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Not sure who in Buckingham Palace thought it was a good idea to have the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, give an interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Allegedly, the Queen signed off on the idea.
Maybe they thought that the furor was just too much and they had to say something.
But his responses, at least those released so far, seem to just make everything worse.
Virginia Giuffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, alleges that she was forced to have sex with him three times between 2001 – when she was 17 – and 2002 in London, New York and on a Caribbean island owned by Epstein.
A picture has circulated for years of Andrew with Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell at Maxwell’s home in London from about that time.
Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for sexual purposes in 2008 and served 13 months, during which he was able to go on “work release” to his office 12 hours a day, six days a week, according to the BBC.
But even after that, Andrew was spotted walking with him in New York’s Central Park in 2010. A photo was also taken of him from about the same time, showing him while he was staying at Epstein’s home in Manhattan.
Andrew, who is the third child of the Queen, gave an interview to the BBC’s Emily Maitlis to explain himself.
He was asked about staying at Epstein’s house, even after Epstein’s conviction.
Prince Andrew says he has 'no recollection' of ever meeting one of the women accusing him of sexual impropriety.
The duke made the claims in a BBC interview about his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
— ITV News (@itvnews) November 15, 2019
“That’s the bit that… as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal Family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”
Challenged on his decision to stay at the home of a convicted sex offender, the prince said: “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.”
When asked specifically about Giuffre, who the Palace has always categorically denied he had any relationship with, Andrew now equivocated. “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.” Prodded again, he said he did not remember ever meeting her.
Here’s the picture of him with Giuffre.
— Tony McK 🏴 🎗️ (@oakroyd) November 15, 2019
And the walk around Central Park.
“Prince Andrew is pictured with paedophile businessman Jeffrey Epstein as the men stroll around Central Park in December 2010” pic.twitter.com/3zKRSKBREp
— Dutchess of Roti (@wickdchiq) August 12, 2019
It’ll be interesting to see what else the BBC is able to get answers on, but so far, if this is supposed to be damage control, it’s not working.