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Buckingham Palace denials as Andrew named in 'sex slave's' Florida lawsuit against prince's paedophile pal

By Neil Lancefield

Buckingham Palace has denied the Duke of York has committed any impropriety after he was reportedly named in US court documents related to a convicted paedophile.

A woman has alleged in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state, according to reports.

The claim is said to have been made as part of a lawsuit in connection with American billionaire and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew was photographed with Epstein in New York two years after the American's release from prison in 2009, and their friendship was a source of controversy.

The woman making the allegations claims that between 1999 and 2002 she "was forced to have sexual relations with this prince when she was a minor" in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.

The accusation is reportedly contained in a motion filed in a Florida court this week which is part of a lawsuit over how federal prosecutors handled the case of Epstein, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "This relates to long-standing and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party.

"As such we would not comment on the detail.

"However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with under age minors is categorically untrue."

The Guardian reported that the woman making the claims against Andrew was allegedly converted into a "sex slave" by Epstein.

Epstein is accused of repeatedly abusing her on his private jet and luxury homes in New York, New Mexico, Florida and the US Virgin Islands.

The court document alleges: "Epstein also sexually trafficked the then-minor Jane Doe (a name used in US legal proceedings for people with anonymity), making her available for sex to politically connected and financially powerful people.

"Epstein's purposes in 'lending' Jane Doe (along with other young girls) to such powerful people were to ingratiate himself with them for business, personal, political, and financial gain, as well as to obtain potential blackmail information."

It goes on: "For instance, one such powerful individual Epstein forced Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with was a member of the British royal family, Prince Andrew (aka Duke of York)."

The Duke has been dogged by accusations of a lack of judgment about his links with Epstein since 2011.

In June 2011 it was announced that he was stepping down from his role as the UK's roving business ambassador.

Andrew gave up the post following the intense scrutiny he faced over his relationships with Epstein and other controversial figures.

Buckingham Palace said: "The role as Special Representative will no longer exist as the Duke of York has decided to relinquish it after 10 years."

Doubts were raised about his position in the wake of media coverage about him entertaining the son-in-law of ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at Buckingham Palace.

He also held a meeting with Libya's then leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi while on a private visit to Tunisia back in 2008.

A spokeswoman stressed that Andrew would continue to undertake official overseas trips as a member of the royal family.

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