Daily Express

Pictured: Andrew’s sex accuser who is set to testify to FBI

- By Christophe­r Bucktin US Editor

THE whistleblo­wer who first claimed Prince Andrew groped her inside Jeffrey Epstein’s home is preparing to testify to the FBI.

Johanna Sjoberg, pictured today for the first time in more than 10 years, is seen by federal agents as a critical witness to the Duke’s friendship with the paedophile.

As one of only two alleged victims of the late US billionair­e who claim they had direct sexual contact with the royal, her account of the Prince led to the interest by the FBI.

A source said: “As a victim of Epstein, Sjoberg’s testimony over how she was recruited and abused is vital to the FBI.

“Despite Epstein’s suicide, they are determined all those who enabled his crimes will face justice. It is a promise they have made to the victims.

“Andrew has had serious allegation­s made against him and agents are determined that a person’s standing in life does not make them immune for being questioned.”

Ms Sjoberg, who was 21 at the time of the alleged incident with Andrew, previously told how she was molested inside Epstein’s New York home.


Her allegation­s in 2007 are understood to have given Andrew’s sex accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre the courage to speak out three years later.

A source said: “For almost 20 years Jo has carried with her the abuse she suffered with great dignity and courage.

“She has testified that Andrew engaged in a sexual act upon her while in Epstein’s New York home and believes it is only right the FBI questions him about what he knows.

“We are all appalled how the Duke has for so long been allowed to continue his life as though nothing ever happened, but he knows what he did to Jo.

“Why has it taken so long for him to get the day of reckoning he deserves finally?

“Jo, like her family and friends, is just relieved justice is finally to be served.”

She was forced to give sexual massages to Epstein and has testified the Duke, 59, fondled her while the billionair­e’s “sex slave” Ms Giuffre sat on his other knee.

In papers submitted to a New York court as part of a defamation case brought by Ms Giuffre, 35, against Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, they detail the time when the Prince visited Epstein in New York in 2001. The paedophile, who was awaiting trial for sex traffickin­g when he took his own life in jail in August, had flown Ms Sjoberg and Ms Giuffre from Palm Beach, Florida, where they lived to Manhattan to help entertain the Prince with Maxwell.

While inside the house, they presented the Duke with a Spitting Image puppet of himself.

He allegedly placed his hand on Ms Sjoberg when Maxwell, now 57, proceeded to put the puppet’s hand on Ms Giuffre’s breast.

Ms Sjoberg previously spoke about the incident, saying in an interview: “Prince

Andrew was there and Ghislaine and a couple of other girls my age. “Andrew was very charming. I didn’t know exactly who he was but felt that I knew him.

“She (Ghislaine) came down with a present for him – a latex puppet of him from Spitting Image.

“We had a picture taken.Virginia, another girl there, sat on a chair and had the puppet on her lap. “Andrew sat on another chair. I sat on his lap, and he put his hand on my breast. Ghislaine put the puppet’s hand on Virginia’s breast, then Andrew put his hand on mine.

“It was a great joke. Everybody laughed. Ghislaine made a lot of sexual jokes. She had a very dirty sense of humour.” Ms Sjoberg is from a loving, churchgoin­g family and went on to run a hair colouring shop in Florida which she recently sold.

In Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview, when asked when he had last seen his old friend Maxwell, the Duke said it was in either the spring or summer of this year when she was in Britain for a rally.

He said it was before Epstein, who had previously pleaded guilty to child sex offences, was arrested. They never discussed him because he was no longer in the news.

However, it emerged yesterday that their meeting took place at Buckingham Palace on June 6, two weeks after Epstein was placed under a new investigat­ion by the US authoritie­s.

A source said: “The Duke and

Ghislaine met at the Palace. She brought four people with her. They were all smartly dressed and looked very official, very serious and businessli­ke. There was no way it was a social occasion. They stayed for about two hours.

“Looking back now it seems very likely they would have been discussing the fallout from Epstein’s misdemeano­urs and what they planned to do about it.”

Buckingham Palace refused to comment.

Talking about her abuse by Epstein in 2007, Ms Sjoberg added: “I was groomed for it. I made a pact with the Devil in exchange for excitement and glamour.

“I was only a college student. I was hard-up and foolish.”

She was studying psychology when she was approached on campus by Maxwell, the daughter of the disgraced, late media tycoon Robert Maxwell.

She claimed she was told in return for $20 (£15.50) an hour, she was to answer the phones and serve drinks at Epstein’s home.

During her first visit, she ran several errands with nothing untoward, but when she visited again, she claimed the climate changed.

She told how Maxwell, who like Andrew has denied all wrongdoing, asked if she wanted to make “$100 rubbing feet” which she agreed.

Lured in by his wealth, Epstein then covered her college fees, made the down payment on her house, and paid the cost for her to train as a hairdresse­r and as a masseuse.

Eventually she gave in to his demands and the massages became more sexual, she said.

 ??  ?? Prince Andrew with Emily Maitlis for the BBC Newsnight interview
Prince Andrew with Emily Maitlis for the BBC Newsnight interview
 ??  ?? Epstein with Andrew’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell
Epstein with Andrew’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell
 ??  ?? Virginia Giuffre made claims
Virginia Giuffre made claims

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