The Truth About Prince Andrew's Relationship With Ghislaine Maxwell

Prince Andrew's relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell has been one of the most controversial headlines of the past few years. Maxwell's associations with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, followed by her arrest in July 2020, have brought the nature of her and Andrew's friendship into focus, once again. 

While there is little we know about how Maxwell and Andrew met, apparently she is the person who introduced Prince Andrew to Jeffrey Epstein, which is another relationship that has also come under fire in recent years (for obvious reasons). "I met [Epstein] through his girlfriend back in 1999 who ... I'd known her since she was at university in the UK and it would be, to some extent, a stretch to say that as it were we were close friends," Prince Andrew said of Maxwell and Epstein in the infamous BBC "Newsnight" interview in 2019 (via BBC). 

"I mean we were friends because of other people and I had a lot of opportunity to go to the United States but I didn't have much time with him," he clarified.

Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell remained friends after university

According to The Independent, Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell remained friends after university. They have been pictured at various events over the years, including friends' weddings and at London nightclubs. The Evening Standard (via Vanity Fair) also reported that they even traveled together every now and then. 

In 2001, a source close to Prince Andrew said of his friend in regards to Maxwell, "Andrew's a very poor judge of character, easily impressed. He's gone from this couch potato to man about town, with nothing better to do than go from one holiday to the next." As per the BBC interview, Andrew allegedly ended his relationship with Epstein in 2010, however, he remained friends with Maxwell until the Jeffrey Epstein case came to light. And it seems he is well and truly done with her. "If there are questions that Ghislaine has to answer, that's her problem I'm afraid," he said when asked about her involvement with Epstein.

Ghislaine Maxwell used to visit Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace

Ghislaine Maxwell reportedly visited Prince Andrew from New York at Buckingham Palace with one royal observer telling Vanity Fair that her visits were probably well-received, and that "she was a good organizer of visits to nightclubs etc., always lots of fun people around her." A former Royalty Protection officer also told Vanity Fair that Maxwell would "just breeze into the Palace like she was one of the royal family." He found that to be odd considering Maxwell's father Robert Maxwell was a "disgraced media tycoon" who the royal family shouldn't want to be seen palling around with. "We were instructed not to put her name in the visitors' book," he also said.

When Prince Andrew visited New York City in 2010, an infamous photo of him walking with Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park was taken (per Daily Mail). Perhaps less well known is that this was the same trip where, according to the New York Post, Maxwell and Prince Andrew were spotted having lunch and holding hands at the popular Madison Avenue restaurant Nello. The two reportedly left separately.

The connection between Maxwell and Prince Andrew in 2010 was confirmed by Annette Witheridge, a reporter at the time who was working with a photographer to try and get a picture of Prince Andrew when he was in New York. She did so by staking out Maxwell's apartment because she assumed that since "they're old friends [...] he would be staying with Ghislaine" (per Vanity Fair).

Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew's connection making news again

The examination of the connection between Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew has once again garnered interest. In December 2021, per CBS News, a New York jury found Maxwell guilty of sex trafficking charges related to her grooming minors for Jeffrey Epstein and she could get up to 65 years when sentenced.

While Maxwell's troubles have played out, Prince Andrew is facing his own legal issues tied to her. A photo of him with his arm around then 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre also includes Ghislaine Maxwell in the background (via Insider). Giuffre has previously filed civil claims against Maxwell and Epstein alleging that they forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew, which he's adamantly denied. Giuffre has now sued Prince Andrew in a New York federal court, saying he sexually assaulted her (via ABC News).

In a document filed by Prince Andrew's legal team in response to the lawsuit from Giuffre, they deny any wrongdoing on behalf of the prince and they also say that he was not a close friend of Maxwell's while also not confirming or denying the existence of the photo of Prince Andrew with Giuffre and Maxwell (via BBC).