Prince Andrew’s recent attempts to clarify his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein have backfired, sparking even more criticism about his lack of remorse about the wealthy financier’s actions. Epstein died August in an apparent suicide in a federal jail after being convicted on sex trafficking charges involving minors.
Prince Andrew was grilled by journalist Emily Maitlis in a BBC interview broadcasted Saturday on his alleged friendship with Epstein. Multiple photographs showing Andrew and Epstein together on different occasions have previously surfaced, raising questions about how close the two were.
Matlis asked whether the prince regretted his relationship with Epstein. Andrew said he didn’t, explaining that, “the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.” He added that he and Epstein were not “that close.”
Prince Andrew also acknowledged during the BBC interview that he had been on Epstein’s private plane and private island and that Epstein was his guest at Windsor Castle and Sandringham, which the interviewer said showed that he was “brought right into the heart of the royal family.”
Maitlis also pressed the prince on why he stayed at Epstein’s mansion in New York for several days in 2010 after Epstein was convicted, even as he said the purpose of the trip was to cut ties with the wealthy financier. Andrew sighed before saying that “it was a convenient place to stay.” He admitted that he did regret the trip but not the whole relationship.
Andrew has repeatedly denied allegations about him made by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who said she was trafficked by Epstein, and that the prince had sex with her when she was 17 years old. Giuffre has said, according to court documents, that she had been ordered to have sex with Andrew by Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime friend Ghislaine Maxwell. Earlier this year, she said about Prince Andrew that “he knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it.”
Asked about Giuffre during the BBC interview, Prince Andrew responded: “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady.”
He said that “if push came to shove” and legal advice recommended he testify or give a statement under oath, that he would do so. “I think there’s just as much closure for me as there is for everybody else,” he said.
Prince Andrew also said he let the royal family down by meeting Epstein even after he was convicted of soliciting a minor. “I kick myself for, on a daily basis, because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family,” he said. “And we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”
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