'Prince Andrew begged paedophile Jeffrey Epstein's alleged fixer Ghislaine Maxwell to defend him but she refused, it emerged today.
The Duke of York asked his friend to give a public statement after Virginia Roberts claimed she was trafficked by Epstein as a 17-year-old and forced to have sex with the royal three times.
The claim emerged in an explosive new report by Page Six report that also claimed Maxwell could have been smuggled from the US and living in a safehouse in Israel.
A source told the New York-based publication: 'Andrew pleaded with Ghislaine to publicly defend him.
'She carefully considered it, but decided no good would come of it (if she came forward). It isn't in her best interests.'
Prince Andrew, 59, strenuously denies having sex with Roberts and claims he can't remember meeting her despite a photograph of him with his arm around her at Maxwell's London home.
In his car crash interview with the BBC he even suggested it was faked because he had never been upstairs there.
The explosive Page 6 report has also asserted that deceased sex criminal Epstein and Maxwell were foreign intelligence 'assets', and that she is currently hiding in a safehouse in Israel.
'Ghislaine is protected. She and Jeffrey were assets of sorts for multiple foreign governments.'
Read more: Prince Andrew 'begged Ghislaine Maxwell to clear his name as the only witness on night Virginia Roberts claims they had sex' - but she refused because it 'wasn't in her interests' (Mossad told her)
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