LONDON (Information) – Britain’s Prince Andrew stated he couldn’t have had intercourse with a teenage lady at a socialite’s London house as a result of he returned to his home after a kids’s social gathering on the evening in query and has no recollection of ever assembly her.
The uncommon interview was an try to attract a line underneath a scandal after months of headlines about Andrew’s ties to the U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in August whereas being held on federal sex-trafficking costs.
Talking publicly for the primary time about his relationship with Epstein, Queen Elizabeth’s second son gave an at instances rambling and contradictory account. He stated Epstein’s habits had been “unbecoming”, however that he doesn’t remorse their friendship due to the alternatives it gave him to fulfill enterprise folks.
One in all Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre, has stated she was compelled to have intercourse with Andrew in London, New York and on a personal Caribbean island between 1999 and 2002, when she says Epstein stored her as a “intercourse slave”.
Throughout the hour-long BBC interview broadcast on Saturday, Andrew gave a sequence of explanation why her account of assembly him sweating and dancing virtually 20 years in the past at a London nightclub earlier than having intercourse with him couldn’t be true, together with the very fact he suffered from a medical situation that stopped him perspiring.
He additionally stated that on the evening he was alleged to have met her he was at house along with his household after visiting a Pizza Categorical restaurant in Woking along with his daughter Beatrice.
“I can completely, categorically let you know it by no means occurred,” Andrew stated. “I’ve no recollection of ever assembly this girl, none by any means.”
He defended his relationship with Epstein, saying it opened up alternatives as he transitioned out of the Navy.
“The those that I met and the alternatives that I used to be given to study both by him or due to him had been really very helpful,” he stated.
Andrew additionally stated he stayed at Epstein’s house in New York after the financier’s conviction as a result of he was “too honorable”. Epstein had pleaded responsible in 2008 to Florida state prostitution costs.
“It was a handy place to remain,” Andrew stated. “However on the time I felt it was the honorable and proper factor to do and I admit totally that my judgment was in all probability coloured by my tendency to be too honorable however that’s simply the best way it’s.”
Giuffre, who was beforehand named Virginia Roberts, has stated that she first had intercourse with Andrew when she was 17 and underage.
An image exhibiting the prince along with his arm round Giuffre’s waist from 2001 has appeared in British media. Andrew stated that he acknowledged himself within the photograph, however he questioned its authenticity.
“I don’t consider that photograph was taken in the best way that has been urged,” Andrew stated within the interview. “I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken.”
He has beforehand denied any inappropriate relations with Giuffre.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer appearing for alleged victims of Epstein, stated Andrew ought to reply questions underneath oath.
“There’s a lot reality that’s but to be revealed,” she advised Information. The prince ought to “ought to conform to testify underneath oath and likewise he ought to voluntarily agree to talk to regulation enforcement.”
When the allegations had been first made, a Buckingham Palace spokesman stated it was “emphatically denied” that Andrew had any type of sexual contact or relationship with Giuffre.
Andrew has beforehand stated he stood by the palace statements and lately apologized over his friendship with Epstein.
The prince stated he solely visited Epstein’s New York house in 2010 after his launch from jail in an effort to break off the friendship. The previous funding banker was then a registered intercourse offender.
Epstein, 66, died by hanging himself in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10.
Andrew stated he had seen no indicators Epstein was procuring younger women for intercourse trafficking and that as patron of a UK charity marketing campaign towards baby abuse he was alert to the risks.
“I knew what the issues had been to search for, however I by no means noticed them,” he stated.
He gave the impression to be open to giving a press release underneath oath, saying within the interview: “If push got here to shove and the authorized recommendation was to take action, then I might be responsibility certain to take action.”
Reporting by William Schomberg and Andrew MacAskill; Extra reporting by Michael Holden and Nandita Bose; Enhancing by Frances Kerry and Daniel Wallis