Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway is speaking out about meeting accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
“I never would have associated with Mr. Epstein if I had been aware of the seriousness of the crimes he committed,” the 46-year-old told Norwegian daily publication Dagens Næringsliv on Monday.
“Through years of work with questions regarding international health issues, I have witnessed firsthand the kind of damage sexual assault does to women and children,” she continued. “We all have a responsibility to fight sexual assault and to support the victims. I wish to express my deepest sympathy and solidarity to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein.”
A rep for the royal house of Norway confirmed to Fox News Mette-Marit stood by her statement to the outlet.
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The royal palace also confirmed to the outlet that Mette-Marit and Epstein met “socially, mostly in the United States.” One meeting did occur in Norway’s capital Oslo.
“One of the meetings took place at Mr. Epstein’s home,” said Guri Varpe, head of communications at the palace. “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. 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 [Mette-Marit’s husband] then met Epstein for the first and only time.”
Varpe also shared the royal couple was not aware of Epstein’s past.
“During the time the crown princess had contact with Mr. Epstein, she was not aware of the scope, nor the character of the crimes he had been convicted of, and subsequently served time in jail. She was naturally not aware of the crimes that have been uncovered later.”
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“In 2013, Mette-Marit chose to conclude her association with Mr. Epstein,” Varpe continued. “Partly, this was 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.”
The outlet shared they had investigated any Norwegian connections Epstein may have had. According to their investigation, Epstein and Mette-Marit have met several times between 2011 and 2013 after being introduced through mutual acquaintances.
The outlet alleged Epstein attempted to bring one “Eastern European woman to Norway” eight or nine years ago. While Epstein visited Norway at least once during the 2010s, none of the private jets connected to the disgraced financier are registered as visiting Norway at that time.
Britain’s Prince Andrew is facing intense media scrutiny after Virginia Roberts claimed she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with the Duke of York on three occasions nearly 20 years ago.
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Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, spoke out on a BBC interviewing airing Monday evening in the UK where she addressed the 59-year-old’s denial of her allegations against him.
“He knows what happened, I know what happened, and there’s only one of us telling the truth,” she declared.
The BBC aired an interview with Prince Andrew Nov. 14, in which the second son of Elizabeth II discussed his friendship with Epstein and the sexual assault allegations against him. The royal claimed he had “no recollection of ever meeting” Roberts, “none whatsoever.” The Duke of York also implied that a now-famous photograph showing him with his hand around Roberts’ waist was doctored.
“I have absolutely no memory of that photograph,” the prince insisted. “I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.”
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The interview has been widely considered a public relations disaster for Andrew, who announced shortly after it aired that he would be stepping down from his royal duties.
Roberts has claimed Epstein paid her to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions starting in 2001, including once in London. She says she was 17 when they first had sex.
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Epstein died Aug. 10 after being found unconscious in a Manhattan jail cell, where he was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. His death has been ruled a suicide.
U.S. officials are still looking into the case, and a number of civil lawsuits against Epstein’s estate are in progress.
Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report.