The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, has sat down with the BBC to speak out on his alleged friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in prison amid an investigation on suspicion of organising a paedophile ring. The one-on-one with Newsnight's Emily Maitlis for the special “Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal” is set to see light on Saturday without any teasers or pre-release.
According to the interviewer, their talk was a “no holds barred interview” with “no questions vetted” by the royal himself or officials. This is the first time since the allegations about improper relations with one of the financier’s alleged sex slaves came to light that he would be asked directly.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: In a #Newsnight @BBCTwo interview recorded yesterday at Buckingham Palace, Emily Maitlis talks to Prince Andrew about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein - the first time he’s answered questions on the scandal— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 15, 2019
Saturday 21:00 @BBCTwo @maitlis pic.twitter.com/PsVaBd79PV
Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied claims that he had sex with one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and took part in an orgy by issuing statements pre-written by Buckingham Palace, but has never been confronted in an interview.
Roberts Giuffre, now 35, accused deceased American financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein of sex trafficking her to several high-profile people, including Britain's Prince Andrew, when she was 17. She made her first public claim in 2015, but the palace denied the accusations, which were again brought into the spotlight this year amid a new probe. A 2001 photograph of Giuffre with Prince Andrew’s arm wrapped tightly around her waist has also surfaced. Although the woman insists that it is a real photo, UK-based media have earlier claimed, citing unnamed sources close to the royal family, that the image had been doctored.
Epstein was arrested a second time and charged with trafficking minor girls at his residences for sex in July 2019. Some of the charges date back to the 2000s. By that time, the deceased sex offender had been under investigation for nearly two decades, as he was arrested in 2005 for molesting an underage girl, convicted of being a sex offender, and served a relatively light sentence of 13 months.
However, in the new process he was facing up to 45 years in prison if he had been convicted. But Epstein, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, ended his life under mysterious circumstances this summer. His death was ruled a suicide by a coroner, but this has been met with increasing suspicion, as the influential American paedophile was reportedly linked to many famous and powerful people, including US Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. The convicted sex abuser was inexplicably taken off of suicide watch, despite reportedly trying to kill himself just weeks earlier.