A poll of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by TV channel Crime+Investigation® to launch the new documentary Surviving Jeffrey Epstein revealed that almost one in two respondents believe Prince Andrew had sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2001 when she was aged just 17-years-old despite The Duke of York’s denials in his infamous Newsnight interview.
61% surveyed agreed that the Royal Family should put pressure on Prince Andrew to speak to the US authorities regarding the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein. Whilst three in four respondents agree that Prince Andrew’s position as a member of the Royal Family has protected him from the law.
In the documentary, a survivor of Jeffrey Epstein, Kiki Doe said ‘’Prince Andrew of the Royal family had a very close relationship to Epstein and he knows some crucial information to help bring other people down, people that need to face justice.’’
In June this year, US prosecutors officially requested that Prince Andrew be made available for questioning as a witness in an inquiry into Jeffrey Epstein. In response, Prince Andrew’s legal team said assistance had been offered three times prior to the request.
Only one in five UK adults surveyed, however, believe that Prince Andrew has shown willingness to co-operate with the US authorities and only 15% of respondents believe he is interested in helping to get some form of justice for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims.
68% of those polled who saw Prince Andrew’s infamous interview with Emily Maitlis made them view him more negatively and almost half of people surveyed think that the accusations aimed at Prince Andrew have damaged the UK’s international standing. Since the 2019 interview, The Duke of York has retired permanently from public life with many questioning the claims he made to Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis.
Only 11% of respondents believe that the picture of Prince Andrew photographed with his arm around Virginia Roberts Giuffre at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home is, as some allies of the Prince have claimed, a fake. With only that same small percentage accepting The Duke of York’s explanation that he couldn’t have been seen sweating at Tramp Nightclub in that same year, 2001, as Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed, because he suffers from, anhidrosis, a medical condition characterised by the inability to sweat normally.
Commenting on the photo, reporter Daniel Bates said ‘’What makes it difficult for Andrew is there’s a photograph of him and Virginia. She was 17 years old at the time and there in Ghislaine’s house. Andrew is standing there, grinning like a Cheshire cat with his arms around Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine stands in the background, like this sort of puppet master figure grinning broadly.’’
Another major talking point in the survey arising from the Newsnight special was Prince Andrew’s claim for staying at Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan town house in New York in 2010 after the billionaire financier had already been convicted of prostitution charges involving a minor in Florida in 2008. Fewer than one in 10 people surveyed believe he visited New York and stayed with Jeffrey Epstein in 2010 to ‘end their friendship’, as he claimed.
Epstein’s former girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested last month, and prior to the arrest 45% of respondents believed Epstein’s victims will get justice if she is convicted of sex trafficking.
The same percentage also believe Prince Andrew being questioned by the US authorities (45%) and if guilty of the alleged acts he is accused of, being tried and convicted (39%) would also provide justice. Since Epstein’s arrest Ghislaine Maxwell had been in hiding until last month communicating with the courts only through her lawyers until her recent arrest. 56% of respondents believe that is an indication of guilt on her behalf.
In July 2019 Epstein was arrested again and charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy. In the post-#MeToo era, his arrest came as a sign that other wealthy and well-connected men who used their power, position and privilege to commit crimes might finally face punishment.
57% of those surveyed believe that Epstein is guilty of the accusations of sex trafficking made against him and 61% of respondents agreeing that the #MeToo movement has had a positive impact in supporting justice for women. Two-thirds of respondents also believe that Epstein’s criminal activity was allowed to continue unchecked for so long because of his high-ranking connections, his immense wealth and power.
‘’His behaviour was really sociopathic. Manipulative, superficial charm, lack of anxiety and predominantly lack of empathy. He made a choice to act on these sexual impulses in the way he did and he made a choice to exploit vulnerable individuals.’’ Commented Barbara Ziv, Forensic Psychiatrist.
On the 10th August 2019, Epstein was found hanged in his cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Subsequently, numerous theories have been put forward as to how this happened with a third of respondents believing that he killed himself whilst one in four believe he was murdered. His death may have denied his many accusers the chance to face him in court and receive justice and only 12% of those surveyed believe that the truth around the case will ever be fully disclosed; more than half of respondents believe survivors of Jeffrey Epstein would get justice if high-profile associates of Epstein involved in sex trafficking came forward.
Researchers also found that 61% of those surveyed believe that class/social status make people more likely to receive leniency from the law. This was followed by: Personal wealth (60%), Profession (44%) and Race (35%); 41% of respondents also say that Jeffrey Epstein’s close relationships with other powerful men such as Bill Clinton and Donald Trump changes their opinion of them.
Furthermore, 62% of respondents believe that powerful or rich people are treated less harshly than the general public by the law and one in two UK adults surveyed believe that celebrities and members of the Royal Family should be held to a higher standard of behaviour than the general public.
However, the research shows that 71% of respondents agree that high-profile court cases such as those of Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein have encouraged women to speak up about personal injustices such as suffering sexual abuse.
Whilst 70% of respondents agree court cases involving well-known figured are helping to shed light on matters that otherwise wouldn’t be talked about (e.g. sexual abuse) and 59% do not believe that the general public was aware of the magnitude of sex trafficking and modern slavery before the Jeffrey Epstein case.
‘’The silence needs to be broken, it’s ok to feel that shame and that guilt where you are finally revealing your truth and it’s important for our story to be told so that it doesn’t just go away, I mean, it can’t just go away’’, said Rachel Benadivez, a survivor of Jeffrey Epstein.
The survey was commissioned by TV channel Crime+Investigation® to launch their new four-hour documentary Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, premiering tonight, August 25th, at 9pm which delves into the aftermath the survivors are experiencing with no justice to be served.
It should be noted that Prince Andrew denies wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime however the media has been interested in the story since it came to the fore last year.