Prince Andrew Responds to Virginia Giuffre's Panorama Interview

Caroline Hallemann

From Harper's BAZAAR

Last month, Prince Andrew sat down with Newsnight's Emily Maitlis at Buckingham Palace to discuss his association with Jeffrey Epstein. The 50-minute interview, which is widely regarded to have been a disaster for the royal, covered everything from how the prince and Epstein first met to the Duke of York's reasons for staying at the convicted sex offender's New York City home in 2010, after Epstein's release from prison.

The queen's son also addressed allegations that he had sex with Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre) multiple times, including once when she was 17 and being trafficked by Epstein.

Prince Andrew repeatedly said he has “no recollection” of meeting Roberts, and gave multiple reasons, some more outlandish than others, why her claims could not be true.

Photo credit: Courtesy of BBC

Now, Giuffre has responded to Prince Andrew in a televised BBC interview of her own, which will air tonight at 9 p.m. in the U.K. She sat down with Panorama to discuss both Epstein and Prince Andrew, and called the royal's response to her allegations "BS."

"The people on the inside are going to keep coming up with these ridiculous excuses like his arm was elongated, or the photo was doctored, or he came to New York to break up with Jeffrey Epstein," she said. "I mean come on. I'm calling BS on this because that's what it is. He knows what happened. I know what happened, and there's only one of us telling the truth, and I know that's me."

She also asked the people of the United Kingdom to stand with her. "I implore the people in the U.K. to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK. This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked."

Buckingham Palace has issued two statements in response to the programme, the first of which is in regard to the Duke of York's association with Prince Andrew. It's quite similar to previous statements issued by the royal family about their friendship, and reads:

“The Duke of York unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein’s suicide left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims. The Duke deeply sympathises with those affected who want some form of closure. It is his hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. The Duke is willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."

The second statement focuses more specifically on Giuffre's allegations. It reads:

“It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”

Following enormous public criticism of his Newsnight interview, Prince Andrew has stepped back from his royal duties for the "foreseeable future."

"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," he wrote in a statement late last month. Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."

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