PRINCE Andrew was the ideal target for Jeffrey Epstein as his jet-setting lifestyle offered the royal “escapism” after his divorce, it’s claimed.
The revelation is made in a startling new four-part documentary which investigates the crimes of the twisted American financier.
In Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, Lady Victoria Hervey said friendship with Epstein apparently suited them both.
She said: “Jeffrey definitely enjoyed the idea of being friends with the Queen’s son.
“Prince Andrew has just gone through a divorce, there was this American billionaire that wants to fly him around the world and introduce him to people.
“It was probably escapism for him.”
Last year, Lady Victoria, 43, said she believed she may have escaped the clutches of Epstein because she was “too old”.
She revealed she was contacted by Ghislaine Maxwell, the late financier’s former girlfriend, 20 years ago after a date with Andrew.
Lady Victoria recalled going on a date with Prince Andrew in 1999 – but while romance failed to blossom between the two, the socialite became part of his inner circle of powerful pals.
In 2000, she was invited to dinner in London with the royal, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton but Epstein was there too, whom she said seemed “very charming”.
And the following year, she claims Maxwell set her up in one of Epstein’s apartments in New York – where she believes she was spied on with cameras.
She said: “After reading about everything that went on, I’m shocked.
“It’s horrifying. It could have been me – but maybe I was too old. It is a scary thought.”
Andrew’s friendship with Epstein came under the spotlight after the financier killed himself on August 10 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.
The royal strongly denies any wrongdoing and said he was unaware of Epstein’s sickening crimes.
His representatives today declined to comment on the claims in the documentary.
In the new Crime+Investigation documentary, British journalist Christopher Mason recounted how he bumped into Andrew and Maxwell while walking in Madison Avenue in New York.
He said: “I remember one day I was walking up Madison Avenue and I ran into Ghislaine Maxwell who was with Prince Andrew and she introduced me to him.
“He told me he was staying at Jeffrey’s townhouse that kind of fascinated me.
“It just seemed like a kind of perfect instance of the kind of people that Jeffrey was hanging out with.”
Mason earlier told The Sun Online that Maxwell – awaiting trial in the US after being charged with procuring teenage girls – will never betray the prince.
“Prince Andrew and Ghislaine were always fiercely loyal to each other and she wouldn’t give him up,” he said.
“I think she’ll still have his back and will protect him to the last.
“I don’t think U.S. prosecutors would have much of an appetite for shaming a British prince, but his refusal to cooperate with their enquiries may spur their determination to exert maximum pressure on Ghislaine to turn on him.”
Mason, who is based in New York, became a close friend of Maxwell after they met in 1989 and says her connection to powerful men meant she was the perfect match for social climber Epstein.
“Jeffrey was supremely ambitious but he was never a cocktail party kind of guy,” he said.
“He was only interested in hanging out with powerful people.”
Although he only met Prince Andrew once, Mason says he was well aware of Maxwell’s friendship with the royal.
“It seemed natural that, of course, if Prince Andrew was in New York he would be hanging out with Ghislaine Maxwell because she cultivated powerful and socially prominent people,” he said.
“It was also the perfect instance of the kind of people Jeffrey was hanging out with.”