him.
This is despite the Duke of York, 59, insisting in a statement last year that he was "willing to help" in the investigation into his former friend, who killed himself last year while awaiting trial for alleged sex trafficking.
But Laura Goldman, a friend of Ms Maxwell and her sister Isabel, told The Sun: "Prince Andrew will never testify. The Duke of York and Ghislaine have a mutual protection pact. She told me herself after his doomed BBC Newsnight interview last year.
"When he said that he would agree to be interviewed by the FBI at the time, Ghislaine said afterwards that the palace didn't want Andrew to testify as it would cheapen the British monarchy.
"She said that it would take away the royal family's sense of mystery if Andrew faces a court hearing like any ordinary person would.
"Ghislaine says that Andrew doesn't know anything about the case against Epstein anyway. She feels it would just be a stunt to satisfy the media if he was asked to testify.
"But this all comes back to the fact that both Prince Andrew and Ghislaine would protect each other, no matter what they face.
"It looks to me like Ghislaine might be becoming even more of a target in this case now than she ever was before. Otherwise why would they want to talk to Andrew now anyway? It must be because they want to quiz him on Ghislaine as she's his closest link to all this."
The family friend says Ms Maxwell is exercising and reading to keep herself busy while she remains hidden from the public spotlight, where she's said to be "doing OK" and maintaining her "wisecracking" sense of humour.
Ms Maxwell has always denied being a pimp for Epstein.
Ms Goldman added: "Ghislaine is doing OK. She spends her time exercising and reading. She's handling everything as well as could be expected.
"Of course she isn't enjoying high society partying like she once did, but she's in much better spirits than you might think. And she still has her sense of humour, so that keeps her going.
"I remember her joking, 'Don't you know I'm going to a ball tonight?' So she can still laugh and make wise cracks like she always did."
Ms Goldman has continued to maintain contact with Ms Maxwell despite no confirmed public sightings of her since last August.
The daughter of the disgraced late media mogul Robert Maxwell had allegedly been seen for the last time outside a Los Angeles burger restaurant last summer, but the authenticity of photographs taken of her there have been disputed ever since.
However, Ms Maxwell's sister Isabel remains "upset" with her family's continued fall from grace thanks to their connection to Epstein.
Ms Goldman continued: "Isabel says that she's glad that the FBI are at least investigating the case now as the truth will come out and her sister's name will eventually be cleared. She calls Epstein 'evil Epstein'. She literally says, 'the truth will out'.
"However, she remains upset that the family name is still being dragged through the mud. Normally they would all be celebrating with the stars during the Hollywood awards season. But as things stand they're still having to remain in hiding until Ghislaine can resurface with her reputation restored once again."
Yesterday, US lawyer Geoffrey Berman held a dramatic press conference outside Epstein's former Manhattan mansion where he revealed that the FBI had contacted Prince Andrew's lawyers and requested an interview but "to date, Prince Andrew has provided zero co-operation".
The briefing sparked fury from representatives of Epstein's sex abuse victims, including Virginia Roberts Giuffre, 36, who claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times as a teenager after being trafficked to him by Epstein.
The royal has vehemently denied her claims.
Sigrid McCawley, who represents Ms Giuffre, said: "Prince Andrew should take most seriously the deeply held belief in this country that no one is above the law.
"Prince Andrew's continued refusal to co-operate with the authorities after freely acknowledging that he would be prepared to answer inquiries raises even more questions about the role he played in the international sex trafficking ring Jeffrey Epstein and others operated."
Jack Scarola, another lawyer representing the mum-of three, told The Sun last night: "It is obvious that Prince Andrew is persisting in a pattern of non co-operation which has now been going on for years.
"I would certainly believe that he should recognise his moral obligation to participate in the search for the truth.
"With all that the victims of Jeffrey Epstein have been through - over so many years - I would say that they expected nothing different."
Prince Andrew and Prince Charles' representatives have been approached by The Sun but have declined to comment.
Ms Maxwell's legal representatives have been approached but have also declined to comment.
Just two days ago, Prince Andrew's former protection officer Paul Page told how Ms Maxwell visited Prince Andrew up to four times a day at Buckingham Palace and enjoyed picnics with him in the grounds.
Mr Page said he was first made aware of Ms Maxwell and Prince Andrew's friendship in 2001.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission