Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell repeatedly warned Prince Andrew not to speak to the media about their paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein, a friend claims.
Laura Goldman says Maxwell, 58, urged the royal not to discuss him.
But Ms Goldman says Andrew ignored Maxwell – and told her after his disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis: “Don’t worry, it’ll work out.”
Ms Goldman – hinting Maxwell knew her own arrest was inevitable – said: “She thought it was terrible and that’s what she told me was the beginning of the end.
“We knew things were bad. I think part of her protections went away.
“She told him not to talk to the Press. She told him it won’t do any good, nobody wants to hear what we have to say.
“But he ignored her. He thought that he could use his lack of charm to charm people.”
Ms Goldman spoke out after the British socialite was arrested by the FBI at her £860,000 home in Bradford, New Hampshire. Maxwell is charged with procuring underage girls for Epstein to have sex with and engaging in sexual activity with them herself.
She denies wrongdoing but faces up to 35 years if found guilty.
Maxwell has been a friend of Prince Andrew, 60, since the mid-1990s. She was also said to have been around the night Epstein’s “teenage sex slave” Virginia Giuffre claims she had sex with the Duke of York at Maxwell’s London mews house in March 2001.
The prince has strenuously denied it and said he has “no recollection” of ever meeting Virginia.
Asked what Maxwell said to Andrew after the disastrous TV interview, former stockbroker Ms Goldman said: “She told him she was very, very sorry she had put him in that position and asked what she could do to make it up to him.
"He told her, ‘Don’t worry, it’ll work out’.”
Ms Goldman, in her early 60s, added: “Ghislaine and Andrew had a long relationship. She knows a lot of Andrew’s secrets.
“She felt he had really saved her and stood by her after her father died and had helped launch her in New York society.
"She was eternally grateful and would never betray him. I don’t think he could cut her off and I think there’s a lot more money between Andrew and Epstein than people know.”
Ms Goldman, who lives in Philadelphia, said Maxwell has been flitting between the UK, France and the US.
Of late she has been living in New Hampshire, at a property named Tucked Away, with a new boyfriend. Tycoon Epstein, 66, killed himself in a New York cell last year while facing sex charges.
Ms Goldman said: “When Jeffrey was arrested I told her to get the f*** away, but she didn’t want to.”
Asked about Maxwell’s boyfriend, she said: “All I can say is she must be great in bed because she can find a boyfriend ‘on the run’!
"They’ve been in a relationship for eight months. He’s very respectable and a decent person.”
Epstein and Maxwell first met in New York, where she had set up home following the death of her father Robert, the disgraced media tycoon who plunged from his yacht in 1991.
Of Epstein, Ms Goldman said: “All Ghislaine ever said to me was, ‘I alone can’t keep him happy’. She knew he was cheating on her. She would humiliate herself for him.
“She thought if she made him happy and did just one more thing he would marry her. I kept telling her, ‘What are you going to do for an encore?’ She would shrug her shoulders.
"She loved Jeffrey. But she was scared to death of him.
“We would be out and she’d say, ‘I’ve got to go because Jeffrey will yell at me, he’ll be mad at me’. He frightened her. He talked to her like dirt.
“After he died she was relieved – she thought, mistakenly, it was all over. She said, ‘I’m finally free of him’.
“I last spoke to Ghislaine a little less than a month ago. She was okay, but there were times I’ve spoken to her when she wasn’t good. She’ll be fine in prison if found guilty.
"She’s very tough and will charm and entertain people. She’s a chameleon. Just like she found Epstein, she’ll find the biggest predator there and they’ll take her under their wing.”
Ms Goldman faced court herself in 2011. She admitted harassing her former lover Thomas H Lee, the private equity billionaire.
She made it clear that while she supports Maxwell, she also supports her accuser Virginia Guiffre.
“I think Virginia has done a wonderful job of getting justice and she has every right to do that,” she said.
“I’m not anti Virginia, I believe victims and I believe Ghislaine was also a victim of Epstein.”
Andrew and his team vehemently deny wrongdoing.
His lawyers have said the prince offered three times to be a witness – but US prosecutors insist he provided “zero co-operation” with the Department of Justice.
Of the claims by Ms Goldman, a source close to the prince’s legal team said: “None of this brings victims of Epstein any closer to justice, nor does it explain why the DoJ continue to focus their efforts on the Duke, who met Epstein less then 10 times, 20 years ago.”