It’s a fake! Ghislaine Maxwell changes her mind about photo with Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts
Ghislaine Maxwell has used her latest interview from behind bars to pour scorn on a notorious photo of Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts.
Maxwell, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for sex trafficking, said the photo of the prince posing with his arm around Miss Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, had “so many things” wrong with it.
The shamed socialite told The Mail on Sunday that her “dear friend” Andrew was “paying such a price” for their association.
Maxwell, 60, is in the background of the photo. When asked about the image in an email from Epstein’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz seven years ago, she declared: “It looks real. I think it is.”
But in her prison interview, Maxwell said: “This photo is not real. There was never an original one produced.”
Of her statement to Mr Dershowitz, she said: “I recognised the surroundings of that photograph, nothing more than that.
“If you see a photograph and it’s a photograph of you in your home, and someone says to you, ‘Is that picture of you?’, you don’t question.”
Maxwell claimed there were “over 50 problems with the picture” but declined to specify what they were.
“At this time, I no longer believe that to be a true image and I don’t believe that it is what it appears to be,” she said.
“There are so many things that are wrong with it. As soon as my appeal is over, I will be very happy to discuss it with you.”
An image released with the interview shows that Maxwell has grown her hair while behind bars.
It was taken in New York’s Metropolitan Detention Centre but she is now serving her sentence in the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution in Florida.
The Duke of York was forced to stand aside from royal duties and relinquish his military titles over his association with Epstein and Maxwell, as well as facing a civil lawsuit from Mrs Giuffre which was settled out of court.
Maxwell said: “I feel so bad for him.”
In response to claims from Andrew’s lawyers that the pair were never close, she added: “I accept that this friendship could not survive my conviction.
“He is paying such a price for the association. I consider him a dear friend. I care about him.”
Maxwell was initially interviewed by Israeli-American journalist Daphne Barak face-to-face in the New York prison in June.
She conducted another interview remotely from the Florida jail.
Maxwell repeated her claim that associating with Epstein — who was found dead in his prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking — was “the greatest regret of my life”.
She also spoke of her friendships with former US presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
Describing her “special friendship” with Mr Clinton, she said: ”We had lots in common.”
Of Mr Trump, whose support at the time of her arrest gave her a “big boost”, she said: “We knew each other and mingled in the same circles.
“I was very grateful when he wished me well.”
As former friends ditched her, Maxwell complained that they had accepted a “fake version” of her as the “wicked witch” in Epstein’s story.
However, she said she would not make any further comments about Epstein, Andrew or former husband Scott Borgerson until her appeal had been heard.