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Newstalk

10.12 16 Nov 2019


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The British royal Prince Andrew has spoken publicly for the first time about his relationship with convicted US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The son of Queen Elizabeth II says he "let the side down" as a member of the British royal family.

The scandal involving the American billionaire and allegations against the prince have led Buckingham Palace to issue a number of unexpected statements in the past four years - denying the prince had sex with a 17-year-old girl and that he knew anything of Epstein's crimes against underage girls.

In an interview with BBC's Newsnight, due to be aired on Saturday, he was asked about why he stayed with Epstein after the billionaire had admitted having sex with an underage girl.

Prince Andrew said: "I stayed with him and that's... 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."

Video taken in 2010 showed Prince Andrew looking out of the door of Epstein's mansion in New York as he was staying with the billionaire.

It was two years after Epstein had been convicted of having sex with underage girls. Photos were also taken of the two men walking in Central Park.

Those close to the prince say he had gone to America to tell Epstein that they could no longer be friends.

In the interview, he is also asked about allegations made by one of Epstein's victims - Virginia Roberts - who claims she was made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17-years-old, after a night out in London.

Prince Andrew In this 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew leaves a hospital in London after visiting his father Prince Philip | Image: Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

When asked for his response to those claims he said: "I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."

When asked: "You don't remember meeting her?" He replied: "No".

As Epstein faced trial in America this summer and then killed himself in a Manhattan jail, the scandal again erupted around Prince Andrew.

On Twitter, Prince Andrew ex-wife Sarah Ferguson said: "It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty+pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs.

"Andrew is a true+real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness + goodness".

Lawyers acting for Epstein's victims still have questions about what the prince and Epstein's other high-profile friends knew about the billionaire's crimes.

Prince Andrew has denied witnessing or suspecting any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to Epstein's arrest and conviction.


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British Royal Family Buckingham Palace Jeffrey Epstein New York Prince Andrew Queen Elizabeth II Underage Virginia Roberts

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