One of Prince Andrew’s aides reached out to an online troll (Picture: Getty Images)
The Mail on Sunday revealed that aides emailed Molly Skye Brown – a former model who has trolled Ms Roberts on Twitter for months – and asked to set up ‘a quick chat’.
They hoped Ms Brown, 42, had information that would help Prince Andrew prove a photograph, of himself with his arm around then-17-year-old Ms Roberts, was doctored.
Ms Brown said she helped the team with ‘some evidence’ and then handed over the texts and emails to the FBI.
Ms Roberts claims paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell forced her to have sex with Andrew three times and maintains that the photograph was taken in 2001 on one of those occasions.
The Duke, 60, has consistently denied the allegations and any other accusations of wrongdoing.
On December 14 Mrs Ferguson’s assistant Antonia Marshall emailed Ms Brown and said: ‘Hi Molly, I work for the Duchess of York and I wondered if you had time at some point for a quick chat re your tweet about the photo of the Duke being edited/doctored. Thank you so much for your online support!’
Ms Roberts maintains this photo was taken when she was forced to have sex with the Duke in 2001 (Picture: Rex Features)
Mrs Ferguson’s trusted assistant Antonia Marshall emailed Ms Brown on December 14
Ms Brown said she spoke about her doubts about the photograph on WhatsApp with Ms Marshall.
She alleges Ms Marshall then asked her if she thought they should ‘set up a spy account’, but the Mail on Sunday understands Ms Marshall does not have the same ‘recollection’ about the conversation.
On December 15 Ms Marshall sent Ms Brown a message saying: ‘One of the York family advisers called Mark Gallagher would love to speak to you.’
Mr Gallagher, the Duke’s PR expert, then messaged Ms Brown on WhatsApp saying: ‘Molly. I’d like to talk to you in the round about the important distinction you have drawn between survivors and – in effect – enablers. That gets to the heart of this.’
He was seemingly referring to allegations Ms Brown made against Ms Roberts last October when she accused her of being an ‘enabler’ for Epstein.
The Duke’s PR expert referenced Ms Brown’s allegations against Ms Roberts
Ms Brown has called Ms Roberts an ‘enabler’
Ms Roberts has publicly denied Ms Brown’s allegations about her and has since blocked her on Twitter ‘because of her widespread lies’.
The Duke’s representatives declined to comment to the Mail on Sunday about contacting Ms Brown.
But an anonymous source close to the Prince reportedly told the newspaper that the ‘exchange was not out of the ordinary’ and ‘none of this went further than an initial discussion’.
Ms Brown maintains that the photograph was doctored but said the Duke’s team trying to court her was ‘desperate’. She also claims Maxwell tried to recruit her as a masseuse when she was 14-years-old.
Maxwell, 58, has been charged with the sex trafficking of underage girls and the enticement of minors. She has denied all charges against her.
Prince Andrew was forced to give up his royal duties and step down from his charitable patronages due to Ms Roberts’ allegations. The FBI is still trying to interview him about his relationship with Epstein.
Metro.co.uk has also contacted the Duke’s representatives for comment.
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