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Prince Andrew 'supports his decision to give an interview with BBC'



Prince Andrew 'supports his decision' to give an interview with the BBC about the sources of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal who insisted today.

A challenging message came 24 hours after he was slammed for a TV chat 'car accident' with Emily Maitlis, described as a 'PR disaster' and 'despairing and curved bulls.'

Sources close to the Duke of York said he wanted to discuss this issue directly and do so with 'honesty and humility.' But his increasingly gruesome comments caused an online attack to blow up the eighth in accordance with the throne.

The prince was reviled for insisting he did not remember meeting Epstein 'sex slave' Virginia Roberts, and claimed not to spend time with him at Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10, 2001, after which he claimed the couple had first had sex.

Sources close to the Duke of York say he wants to address this issue directly and do so with 'honesty and humility', despite a massive online counterattack hitting the eighth according to the throne for a series of comments that are increasingly terrible

Sources close to the Duke of York say he wants to address this issue directly and do so with 'honesty and humility', despite a massive online counterattack hitting the eighth according to the throne for a series of comments that are increasingly terrible

The famous photo of Prince Andrew smiling as he stood with his left hand on the waist of young Virginia Roberts has been stalking him for years. Allegedly taken in early 2001

The famous photo of Prince Andrew smiling as he stood with his left hand on the waist of young Virginia Roberts has been stalking him for years. Allegedly taken in early 2001

He denied he slept with him on three separate occasions, saying the alleged meeting in 2001 did not happen because he had taken Princess Beatrice's daughter to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.

The chaotic explanation was widely condemned online, with Piers Morgan leading a series of comments calling the interview 'astounding.'

The Good Morning Britain presenter, 54, praised the praise made by Newsnight interrogator Maitlis, 'brilliant forensic dissection', but questioned why Duke agreed to bake for an hour because of his friendship with pedophile billionaire Epstein.

He tweeted: 'This is one of the most astonishing interviews I have ever watched. Brilliant forensic dissection by @maitlis – despair, curly toe bulls from Prince Andrew. Why did he do this? Crazy.

Morgan tweeted: 'This is one of the most astonishing interviews I have ever watched. Brilliant forensic dissection by @maitlis - despair, curly toe bulls from Prince Andrew. Why did he do this? Crazy '

Morgan tweeted: 'This is one of the most astonishing interviews I have ever watched. Brilliant forensic dissection by @maitlis – despair, curly toe bulls from Prince Andrew. Why did he do this? Crazy '

Others are piling up on social media, with TV presenter Carol Vorderman tweeting: '#PrinceAndrew So I didn't talk to her for 4 years because it wasn't appropriate, but when she was released from prison for sex offenses I didn't call her..no .. I flew to America to tell him directly that I STILL won't talk to him … WALKING AGAIN. & # 39;

Rose McGowan, an actress and figure in the #MeToo movement, posted: 'Can Prince Andrew not remember Virginia Roberts, his accuser, because there are so many young girls? Am I hearing this, right? & # 39;

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine says he's struggling with Woking's corner?

Interview 'no Hold Barred' seeing the Prince question his relationship with Epstein – and he again denies having had sex with a 'sex slave' financier Virginia Roberts.

Duke, 59, faces many questions about his relationship with pedophiles, who were found dead at the age of 66 earlier this year in a New York prison cell while detained on sex trafficking charges.

Andrew stated that he did not remember meeting Miss Roberts and did not spend time with him at the Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10, 2001, after which he claimed the couple had first had sex.

He denied he slept with him on three separate occasions, saying the meeting in 2001 did not take place because he had brought his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.

But social media users are skeptical of joining the 9pm show on Saturday.

The founder of the Women's Equality Party Catherine Mayer asked online whether the Prince is too stupid to pretend to care for Epstein's victims.

Even some of those who supported the royal family, such as the editor of the Royal Central website, Charlie Proctor, were not impressed.

"I was expecting a train accident. It was an aircraft that crashed into an oil tanker, caused a tsunami, triggered a bad rate of nuclear explosion," Proctor said.

