Prince Andrew's friends have weighed in on the Virginia Roberts scandal

The friends of Prince Andrew have cast doubt on claims he was spotted in a nightclub dancing with his alleged victim Virginia Roberts.

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The friends of Prince Andrew have cast doubt on claims he was spotted in a nightclub dancing with his alleged victim Virginia Roberts.

The Duke of York’s friends have rallied to defend him following claims he was spotted in Tramp nightclub dancing with the woman they now know is Virginia Roberts Giuffre on the night he is alleged to have had sex with the then 17-year-old.

Insiders alleged that The Duke attended the infamous Tramp nightclub in London’s St James’s three days after the alleged sighting. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the source questioned whether it could be certain that The Duke was dancing with Ms Roberts, and not another female acquaintance.

'At that time, the Duke went to tramp a lot. He was at a birthday party the same week for one of the Sangsters,' the source told the paper.

The claims comes after a lawyer representing some of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims said she had spoken to two witnesses who saw the Duke dancing with Virginia Roberts in March 2001.

Ms Roberts alleges that she was trafficked to the UK by Epstein and his close friend Ghislaine Maxwell and coerced into having sex with The Duke. The Duke denies ever having sex with Ms Roberts and claims he cannot recall even meeting her, despite a photograph taken in London at the time showing him with an arm around her waist.

It was announced last month that the Duke will take a step back from royal duties following the scandal. 

One eye witness is said to have come forward to lawyer Lisa Bloom, who is representing five of Epstein’s victims, after watching the Duke’s now infamous interview with BBC journalist Emily Maitlis on Newsnight.

The interview saw the Duke claim that he could not have attended Tramp nightclub with Ms Roberts on the night she alleges because he was attending a children’s birthday party at Pizza Express in Woking. He also disputed Ms Roberts’s claim that he 'sweated all over' her because he claims he did not sweat at the time due to a medical condition.

Los Angeles-based lawyer Ms Bloom told the Mail on Sunday: 'The first woman, a Londoner, contacted me after she saw Prince Andrew’s interview.'

Ms Bloom said the woman was accompanied by a companion who supported her claims.

She told the paper: 'The woman was in Tramp with a friend who said: "Look, there’s Prince Andrew"... he was with a young woman she now knows was Virginia Roberts.

She remembers that Prince Andrew was smiling and seemed to be happy and Virginia was not. Virginia not smiling made an impression too.'

We will continue to update this story.

Kate McCusker

Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. She studied fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins, and her byline has also appeared in Dezeen, British Vogue, The Times and woman&home. In no particular order, her big loves are: design, good fiction, bad reality shows and the risible interiors of celebrity houses.