PRINCE Andrew slammed a pal by calling him “a puritan” when advised to end his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
A mutual friend of both Andrew and Epstein revealed the Prince refused to cut ties and told the source to “leave him alone”.
Andrew, 60, was infamously pictured with the millionaire hedge fund manager, 66, in 2011 in New York – after Epstein had been jailed for having sex with a minor.
A mutual friend of both men told Vanity Fair that the prince refused to cut ties with the multi-millionaire banker after his conviction.
The unnamed source said that “after Jeffrey was convicted, I phoned Andrew and told him, ‘You cannot have a relationship with Jeffrey.
“’You can’t do these things.’ And he said, ‘Stop giving me a hard time. You’re such a puritan.’”
They said that Andrew began shouting at him insisting he intended to stay “loyal” to his paedophile pal.
The source added: “From there, our conversation descended into a screaming match, and finally Andrew said, ‘Leave me alone. Jeffrey’s my friend.
“’Being loyal to your friends is a virtue. And I’m going to be loyal to him.’”
In the 2011 interview with Vanity Fair, the source said how Epstein taught Andrew to relax and introduced him to denims and sweat pants.
He said: “I remember when Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein first became friends.
“Jeffrey had Andrew put on a pair of sweatpants for the first time in his life. He had him wear blue jeans for the first time. It was Jeffrey who taught Andrew how to relax.”
Sick Epstein was arrested last July on sex trafficking charges and the sexual abuse of young women and girls.
But before Epstein could be trialled for his alleged crimes, he took his own life at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan in August last year.
It was two weeks after he was placed on suicide watch after he was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck.
Jaun Alessi, Epstein’s ex-maintenance worker and butler, claimed he saw the royal attend naked pool parties in 2009 and saw him being given massages from young women during his time at Epstein’s Palm Beach residence.
This is something the Prince denies and said he was not aware of any such pool parties.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “This relates to proceedings in the United States, to which The Duke of York is not a party.
“Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.
“It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
Ghislaine Maxwell, also a friend of Prince Andrew and awaiting trial after being charged with a series of child grooming charges, allegedly sent messages to the Duke of York about her “trafficking”.
Maxwell’s upcoming trial next July has pulled Prince Andrew back into the spotlight.
Andrew has been asked to assist the investigation as a witness and claims his team have offered to help on three occasions.
But his friendship with the infamous couple has raised eyebrows, especially after his Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis November 16, 2019.
During the interview that was dubbed a ‘train wreck’ Prince Andrew, who was stripped of all royal duties, denied he had slept with American Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions – twice while she was underage.
He said one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.
In Virginia Giuffre’s accusations, she commented on the fact the prince was “sweating heavily” as they danced at London nightclub Tramp.
He slammed this, claiming he had a medical condition at the time which meant he could not sweat.
‘CAR CRASH’ NEWSNIGHT INTERVIEW
Prince Andrew twice stated his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein had provided “seriously beneficial outcomes”, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.
He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when she was a teenager.
The royal said: “From the investigations that we’ve done, you can’t prove whether or not that photograph is faked or not because it is a photograph of a photograph of a photograph.
“So it’s very difficult to be able to prove it but I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken.”
He denied knowing Giuffre and claims to have no memory of the night they were supposedly together at Tramp.
During the interview expressed regret over his trip to New York in 2010, which he claims was to tell him in person that their friendship was over.
This was after Epstein had been released from an 18-month prison term for prostituting children.
But Maitlis highlighted how he spent a number of days with him at his home, and how he was guest of honour at a dinner party that reportedly celebrated Epstein’s release.
Prince Andrew has stayed out of the public eye, including at his own daughter’s wedding.
The father-of-the-bride was left out Princess Beatrice’s wedding photos on July 17.
US papers recently alleged that the Duke or York touched a woman while she was sitting on his lap as she played with a Spitting Image puppet of him.
Courtney Love alleged Prince Andrew once tried to seduce her — amid claims that they were introduced through paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The royal turned up at the star’s house at 1am “looking for sex”, shortly after being introduced to the disgraced financier.
While they did not sleep together, Courtney — widow of Nirvana rocker Kurt Cobain — has told friends Andrew was “very flirtatious”.
Prince Andrew is claimed to have first met Epstein in 1999 after being introduced to him by Maxwell, who he knew from her time in the UK.
Andrew strongly denies any allegations against him and said he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing while friends with Maxwell and Epstein.
It has been revealed recently in court documents that Ghislaine Maxwell sent secret messages to Prince Andrew about “furnishing him with young women”.
One page of the document detailed alleged correspondence between Maxwell and Prince Andrew.
Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked to the royal by Maxwell.
Maxwell is currently being held at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York as she awaits her July 2021 trial.
She moved house up to 36 times in the past year — before the FBI finally pinned down her location a week before her arrest in July.
After placing her in handcuffs, FBI agents crowed that her arrest was sweeter than that of notorious US gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, an insider on the bust said.