Comedian Dom Joly also tweeted with the theme of crashing, describing the interview as a 'car accident which is worse than getting a ride home from Prince Philip'.

Former diplomat Craig Murray, who was the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004, was a little less diplomatic in responding to the royal interview, saying that he suspected the only truth contained in it was a comment that Andrew never paid for drinks.

Many social media users (photos, their tweets) are skeptical after the 9pm show on Saturday

Many social media users (photos, their tweets) are skeptical after the 9pm show on Saturday

The others on Twitter are also considering, with one user writing: 'What if' 'I'm sorry' 'For hanging out with Epstein in the first place?

Craig Meighan writes: 'The reason Prince Andrew:' 'I can't abuse sweat because I didn't sweat that year' 'Really very bad for adult humans.'

'& # 39; I apologize for establishing an ongoing friendship with him knowing he is a sex offender and is now proven to be a human trafficker? '& # 39;

'What about EMPATI for the victims? There is no remorse, compassion or reaction. & # 39;

Other posts: '#PrinceAndrew I am surprised that not once did he say to have empathy for the victims of Epstein! Who advised him !!? & # 39;

One man wrote, "Just as we laughed at Prince Andrew's interview of the car accident, he should have answered these questions in court under oath!"

Others added: 'Who suggested Prince Andrew to do this interview? Surely he better give a statement under oath and finish with it. Until then it will never disappear ..

One person agreed, writing: 'The court of public opinion is a noisy and different place, where Prince Andrew can and will be forgotten in less than a week.

'Grills by @maitlis must be the beginning, not the end. If HRH has truly broken the law, he must be brought to justice. & # 39;

A photo that appears to show Andrew with his arm to Miss Roberts who was then 17 years old, now Giuffre, in 2001 and with Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell standing behind, has been widely publicized.

Andrew's supporters, however, have denied its authenticity.

Photo of police Jeffrey Epstein

In a picture released by Newsnight yesterday, Andrew looked sad and gloomy when he spoke for the first time in a TV interview about his relationship with Epstein, who was seen together after he was jailed in the US for prostitution of minors.

Andrew (right) again rejected claims by one of Epstein's victims (left), Virginia Roberts, that he had sex with him when he was 17 years old.

Virginia Roberts (pictured in September) accused him of being forced by US pedophile entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein, Duke's friend, to have sex with Andrew on three occasions

Virginia Roberts (pictured in September) accused him of being forced by US pedophile entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein, Duke's friend, to have sex with Andrew on three occasions

The Duke of York said: "I was with the children and I took Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I think around 4 or 5 pm.

'And then because the Duchess was leaving, we had a simple rule in the family that when one left, the other was there.

"I was on a terminal leave at that time from the Royal Navy so that's why I was at home."

When asked why he remembers that night so clearly, Andrew said, "Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.

"I've only been to Woking a few times and I remember it strangely."

Andrew insisted he was at home with the kids' the night Miss Roberts accused him of being a nightclub and then having sex with him. Exploring this alibi, Maitliss pressed further and Andrew volunteered that he could remember bringing his daughter Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey, (pictured) at 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Andrew insisted that he's at home with the kids' on the night when Miss Roberts accused him of being in a nightclub and then having sex with him. Exploring this alibi, Maitliss pressed further and Andrew volunteered that he could remember bringing his daughter Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey, (pictured) at 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Some people on social media prefer interviews.

TV presenter Giles Coren wrote: 'Ask him what he ordered [from Woking Pizza Express].

'If he says' Careless Giuseppe 'you got it. Because they didn't introduce it 'until 2006.'

Comedy writer Simon Blackwell, on the other hand, seemed convinced, saying – maybe with his tongue on his cheek – that the Prince had 'drawn a line underneath everything.' Given that Blackwell is famous for his work on The Thick Of It, he must know what the spin line does or not.

Comedian David Baddiel used several expressive languages ​​in response to Andrew's interview, but also questioned his grammar when he said: "That's what I would describe as I am in the photo."

