Prince Andrew has admitted he “let the side down” by choosing to stay at the home of Jeffrey Epstein after the American financier had been convicted of child sex offences, opening up on his links to the late billionaire in a tell-all interview.
The Duke of York sat down with BBC Newsnight reporter Emily Maitlis inside the walls of Buckingham Palace and gave his first interview since becoming embroiled in the Epstein scandal. The hour-long sit-down chat, which was recorded on Thursday, is set to air on Saturday evening in the UK.
In a clip shared by the BBC on social media, Maitlis can be seen broaching the subject of the allegations made against the duke, asking him: “One of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts has made allegations against you. She says she met you in 2001.
“She says you dined with you, danced with you at Tramp nightclub in London. She went on to have sex with you in a house in Belgravia, belonging to Ghislaine Maxwell, your friend. Your response?”
Shaking his head, Andrew responds: “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady.”
"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady."
The Duke of York has spoken for the first time about his links to Jeffrey Epstein and the allegations against him https://t.co/YfWs2EAi6v
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 15, 2019
In another brief clip shared online, Prince Andrew also discusses his decision to stay with Epstein at his home in 2010, two years after Epstein had been convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Describing his actions at the time as not “becoming of a member of the royal family”, the Queen’s son says: “That’s the bit that… as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal Family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”
Prince Andrew says he has 'no recollection' of ever meeting one of the women accusing him of sexual impropriety.
The duke made the claims in a BBC interview about his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 15, 2019
Back in August, Epstein was found dead from an apparent suicide in his cell in Metropolitan Correctional Center (sic), where he was awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking. He was rushed to New York Downtown Hospital but later pronounced dead.
His death came just days after a lawsuit from one of his alleged victims was unsealed, naming Prince Andrew and more of his former high profile friends.
One of the financier’s accusers – Roberts – said that she was forced to have sex with the senior royal on three occasions between 1999, when she was 17, and 2002. At the time she would have been under-age according to Florida state law, reports the BBC.
After the allegations were made public, an official statement was released by the palace which read: “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”