But on the evening the Newsnight interview was broadcast, the Duke was likely delighted. He had thought the Newsnight interview had gone well, not realizing how terrible he sounded in praising Epstein for his business nous and failing to properly recognize the hurt caused to Epstein’s victims. Twenty four hours earlier, Mrs Isbilen had transferred £750,000 to his account.
The particulars of the claim allege that “in or around November 2019 Mr Turk told Mrs Isbilen that she needed to make a purported ‘gift’ of £750,000 to HRH Duke of York by way of payment for assistance that he told her HRH Duke of York had provided in relation to Mrs Isbilen’s Turkish passport”.
It is unclear what the Duke of York may or may not have done to earn the money. It is also unknown what he was told by way of explanation as to why £750,000 was going into his personal account.
In the court documents, it is alleged that Mr Turk made a false claim that the Duke of York had helped with the passport.
The claim simply states: “The representation that Mrs Isbilen needed to make a gift to HRH Duke of York in connection with her passport (or for any other purpose) was false, and Mr Turk made it dishonestly, knowing it to be false and intending Mrs İşbilen to rely on it”.
But whatever Mr Turk told his client, “Mrs Isbilen authorized a transfer of £750,000 out of” an account held with a private bank Hampden & Co on November 15.
A little over a year later, Mrs Isbilen had instructed Peters & Peters – one of Britain’s leading law firms and an expert in white collar crime – to recover her missing millions. In total, she claims that she entrusted Mr Turk with $87.5 million (£67 million) and that tens of millions of pounds remain unaccounted for. Mr Turk, 35, according to the legal claim lodged with the High Court, “dishonestly and systematically abused the trust that she [Mrs Isbilen] placed in him and breached the fiduciary obligations that he owed her”.
Mr Turk disputes Mrs Isbilen’s allegations. A court ruling includes only a summary of his version of events. The court heard that Turk “disagrees with her portrayal of the facts, including as to her understanding of the various dealings with her assets. He states that much of what has happened is the result of Mrs Isbilen’s status as a politically exposed person and the consequential difficulty in dealing with her assets”.
Some time after the first hearing, held in March last year, the Duke of York paid the money back to Mrs Isbilen. It appears he had held on to it for at least 16 months.
As soon as Peters & Peters, Mrs Isbilen’s law firm, wrote to the Duke “requesting an account of his dealings with Mr Turk, Prince Andrew declined to provide any such account, but repaid Mrs Isbilen the sum of £750,000,” Mr Tickner said in his affidavit.
The particulars of claim were amended after that hearing, according to the documents seen by The Telegraph, so that instead of stating “Mrs Isbilen is entitled to and claims damages in the sum of £750,000”, it was changed to read: “Mrs Isbilen has now received £750,000 from HRH Duke of York.”