PAEDOPHILE financier Jeffrey Epstein refused to answer questions over whether he attempted to blackmail the Duke of York after his alleged sexual encounter with Virginia Giuffre, court documents have revealed.

Epstein declined to answer almost all of the questions, also known as pleading the fifth amendment in the US, during his interview under oath as part of Giuffre’s civil claim against disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

He was quizzed over whether he and Maxwell instructed Giuffre to have sex with Andrew in 2001 and if the information gathered as part of the legal action “has the potential to affect the reputation” of the duke.

Andrew stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with Epstein, and paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Giuffre, a woman he claimed never to have met.

The National: Ghislaine Maxwell said she did not introduce the Duke of York to Jeffrey Epstein (US Department of Justice/PA)

He was cast out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style after Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.

The duke strenuously denies any wrongdoing.

The transcript of Epstein’s interview, known as a deposition in the US, was released as part of the final tranche of documents to be published as part of Giuffre’s 2015 civil claim against Maxwell.

In total, 215 documents have been “unsealed” over the course of five days after the media argued it was in the public interest to remove redactions which hid the names of individuals.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew 'locked himself in a room' amid new Epstein controversy

During Epstein’s deposition, Ms Giuffre’s counsel Paul Cassell asked: “In fact, it would be a fair assessment of all the circumstances surrounding this situation to say that you forced Virginia to have sex with Prince Andrew?”

After Epstein declined to answer, the lawyer continued: “What would have happened to Virginia if she had refused to have sex with Prince Andrew?”

Following another refusal to answer the question, Cassell then asked Epstein: “Shortly after Prince Andrew and Virginia had sex, Virginia gave you a full report about the details of the sex, true?”

The National: Jeffrey Epstein

Cassell also said: “Isn’t it true, sir, that Prince Andrew thanked you for making Virginia available to him for sexual purposes?”

Epstein declined to answer both questions.

Questioning Epstein on the alleged blackmail plot, Cassell said: “You had previously instructed Virginia that she had to give you a full report on the details of what men like Prince Andrew did to her so that you would have blackmail material you could use, true?”

Epstein was also quizzed on what he knew about Andrew’s “sexual preferences”, and on whether Giuffre had “recounted specific behaviour that Prince Andrew requested before sexual intercourse”.

The disgraced financier again declined to answer the questions.

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Later in his interview, Epstein was also asked: “To your knowledge, Prince Andrew had sex with Virginia several times, right?”

Before finishing his questioning, Cassell said: “This litigation has the potential to affect the reputation of Prince Andrew, right?”

Epstein refused to answer the questions.

Paedophile financier Epstein was found dead in his cell at a federal jail in Manhattan, New York, in August 2019 while he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide.

Maxwell has been imprisoned since July 2020 despite attempts by her defence counsel to have her released on bail.

She was sentenced to 20 years in prison at the federal court in the Southern District of New York in June 2022.

The socialite indicated her desire to appeal shortly after her conviction, with her lawyers claiming victims had “faded, distorted and motivated memories”.

Her appeal is scheduled to be heard in November next year.