Several weeks after Prince Andrew’s BBC interview on his relationship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, a financier who was charged with sex trafficking for allegedly having procured underage girls for high society patrons, the journalist who interviewed the royal, Emily Maitlis, stepped forward to announce that she did not expect the kind of backlash that followed.
Speaking with Radio Times, Maitlis insisted that the interview in question wasn’t some kind of "attempt to bring down the Royals" but merely "a chance to understand the story".
"I didn't like people saying, 'Oh, it's a car crash interview,' because I thought, 'That's not enticing, that's not encouraging.' I don't want people thinking that's what happens at Newsnight," she explained.
Maitles further noted that Prince Andrew seemed "happy" with the interview, and even went on to praise certain qualities of his.
"I admire him for his candour and his engagement with the questions in an age of so much deviation and circumnavigation, and quite often a failure to put yourself up for scrutiny," the journalist said.
She also argued that since she isn’t a judge or a barrister, it wasn’t up to her to determine exactly how truthful the prince was back then.
During the interview, which was aired on BBC last month, Prince Andrew, who was photographed at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2010 and accused of having sex with one of his alleged underage victims, claimed that he merely stayed at Epstein’s house because it was "convenient", and that he maintained his friendship with Epstein even after the latter was convicted because, at that time, he "felt it was the honourable and right thing to do".
He also dismissed allegations of him having sex with Virginia Giuffre (formerly known as Virginia Roberts) who previously claimed that Epstein forced her to have sex with the royal when she was merely 17.
The interview, however, evoked a severe public backlash, with The Telegraph describing it as a "PR disaster" for the Duke of York.