Some Twitter users took a more humorous attitude to the car accident interview that aired on Saturday

Some Twitter users took a more humorous attitude to the car accident interview that aired on Saturday

Tweet that night, maybe going to a Pizza Express account, about a chain that suddenly went viral and was bombarded by messages to & # 39; check Twitter now & # 39 ;.

Prince Andrew's revelation after eating at a pizza restaurant on a fateful night 18 years ago led to a spate of new online reviews for restaurants.

A reviewer writes: 'Like this place. I had a cracking pizza here in 2001. I remember it in 2001 because it was very strange the person next to me had a Hot American pizza with extra chili … not a drop of sweat came out of it. Very strange.

The reference to sweating is a nod to Prince Andrew said in his BBC interview that his claim to sweat a lot at a London nightclub was wrong because he had a medical condition at the time which meant he was not sweating.

Andrew said: "There was a slight problem with sweat because I had a strange medical condition that is I did not sweat or I did not sweat at the time.

"I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I called an adrenaline overdose in the Falkland War when I was shot and it was almost impossible for me to sweat.

'And it was only because I had done a number of things in the past that I began to be able to do it again. So I am afraid to say that there is a medical condition that says I did not do it. & # 39;

He added: "I don't remember ever meeting him, I almost, in fact I was sure that I had never been in Tramps with him.

'There are several things wrong with that story, one of which is that I do not know where the bar is in Tramps.

"I don't drink, I don't think I've ever bought drinks at Tramps every time I was there."

Prince Andrew does have several defenders.

Ex-wife Sarah Ferguson said before the show aired: "It's very rare to meet people who are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure true truth, who remain firm and strong for their beliefs.

"Andrew is a real and true man and steadfast not only for his duties but also his kindness and kindness."

Sarah Ferguson tweeted a series of pictures of the duke, defending her before the bomb interview

Sarah Ferguson tweeted a series of pictures of the duke, defending her before the bomb interview

'I don't drink … or sweat': Prince Andrew denies having sex with a 'sex slave' Epstein, Virginia Roberts when he refused the night's description of the photo. That photo was 'taken' because he was at home after bringing his daughter Beatrice to a pizza express party

  • The Duke of York answered questions from Emily Maitlis, 49, during an hour-long show
  • The eighth in line to the throne has been widely criticized for its relationship with Epstein
  • 'Sex slaves' Virginia Roberts claims he spent time with Duke in March 2001
  • But he refuted claims that he went to Pizza Express with his daughter Beatrice
  • He said sweating was wrong because 'it's almost impossible' for him to sweat
  • Also declined to comment whether he thought Roberts' photo was fake

by James Wood for Mailonlineand Ian Gallagherand Caroline Grahamand Charlotte Wace for letters on Sunday

Prince Andrew last night spoke in public for the first time in an interview 'no ban' about his relationship with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein – denying he ever had sex with a 'sex slave' financier Virginia Roberts.

Andrew stated that he did not remember meeting Miss Roberts and did not spend time with him at the Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10, 2001 after which he claimed the couple had first had sex.

Duke denied that he slept with him on three separate occasions, saying the meeting in 2001 did not take place because he brought his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.

A photograph that appears showing Andrew with his arms around 17-year-old Roberts, now Giuffre, that night and with Epstein's friend Ghislaine Maxwell standing in the background, has been widely publicized. Andrew's supporters, however, have denied its authenticity.

The Duke of York said: "I was with the children and I took Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I think around 4 or 5 pm.

'And then because the Duchess was leaving, we had a simple rule in the family that when one left, the other was there.

"I was on a terminal leave at that time from the Royal Navy so that's why I was at home."

When asked why he remembers that night so clearly, Andrew said, "Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.

"I've only been to Woking a few times and I remember it strangely."

Prince Andrew tonight told the BBC that when Epstein was a guest at Windsor Castle and at Sandringham in 2000, there was no indication of error.

Prince Andrew tonight told the BBC that when Epstein was a guest at Windsor Castle and at Sandringham in 2000, there was no indication of error.

