Prince Andrew is reportedly "bewildered" by the actions of US authorities investigating the crimes of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who have still not replied to his legal team, according to sources in his camp.
The Daily Mail reported that a source close to his team said: "The Duke's team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month and to-date, we have had no response."
The Duke of York has claimed he has offered himself up as a witness but US prosecutors say he turned down their requests to speak.
The arrest of Epstein's former girlfriend and 'madam' Ghislaine Maxwelll, has plunged Prince Andrew deeper into the legal mire, with experts saying the embattled royal will now be fearful of what might be exposed.
Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on Thursday on charges she helped procure underage sex partners for financier Jeffrey Epstein.
An indictment made public on Thursday said Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent travel companion on trips around the world, facilitated Epstein's crimes by "helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse" girls as young as 14. It also said she participated in the sexual abuse.
Royal author Robert Jobson told the Mail that Andrew will now be fearful that he will be directly implicated in the sordid abuse.
Jobson said: "'He keeps protesting his innocence, but her arrest has brought everything more sharply into focus. It is certainly a very worrying development for him.
"He could strike a deal with prosecutors for a lesser sentence in return for implicating others.
"I would have thought that in order to open up the case, she is going to be asked to name other names. That is where it could become even more difficult for Andrew.
"If she says anything about him, and she is bound to be asked about him, it could implicate him or cause trouble for him. Whatever happens, it is an embarrassment because she was clearly close to him and there are some pretty gruesome charges against her."
Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represented 16 of Jeffrey Epstein accusers has spoken out, saying that Andrew needs to "stop playing the victim".
Allred made the comments in the wake of Maxwell's arrest, telling reporters: "The arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell is a major development and demonstrates that the criminal investigation is serious and that it continues.
"It is long overdue for Prince Andrew to stop making excuses and to stop playing the victim. He should contact the FBI immediately and agree to appear for an interview."
Maxwell, 58, was arrested in New Hampshire, where the FBI said it had been keeping tabs on her.
"More recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago," William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York office, said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
The indictment included counts of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.
"Maxwell lied because the truth, as alleged, was almost unspeakable," Audrey Strauss, the acting US attorney in Manhattan, said at the press conference.
She called the charges against Maxwell a "prequel" to the charges prosecutors brought last summer against Epstein.
Messages were sent on Thursday to several of Maxwell's attorneys seeking comment. She has previously repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called some of the claims against her "absolute rubbish".
Among the most sensational accusations was a claim by one Epstein victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with Andrew at her London townhouse. Giuffre bolstered her allegations with a picture of her, Andrew and Maxwell that she said was taken at the time.
Andrew denied her story and Maxwell said in one deposition that Giuffre was "totally lying".
He was not mentioned by name in the indictment, and the charges covered Maxwell's dealings with Epstein only in the period from 1994 through 1997, a period well before Andrew's alleged encounters with Giuffre in 2001.
Strauss said she would "welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us," but did not answer further questions pertaining to these charges and Andrew.
-Additional reporting, AP