Backlash for Prince Andrew after Epstein interview

Prince Andrew has denied any wrongdoing

Monday, November 18, 2019

Prince Andrew has been met with criticism after a "disastrous" interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York was interviewed by the BBC's Emily Maitliss and denied having sex with the then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts in 2001.

Epstein admitted prostituting minors in 2008 and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Prince Andrew said he “let the side down” by staying at Esptein’s house in 2010 following his release.

Earlier this year Epstein was charged with sex trafficking offences and the disgraced financier was subsequently found dead in his jail cell, having taken his own life.

The interview has been widely criticised with commentators questioning the Duke's responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse for the friendship.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said his comments were "worrying", while lawyers representing Epstein's victims have called on Prince Andrew to make a statement to the FBI - who are still investigating Epstein despite his suicide.

Interviewer Ms Maitliss has said that the Queen had given her approval for Prince Andrew to speak out in the interview that was screened on Saturday.

She wrote of the process of securing the exclusive with the Queen’s son: “We have finished laying out our pitch. An awkward moment of silence falls. And the duke tells us he must ‘seek approval from higher up’.

“It dawns on us then that he means the Queen herself. At 8am the next day we have a message telling us to call his office. The Queen, it seems, is on board.”

The BBC has reported that sources close to the Duke as saying he stands by his decision to set the record straight.

Whereas in the newspapers, also based on sources, there are claims Prince Andrew told the Queen his television appearance was a success. Another says he regretted not mentioning sympathy for the women trafficked for sex by Epstein.

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