Speaking during the interview, he said Epstein's appeal was that 'he had the most extraordinary ability to bring together extraordinary people'

Speaking during the interview, he said Epstein's appeal was that 'he had the most extraordinary ability to bring together extraordinary people'

The Duke of York, spoke for the first time about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis

The Duke of York, spoke for the first time about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis

Prince Andrew revealed he last met socialite Ghislaine Maxwell just a few months ago – even though 'cut off all contact' with Jeffrey Epstein in 2010 … but where is he now?

Maxwell hasn't been seen publicly since a photo of him sitting outside the Nut Burger restaurant in Los Angeles

Maxwell hasn't been seen in public since the photo appeared he sat outside the restaurant In 'Out Burger in Los Angeles

By Caroline Graham in Los Angeles for Mail On Sunday and Henry Martin For MailOnline

He seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. But the importance of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in uncovering the 'truth' about Prince Andrew's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and his role in the whole sordid story became clearer after last night's interview.

Time and time again, the Prince begged his friendship with Maxwell, 57, the daughter of a despicable media tycoon, Robert Maxwell, as the reason he came into the orbit of the pedophile Epofin.

Asked when was the last time he saw Maxwell, Andrew said his last contact was 'earlier this year, quite funny', when he was here holding several public meetings.

The BBC's Emily Maitlis says, "So, even though at that time he was arrested and facing charges of sex trafficking?"

The Duke said no, clarifying that 'this is early spring', before Epstein was arrested in July.

When asked if they discussed Epstein at all, Andrew said: 'No, actually quite funny no not at all, there is nothing to talk about about him because he is not in the news, you know, it's just … we have move. & # 39;

He added: "If there's a question Ghislaine has to answer, that's the problem, I'm afraid, I'm not in a position to be able to comment one way or another."

Andrew also told Maitlis that he went to visit Epstein in 2010 at his home in New York to tell him that 'it is not appropriate for us to be seen together' and break their relationship after his belief.

He said that his friendship with Maxwell began when he was at Oxford University – and it was he who introduced him to Epstein, his girlfriend in 1999.

Maxwell fled to New York, some saying almost had no money, after the death of his father and his friends in 1991 said he widely praised Epstein by helping him overcome his overwhelming sadness.

But the relationship is more complicated. He uses his perfect social contacts, such as his friendship with the Prince, to introduce Epstein, the son of a gardener, to the public. In return, he used millions of investors to support a lavish lifestyle that included a house on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a designer wardrobe and helicopter lessons.

Andrew blamed Maxwell for bringing Epstein to Windsor Castle and Sandringham in 2000. "Remember that his girlfriend (Maxwell) was a key element in this matter," the Prince told Maitlis. "He is … plus one."

The prince corrected an earlier report that he had a birthday party for Maxwell at Sandringham where Epstein was believed to have met other members of the Royal Family including Prince Charles: "It was a shooting weekend," he said.

Of course, it was at Belgravia Mews Maxwell's house that Virginia Roberts Giuffre accused Epstein of 'trafficked sex' first time to the Prince when he was only 17 years old. This is an accusation that the Prince constantly rejects.

Last night, a source said: 'Ghislaine is the key to everything. She is the Queen of Bees where everything is open. He is very important to determine the truth. & # 39;

Maxwell, who was accused of being a 'Mistress' Epstein – the accusation he denies – has not been seen in public since a photo appeared when he sat outside a Burger In 'N' Out Burger restaurant in Los Angeles in August. Soon reports emerged that the pictures might have been 'falsified' by his lawyer to disguise his whereabouts.

The former socialite has not been seen since although rumors have placed him in Brazil, France, western America and even Britain. "Nobody knows where he is," said the lawyer for one of Epstein's victims last night. "He committed the biggest disappearance known to men – or women."

Roberts has previously described the allegations of their time together in London very clearly, claiming that Andrew had 'sweated' when they dance together at London nightclubs.

But Andrew said: 'There was a slight problem with sweat because I had a strange medical condition that I did not sweat or I did not sweat at that time.

