03 December 2019 02:40
Less than two weeks ago, in the wake of a disastrous interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, Britain's Prince Andrew announced he was stepping back from his royal duties. Now, another European royal is under scrutiny for her association with the criminal. In response to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv's recent report revealing that Crown Princess Mette-Marit had ties to Epstein, she offered a statement to DN about her relationship with him. "I never would have associated with Mr. Epstein if I had been aware of the seriousness of the crimes he committed," Mette-Marit said. "I should have investigated his past more thoroughly, and I am sorry that I didn't." DN reports that the Crown Princess met "several times" with Epstein between 2011 and 2013—years after his 2008 conviction and subsequent registration as a sex offender.
Norway's Royal Palace confirmed that Mette-Marit "met socially" with Epstein, "mostly in the United States." Guri Varpe, the Palace's head of communications, told DN, "One of the meetings took place at Mr. Epstein's home. The Crown Princess also had a brief meeting with Mr. Epstein while he was in Oslo. There were other people present in all the meetings." Varpe added that during the years when Mette-Marit met with Epstein, the royal "was not aware of the scope, nor the character of the crimes he had been convicted of, and subsequently served time in jail." It was also confirmed that Crown Prince Haakon, Mette-Marit's husband and heir apparent to the Norwegian throne, had briefly met Epstein. "When the Crown Princess and the Crown Prince were on vacation in St. Barts in 2012, they ran into Mr. Epstein on the street. Crown Prince Haakon then met Epstein for the first and only time," Varpe said. Varpe also notes that Mette-Marit severed her relationship with Epstein in 2013, in part because "she felt that Mr. Epstein attempted to trade on the relationship he had to the Crown Princess, and use it for his own gain in other relations."