Ghislaine Maxwell must be ‘hunted down’ to face questions over the Jeffrey Epstein ‘sex slave’ scandal, the father of an alleged victim demanded yesterday.
In a blistering interview with the Mail, Sky Roberts repeated his daughter Virginia’s claims that Miss Maxwell groomed the teenager to have sex with Epstein.
His daughter also claims Epstein forced her to have sex with a series of rich and powerful men when she was just 17.
Miss Roberts has claimed in legal documents she was flown to London where she met Prince Andrew and had sex with him in 2001.
A photo of Andrew grinning with his arm around the bare midriff of Miss Roberts when she was a teenager has become the defining image of the scandal.
Prince Andrew has always denied Miss Roberts’ allegations, which have been struck from the record by a US judge.
Grinning: Prince Andrew with his arm around Virginia Roberts at an Epstein party in London in 2001, with Ghislaine Maxwell behind
Miss Roberts’ father, a retired engineer from Summerville in Florida, said the prince ‘has to live with’ the fact he was a friend of Epstein and appeared in the photograph.
Mr Roberts, 63, spoke out days after Epstein, 66, took his own life at a high security prison in New York – a day after the federal court released 2,000 pages of damning documents.
He said the world is a ‘better place’ without Epstein, but called on the FBI to arrest Miss Maxwell over allegations she recruited underage girls for the financier. ‘Jeffrey is evil and got what is coming to him,’ said Mr Roberts, who once worked at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s Palm Beach resort. ‘He is not a good guy. It is an evil thing for a man to do that to a woman.
‘But Maxwell, she is really to blame too. She was the only one who came to the club and met these young girls. The authorities need to hunt her down and she needs to face justice. Maxwell knows it all. She is the key to finding everything out.
‘They don’t know where she is at right now, but I think she is the one who should be going through it. She is the one who recruited.
‘I know Jeffrey was a big part of it because he was the money guy.
‘But Maxwell had money too. She was recruiting and bringing them there.’
Some reports suggested the socialite had started to co-operate with the FBI and provide details of her alleged recruitment of girls.
Happy childhood: Virginia Roberts aged seven with her father Sky
Her current whereabouts are unknown and sources close to her claim she planned to ‘totally disappear’. Miss Maxwell, 57, denies any wrongdoing. Mr Roberts spoke out after the Mail unearthed pictures of a girl, thought to be his daughter, seemingly being paraded at VIP parties.
In the disturbing images, the girl appears to be wearing the same clothes as when she posed for the earlier photograph with Andrew.
Mr Roberts, who now raises horses on his five-acre ranch, said: ‘I don’t know the full facts about Prince Andrew, as far as did he think she was 18 at the time.
‘She probably looked 18 but she wasn’t. I don’t really know what he did but I guess he was trying to date my daughter.
‘He knows the truth and has to live with what has happened.’
Miss Roberts detailed her accusations against Prince Andrew in legal papers which were filed in a 2015 civil case against Epstein in a Florida court.
In the documents, she said she was recruited to serve as Epstein’s ‘sex slave’ and claimed she went on to have sex with the Duke of York on three occasions in London, New York and the Caribbean. A judge later threw out these allegations and ordered them to be struck from the record for being ‘immaterial and impertinent’.
Prince Andrew has strenuously denied the allegations of ‘impropriety with underage minors’ as ‘categorically untrue’.
However, Mr Roberts said: ‘I have no reason to doubt anything that Virginia has said.
‘She has no reason to lie and she has never lied to me. She is a very good and honest person.’
The legal papers name a number of Epstein’s high-profile friends who are also accused of sexual misconduct with the women.
Still anguished: Sky Roberts, 63, at his ranch (pictured left) and daughter Virginia (right)
‘There wasn’t just one person involved,’ Mr Roberts said. ‘Jeffrey was close to all sorts of people, including the Clintons, so someone must have helped him along the way. He had a lot of friends in high places.
‘The investigations need to continue and anyone who is proven to have committed wrongdoings needs to face justice. He could not have done it all by himself.’
Miss Roberts claims she was recruited by Miss Maxwell and Epstein when she worked at Mar-a-Lago – a job she only got because her father was an engineer there.