"I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I called an adrenaline overdose in the Falkland War when I was shot and it was almost impossible for me to sweat.

'And it was only because I had done a number of things in the past that I began to be able to do it again. So I am afraid to say that there is a medical condition that says I did not do it. & # 39;

He added: "I don't remember ever meeting him, I almost, in fact I was sure that I had never been in Tramps with him.

'There are several things wrong with that story, one of which is that I do not know where the bar is in Tramps.

"I don't drink, I don't think I've ever bought drinks at Tramps every time I was there."

When asked about the photo of him and Roberts together, which according to friends of the Duke of York could be falsified, he said that showing affection in public was 'not something he would do' but refused to reveal whether he thought the picture was a photo. treated.

He said: "Oh, that's definitely me, I mean it's my photo. I can't believe it was a picture of me in London because when I went to London I was wearing a suit and tie.

"That is what I would describe as my traveling clothes if I were going to go abroad. There are lots of photos of me wearing such a kit but not there. & # 39;

A source close to Andrew said there was a question about the truth of the photo, amid claims that the hands around the accuser's waist didn't look right.

Again asked about the photo, the Duke of York said: "I am very sorry but if I, as a member of the royal family, and I have photos taken and I take very, very few photos, I am not the right person, as if though, hugs and shows of affection in public is not something I do.

"So, that's the best explanation I can give you and I'm afraid to say that I don't believe that the photo was taken as suggested."

He added that the photo appeared as if it had been taken over Ghislaine Maxwell's house, and said that somewhere he had never left – in other comments about the picture.

"Look, I don't remember, I don't remember the photo that was taken," he said.

"I don't remember going up at home because the photo was taken up."

And referring his hand to the photo, he said: 'From the investigation we have done, you cannot prove whether the photo is fake or not because it is a photo of a photograph.

"So, it's very difficult to prove it, but I don't remember the photo ever taken."

Last night Virginia Roberts Giuffre – who claimed to have been forced to have sex with Andrew three times between 1999 and 2002 – was said to be 'furious' during the interview.

A source close to the mother of three told The Mail on Sunday: 'The interview was truly lacking in empathy and he did not say a word of regret to many Epstein victims. How do you think they feel? It is said that the Prince was so untouched that he tried to make an interview about him. & # 39;

Roberts outlined his claim against Andrew in an exclusive world interview with The Mail on Sunday 2011. And this is the alleged encounter – fiercely and repeatedly denied by Andrew and declared unacceptable by US courts in 2015 – which resulted in some of the most fierce events . questioning from Maitlis last night,

Asked whether they had sex in 2001 at Ghislaine Mawell's house in London, then Epstein's girlfriend, the Prince replied: "That did not happen." He continued to press it four more times on whether they had sex – or 'any kind of sexual contact.'

Andrew replied, "I can clearly tell you that it never happened." Elsewhere he was asked if he could have sex with a 'young woman who was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein in one of his residences' and issued a wordy response: 'If you are a man, it is a positive action to have sex with someone. You have to … take some kind of positive action and therefore if you try to forget it is very difficult to try and forget about positive actions and I don't remember anything. & # 39;

Virginia Giuffre did not immediately comment with sources saying he & # 39; took the time to consult with his legal team & # 39; before making a public statement.

Prince Andrew takes a picture with Epstein at Central Park in New York in February 2011

Prince Andrew takes a picture with Epstein at Central Park in New York in February 2011

"One of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts has made an accusation against you," said Mrs. Maitlis, describing her claim to have sex with the prince. Andrew said he did not remember meeting him

The Duke of York answered questions from Emily Maitlis, 49, during an hour-long show

The Duke of York answered questions from Emily Maitlis, 49, during an hour-long show

Duke denied that he slept with Mrs. Giuffre on three separate occasions when questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, saying a meeting in 2001 did not occur because he brought his daughter Princess Beatrice (photo in 2001) to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spend the rest of the day together

