- Britain has reacted negatively to Prince Andrew’s Saturday BBC interview about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, with many saying they don’t buy his arguments.
- Prince Andrew denied allegations from Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre that he had sex with her when she was 17 years old. He continued to deny this during Saturday’s interview.
- Following the interview, British outlets called out the Duke of York for his lack of remorse and at times confusing statements about the situation.
Major backlash followed Prince Andrew’s Saturday BBC interview where he said he was “too honorable” to decline staying at the late alleged child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s house.
The Duke of York came under fire after Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre said he had sex with her when she was 17 years old. Giuffre said Epstein offered her to Prince Andrew, and after Epstein’s arrest in July she urged the prince to “come clean” about his friendship with the disgraced financier. Prince Andrew denied the allegations.
Following months of increased scrutiny, Prince Andrew spoke to BBC journalist Emily Maitlis in an interview that aired Saturday evening. His statements about his relationship with Epstein only served to further anger the British public, which found the comments strange and defensive, The New York Times reported.
“I couldn’t have slept with teenager, I was at Pizza Express,” read a headline in The Sunday Telegraph. The headline referred to the part of the interview where Prince Andrew said he couldn’t have had sex with Giuffre because he took his daughter to a pizza restaurant on the same night.
Maitlis herself appeared confused throughout the interview, particularly when Prince Andrew referred to Epstein as conducting “himself in a manner unbecoming.”
“Unbecoming?” Maitlis replied. “He was a sex offender.”
Editor-in-chief at the British website Royal Central tweeted that the interview was worse than a “train wreck.” The outlet covered the interview heavily when it aired, with one article highlighting the fact that Prince Andrew said he doesn’t regret his friendship with the accused child sex-trafficker — even after the allegations came to light.
I expected a train wreck.
— Charlie Proctor (@MonarchyUK) November 16, 2019
“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,” Prince Andrew said during the interview, according to Royal Central.
British author Kate Williams tweeted about the statement as well, suggesting the underage women Epstein allegedly surrounded himself with “were just wallpaper” to the two men.
Still can’t believe #PrinceAndrew doesn’t ‘regret’ his friendship with #Epstein because ‘the people I met…were actually very useful’. Those girls and young women who were there, massaging all these ‘useful people’ were just wallpaper to them…
— Prof Kate Williams (@KateWilliamsme) November 16, 2019
“Incredible that Prince Andrew says he still doesn’t regret his friendship with Epstein,” BBC journalist and television presenter Dan Walker tweeted.
Other news outlets hit Prince Andrew’s interview hard, with The Mail’s banner headline reading “Not one single word of remorse” on Sunday. The Sunday Mirror also went after the prince, writing “No Sweat … and No Regret” in its headline. This referred to Prince Andrew’s comments that Giuffre has to be lying about the sex allegations because “he can’t sweat.”
Maitlis noted during the interview that Giuffre said she met the Duke of York at a party in 2001, and he was “profusely sweating.” Prince Andrew said that he couldn’t sweat at the time because of a “peculiar medical condition” that has since gone away.
” … I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply … it was almost impossible for me to sweat,” Prince Andrew said.
Jason Stein, Prince Andrew’s public relations adviser, reportedly resigned two weeks ago because he felt the BBC interview “could backfire,” according to The Sunday Times. Various public relations experts were confused as to why Prince Andrew would agree to a television interview and give such unconvincing arguments against the allegations, The NYT reported.
Prince Andrew also told Maitlis he stayed at Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2010 after the disgraced financier was released from prison because it was “convenient.” Epstein was previously arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution involving a minor. (RELATED: ABC News Leak Renews Focus On Elite Media Coziness With Jeffrey Epstein)
He suggested the photograph showing his arm wrapped around a younger Giuffre was not real, but didn’t outright say it was photoshopped. Prince Andrew said he never dresses casually in London and doesn’t show public affection with strangers. He added that he wouldn’t have been where the photograph was taken, The NYT reported.
“The photograph was taken upstairs, and I don’t believe I ever went upstairs,” Prince Andrew said.
Epstein was arrested in July on allegations of sex-trafficking children, and reportedly died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell Aug. 10.
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