Prince Andrew denies meeting Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts in explosive interview

16 November 2019, 10:32

Prince Andrew has spoken about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein for the first time
Prince Andrew has spoken about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein for the first time. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Prince Andrew has denied ever meeting Virginia Roberts, who claims she slept with the royal when she was 17.

In an explosive interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, the Prince says he has “no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

The Newsnight special is the first time the Duke of York has addressed his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

He also said that he "let the side down" over his relationship with Epstein as he gave the "no holds barred" interview.

The Duke has long faced questions about his links with the disgraced financier, who was found dead in his prison cell in New York earlier this year where he was being held on sex trafficking charges.

Ms Roberts, now Mrs Giuffre, is one of 16 women who say they were abused by Epstein, and she has previously claimed in court that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.

Prince Andrew was asked for his response to claims by Mrs Giuffre that "she met you in 2001, she says she dined with you, danced with you at Tramp Nightclub in London. She went on to have sex with you in a house in Belgravia".

Ms Maitlis added: "You don't remember meeting her?", to which Andrew replied: "No."

Buckingham Palace has branded the allegations "false and without any foundation" and said "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors" by the duke was "categorically untrue".

In the interview, Andrew also said that his continued relationship with Epstein after the 66-year-old's release from an 18-month prison term in 2010 for prostituting minors "let the side down" for the royal family.

He said: "I stayed with him ... and that's the bit that ... 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."

Meanwhile, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson described the duke, who is her ex-husband, as "stoically steadfast" and a "real gentleman".

Writing on Twitter on Friday, Sarah said: "It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs.

"Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty, but also his kindness and goodness."

The full interview, Prince Andrew And The Epstein Scandal: The Newsnight Interview, will air on BBC Two at 9pm on Saturday.