Duke membantah bahwa ia tidur dengan Nyonya Giuffre pada tiga kesempatan terpisah ketika ditanyai oleh presenter Newsnight Emily Maitlis, mengatakan satu pertemuan pada tahun 2001 tidak terjadi karena ia membawa putrinya Princess Beatrice (foto pada tahun 2001) ke Pizza Express di Woking untuk sebuah pesta, dan mereka menghabiskan sisa hari itu bersama

Andrew bersikeras dia 'di rumah bersama anak-anak' pada malam ketika Nona Roberts menuduhnya sedang kelab malam dan kemudian berhubungan seks dengannya. Menjelajahi alibi ini, Maitliss mendesak lebih jauh dan Andrew mengajukan diri bahwa dia bisa ingat membawa putrinya Beatrice ke Pizza Express di Woking, Surrey, (foto) pada pukul 16: 00-17: 00 sore itu

Andrew bersikeras bahwa dia 'di rumah bersama anak-anak' pada malam ketika Nona Roberts menuduhnya sedang klub malam dan kemudian berhubungan seks dengannya. Menjelajahi alibi ini, Maitliss mendesak lebih jauh dan Andrew mengajukan diri bahwa dia bisa ingat membawa putrinya Beatrice ke Pizza Express di Woking, Surrey, (foto) pada pukul 16: 00-17: 00 sore itu

Dalam satu pertukaran dengan wartawan BBC Emily Maitlis, putra kedua Ratu ditanyai apakah ia merasa bersalah atau malu atas persahabatannya dengan pemodal AS, dipenjara karena mendapatkan seorang gadis di bawah umur untuk pelacuran.

Dia menjawab: 'Apakah saya menyesali kenyataan bahwa ia telah dengan jelas menunjukkan sikapnya sendiri dengan cara yang tidak pantas? Iya nih.'

Presenter Newsnight segera menantang penggunaan kata 'tidak pantas' untuk menggambarkan tindakan seorang pelanggar seks anak-anak dan Duke meminta maaf, dengan mengatakan: 'Saya bersikap sopan, maksud saya dalam arti bahwa ia adalah pelanggar seks.

'Tapi tidak, apakah saya benar memiliki dia sebagai teman? Pada saat itu, mengingat ini beberapa tahun sebelum dia dituduh sebagai pelanggar seks.

The women who made bombshell Prince Andrew interview happen: How Newsnight producers including former barrister convinced the royal to talk

When Newsnight producers first made overtures to the Palace about a possible interview almost a year ago, Andrew's knee-jerk response was that he didn't want 'to be shouted at for half an hour'.

One aide meanwhile thought he risked coming across as 'an entitled idiot'.

So it surprised many when, on Thursday, Andrew finally went toe-to-toe with Emily Maitlis in the middle of Buckingham Palace's South Drawing Room for an interview about his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and the claims – which he has long denied – that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl.

Andrew voiced concerns but private secretary Amanda Thirsk talked him round

Andrew voiced concerns but private secretary Amanda Thirsk talked him round

It was his first public grilling on the subject, the interview of his life in fact, but he was on home turf at least, not in some harshly lit BBC studio.

This was the room that Queen Victoria commandeered the day after her coronation in 1838 for the Palace's first ball.

It was perhaps not the best setting for someone seeking to convey humility rather than entitlement, but in the end it was the cross-examination itself that would focus minds.

The Mail on Sunday has been told a similar voluntary sit-down with the FBI is highly unlikely, so after last night's broadcast – at least as far as Andrew is concerned – the matter is closed.

Credit is due to Newsnight for landing the interview, but in particular to Samantha McAlister, a former barrister turned TV producer. She is a former European debating champion and her silky persuasive skills were invaluable in negotiations with the Palace. While Andrew initially voiced concerns – at one point he said emphatically: 'No, we shouldn't do Newsnight' – his influential private secretary Amanda Thirsk was enthusiastic and, over time, talked him round.

One crucial factor was his charity work. As one senior aide put it: 'As a senior member of the Royal Family, the Duke of York supports a great many charities and initiatives. HRH does not wish unfounded allegations, nor a former association, to distract from his important work to support so many organisations.'

