Prince Andrew claims he stayed at Jeffrey Epstein’s home after he was convicted of child sex offences because he was ‘too honourable’.
The Duke of York says he ‘let the side down’ over his friendship with the billionaire paedophile.
The 59-year-old has answered questions on his links with Epstein for the first time in an interview with BBC Newsnight which is set to be aired at 9pm today on BBC Two.
The prince first met Epstein in 1999 and they saw each other on several occasions after that.
Prince Andrew, who is the Queen’s third child, has been facing questions for several months over his ties to 66-year-old Epstein who was found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
In 2010, the prince was photographed walking with Epstein in New York’s Central Park – two years after Epstein’s first conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Footage published by the Mail on Sunday showed the prince in Epstein’s Manhattan mansion at about the same time.
In part of the interview, which will be aired in full this evening, the Duke says: “It was a convenient place to stay.
“I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times.
“At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.
“But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.”
One of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, claims she was forced to have sex with the prince three times between 1999 – when she was 17 – and 2002.
Asked by Emily Maitlis about the claims the prince replied: “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
When asked once more whether he remembered meeting Ms Giuffre, the prince said: “No.”
Details of Ms Giuffre’s claims against the prince were later officially struck from court records when a judge ruled they were unnecessary to the case, saying they were “immaterial and impertinent” to the “central claim”.
Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, wrote on Instagram last night that the prince was a “true real gentleman and is stoically steadfast not only [in] his duty but also his kindness”.
Authors responsible for own works.
The Editor of Blogfactory does not necessarily subscribe to (or agree with) every point of view.