During our investigation of Jeffrey Epstein, he called me several times to arrange meetings.
The first occasion was in the autumn of 2015.
I was sitting at lunch with two of my law partners when I got a call on my mobile phone that showed the incoming number as 0000000000.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, with Virginia Roberts, aged 17, at Ghislaine Maxwell’s apartment in London. The photo was developed in March 2001
I had never seen a phone number come up like that, so I walked outside and answered the call. ‘Brad, it’s Jeffrey. Let’s meet face to face.’
When I asked why, he responded: ‘I want to see if there’s a way for us to finally get divorced from one another.’
This was his way of implying that he wanted to find a way to resolve all cases that involved him.
The call told me he was concerned.
We arranged to meet the next morning at a Starbucks in Boca Raton, Florida.
Yes, this was unusual. But things between us were far beyond anything lawyers could fix. It was just gamesmanship, part of an eight-year legal chess game between a genius sociopath and me, a lawyer in the business of playing legal chess against bad guys.
I showed up to the Starbucks first. Epstein appeared wearing his customary grey sweatpants and blue suede slippers with the collar turned up on his monogrammed polo shirt.
We talked for an hour about our philosophical differences, our factual and legal disagreements.
He thought female sexual availability should be determined by biology and not established by arbitrary social norms – or the law. Under his law, science was all that mattered. Pre-pubescence, therefore, was where he drew the line.
According to Epstein, the age of consent, if dictated by anything other than biology, was arbitrary – which was a word signifying that it should have no application in any aspect of his life.
Prince Andrew pictured waving to a brunette from Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2010
How could a female whose body was able to bear children not be given the choice to perform the acts necessary to give birth?
In his own twisted ideology, he thought he was invincible. He basically said as much. He loved to name-drop to let me know how important and protected he was. The more we talked, the clearer certain things about him became. He was a very torn soul.
He wanted to resolve his legal problems, all of which stemmed from his sexually deviant behaviour, but he didn’t really want to change that behaviour.
He loved to make jokes that were particularly inappropriate for the situation. He said something along the lines of, ‘Brad, let’s put our heads together and figure out how we can massage the narrative to make it more fair to me’, before staring at me and pausing. Then he added: ‘My kind of massage, of course.’
These types of childish statements were irresistible for Epstein. He would snicker afterwards, expecting a reciprocal laugh.
While at Starbucks, Jeffrey looked at me and said: ‘You know, some of what Virginia [Roberts] is saying isn’t right.’
‘What part?’ I asked.
The Duke of York with Emily Maitlis, who interviewed him for a BBC Newsnight special. Prince Andrew has repeatedly and strenuously denied Miss Roberts’s claims
‘Didn’t Virginia say she and Ghislaine had a threesome with Prince Andrew over in Ghislaine’s apartment in London?’ He was clearly trying to embellish things to make her appear unbelievable.
I corrected him: ‘No. She didn’t say anything about a threesome, but now that you bring it up, she did say that she was with you and Ghislaine at the apartment in London when Prince Andrew came over and stayed the night. You instructed her to entertain him. There’s even a picture to prove most of that.’
He said: ‘There’s a problem. Now I remember. She said she took a bath with Andy. If I could show you how small Ghislaine’s bath was in that apartment, it would be tough for two people to fit.’
This seemed like a weak point to force. ‘How about the threesomes with you and Ghislaine where Virginia was made to dress up as a Catholic schoolgirl and sometimes in latex outfits,’ I said. ‘That certainly doesn’t seem far-fetched given that Juan Alessi [Epstein’s former housekeeper] testified about Ghislaine’s sex toys and we know you particularly enjoy the schoolgirls in uniform.’
He smirked and said: ‘Does Ghislaine look like my type to you? Don’t you know me better by now?’
He loved to make comments like that, poking fun at the fact that he was attracted to young girls, a category into which Ghislaine Maxwell did not fall.
© Bradley J Edwards, 2020
By The Mail on Sunday, based on Relentless Pursuit: My Fight For The Victims Of Jeffrey Epstein, by Bradley J Edwards, published by S&S on March 31, priced at £20. Offer price £16 (20 per cent discount) until April 30. To preorder, go to mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155. Free delivery on all orders – no minimum spend