In the court documents, she says she was groomed in 1999 when she was just 15 and ‘worked’ for Epstein until 2002.
As a teenager, Miss Roberts was flown to the south of France on Epstein’s private jet.
She even described in legal documents how she attended the party in St Tropez to celebrate Naomi Campbell’s 31st birthday. She is a friend of Ghislaine’s,’ she added. ‘But she was a real b**** to me.’
Miss Maxwell has been described as the ‘madam of the house’ at Epstein’s Florida mansion by a former housekeeper.
New York professor Thomas Volscho, who is writing a book about Epstein, said earlier this week that Miss Maxwell had become ‘target number one’ for prosecutors, adding: ‘They are going to want to hold somebody to account and there is going to be enormous pressure on Maxwell. I would imagine she is petrified.’
Mr Roberts believes the disgraced financier took the ‘cowards’ way out’ as he was scared of what would happen to him in jail
Mr Roberts admitted he met Epstein before allowing his daughter to work for him, but had no idea of his vile intentions.
He said: ‘I went to his house, I took my daughter there because I said, “I don’t want you working for a guy until I meet him.”
‘He seemed like a normal guy just like you and me. I think he was even in jeans when I met him.
‘I thought it was a job where she was just going to learn massage therapy. That is what she told me.
‘I did not know it was going to be all this other stuff which eventually happened.’
His daughter never told him about the alleged abuse until years later. Mr Roberts desperately wishes he could have intervened before his daughter was ensnared.
‘When I met with Epstein I had no idea what he would end up doing,’ he said. ‘He came across as a nice guy. If I had known differently, I would never have let her work there.
‘Sex trafficking with young girls, you never want that to happen to your own daughter.
‘If I had met him after I found out what had really occurred, I would have punched his lights out. I’d probably beat him real good but I would not have killed him.’
Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York on Saturday at 6.30am.
Mr Roberts believes the disgraced financier took the ‘cowards’ way out’ as he was scared of what would happen to him in jail.
He also suggested that Epstein might have paid someone to help him commit suicide.
The father-of-two said: ‘I am sure he was terrified about what would happen to him in jail. I am sure he would have faced a lot of beatings and worse.
‘It looks like he hanged himself but there is something peculiar about the whole thing. I suspect he paid someone to help him do it.’
Virginia Roberts is now a 35-year-old mother-of-three called Virginia Giuffre and lives in Australia with her husband and children.
I have dirt on the famous, he boasted
By Emily Kent Smith for the Daily Mail
Jeffrey Epstein was ‘unapologetic’ about his past and compared having sex with teens to homosexuality, it has been claimed
Jeffrey Epstein was ‘unapologetic’ about his past and compared having sex with teens to homosexuality, it has been claimed.
During one of his last interviews before his death, the billionaire paedophile was ‘at ease’ discussing his interest in young girls – and boasted about having ‘potentially damaging or embarrassing’ information on the rich, famous and powerful.
Epstein had a 90-minute meeting last August with New York Times columnist James Stewart. He ‘made no secret of his own scandalous past’ and acknowledged that ‘he was a pariah in polite society’, wrote Mr Stewart. He had met Epstein to address rumours that he was advising Tesla and its controversial owner Elon Musk.
Recalling the meeting, Mr Stewart said: ‘If he was reticent about Tesla, he was more at ease discussing his interest in young women.
‘He said criminalising sex with teenage girls was a cultural aberration and at times in history it was perfectly acceptable. He pointed out homosexuality had long been considered a crime and was still punishable by death in some parts of the world.’
Mr Stewart said he was welcomed into the Manhattan townhouse by an Eastern European woman who appeared to be in her late teens or early 20s.
Epstein pointed to pictures on the walls of world leaders and celebrities, including former president Bill Clinton, film director Woody Allen and Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
‘The overriding impression I took away was that Mr Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it,’ recalled Mr Stewart.
‘He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.’
When news of Epstein’s death emerged last week, Mr Stewart said his first thought was that many ‘prominent’ figures would be ‘breathing sighs of relief’.
The FBI has raided Epstein’s private Caribbean island, Little St James, looking for evidence linked to scores of young girls who claim they were abused by the teacher turned financier.
US President Donald Trump said last night that he wanted a ‘full investigation’ into Epstein’s death.