PRINCE Andrew has been spotted playing golf with a top celeb lawyer as he continues to be drawn into the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
The Duke of York was all smiles as he played a round with Paul Tweed – a leading media lawyer who specialises in reputation management.
It comes as Andrew faces mounting criticism over his friendship with paedo Epstein, who recently hanged himself in his jail cell while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
It is understood a number of other invites in Northern Ireland were withdrawn, with Sky News claiming one host had flagged concerns his presence would “change the narrative” around the event.
He was joined by Mr Tweed at a golf tournament at the Royal Portrush Golf Course in County Antrim yesterday in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.
Buckingham Palace has confirmed the lawyer is not working for embattled Prince Andrew – and is instead considered as a “family friend”.
But Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who has supported the Duke since the scandal erupted, is a former client.
Mr Tweed’s website describes him as an expert in media and commercial litigation and reputation management.
It also says he has “obtained injunctive relief and apologies in the print, online and broadcast media, including one of the most comprehensive apologies ever broadcast by a national TV station”.
The golf day was Andrew’s third public appearance in three days after travelling to Bruges to mark the 75th anniversary since the liberation of the Belgian city by the Allies.
Andrew has faced continued scrutiny over his relationship with paedo Epstein, who hanged himself on August 10 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
The financier’s alleged sex slave Virginia Roberts claims she had sex with the prince aged 17 – which he strongly denies.
Ms Roberts, 36, who now uses the surname Giuffre, had her claims against the royal thrown out by a judge who deemed them “immaterial” to her defamation case against “madam” Ghislaine Maxwell.
Prince Andrew released a statement this week condemning his former pal.
Buckingham Palace also said the Duke of York would help authorities in any investigations into the disgraced millionaire.
Andrew said: “It is apparent to me since the suicide of Mr Epstein that there has been an immense amount of media speculation about so much in his life.
“This is particularly the case in relation to my former association or friendship with Mr Epstein. Therefore I am eager to clarify the facts to avoid further speculation.
“I met Mr Epstein in 1999. During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. I have stayed in a number of his residences.
“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”
The Duke was last pictured with Epstein in New York in 2010 after the hedge fund manager had been released from prison and was a registered sex offender.
He was infamously pictured with his arm around Ms Roberts at Ms Maxwell’s home in London in 2001.
She once again spoke out about the Duke this week in which she said Andrew should “come clean” about their alleged encounters.
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At least five women who say they were abused by Epstein have filed lawsuits against his £458million estate after the paedo killed himself.
All said Epstein used a “vast enterprise” of associates to recruit them, subject them to unwanted sex acts and keep them under his control.
He was arrested on July 6 over claims he was involved in the sex-trafficking of dozens of girls as young as 14 from at least 2002 until 2005.
Prince Andrew, pictured with Jeffrey Epstein in 2010, also partied with him in Florida in 2000[/caption]
Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001[/caption]