I don't there was anything wrong then, the problem was the fact that once he had been convicted I stayed with him and 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.'

Andrew, 59, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and eighth in line to the throne, has been heavily criticised over his links to multimillionaire Epstein, who died in custody in the US in August.

Speaking during the interview, he defended spending four days with Epstein after his release from jail in 2010 for soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution.

And said he did not regret his relationship with Epstein, saying: 'Now, still not and the reason being is that 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.

'He himself not, as it were, as close as you might think, we weren't that close. So therefore I mean yes I would go and stay in his house but that was because of his girlfriend, not because of him.'

Defending his decision to stay with Epstein after his release from jail, he said: 'I went there with the sole purpose of saying to him that because he had been convicted, it was inappropriate for us to be seen together.

'And I had a number of people counsel me in both directions, either to go and see him or not to go and see him and I took the judgement call that because this was serious and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken's way of doing it.'

But asked why he decided to continue staying with a convicted sex offender, he 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.'

During his stay, Andrew was photographed with Epstein in Central Park in New York in February 2011. He denied the photograph was set up by Epstein to help with his public image.

'Again, new information is coming out since his suicide has made us reappraise that walk in the park. We can't find any evidence or my staff and my people and I can't find any evidence to suggest that that was what he was doing,' he said.

'I mean you can look at it in so many different ways. The fact of the matter is that somebody very cleverly took that photograph, it wasn't as far as I remember nor do my security people remember, anybody being present or close because there were enough security around.'

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring a girl under the age of 18 for prostitution and served 13 months in a US prison before being released on probation.

He was arrested in July on new federal charges that he trafficked girls as young as 14 for sex, but was found dead in New York's high-security Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10 as he awaited trial.

He denied claims he was a 'party prince' and that that was the reason he hung around with Epstein, saying he's 'never really partied' and that after he got married he was 'very happy' and 'never really felt the need to go out and party.'

The duke (pictured) said during the interview: 'I’m an engaging person, I want to be able to engage, I want to find out, I want to learn'

The duke (pictured) said during the interview: 'I'm an engaging person, I want to be able to engage, I want to find out, I want to learn'

Mrs Maitlis (pictured) asked Andrew about on occasion where he was invited as the 'guest of honour' to one of Epstein's parties

Mrs Maitlis (pictured) asked Andrew about on occasion where he was invited as the 'guest of honour' to one of Epstein's parties

Virginia Roberts (pictured in September) alleges she was coerced by paedophile US businessman Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the Duke, into having sex with Andrew on three occasions

Virginia Roberts (pictured in September) alleges she was coerced by paedophile US businessman Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the Duke, into having sex with Andrew on three occasions

Jack Scarola, a leading member of Virginia Roberts’ legal team, told Mail Online he would like the duke to submit to an interview 'under oath' instead of giving statements to the media that carry 'little weight'

Jack Scarola, a leading member of Virginia Roberts' legal team, told Mail Online he would like the duke to submit to an interview 'under oath' instead of giving statements to the media that carry 'little weight'

Maitlis questioned how The Duke of York might not have noticed what was going on at Epstein's house, citing Virginia Roberts' legal team who have said: 'You could not spend time around Epstein and not know what was going on.'

But the Duke of York said: 'I live in an institution at Buckingham Palace which has members of staff walking around all the time and I don't wish to appear grand but there were a lot of people who were walking around Jeffrey Epstein's house.

Prince Andrew admits spending FOUR DAYS at Jeffrey Epstein's House of Depravity in 2010 because it was a 'convenient place' to stay

Prince Andrew last night dismissed his four-day visit to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein's New York 'house of depravity' by describing it as a 'convenient' place to stay while he broke off their friendship in an 'honourable' way.

Speaking for the first time about the 2010 visit to the £60 million Manhattan home – just five months after the financier left jail following his conviction for child sex charges – the Duke of York confirmed he attended a dinner party there on December 2 before his infamous 'walk in the park' with the shamed US financier three days later.

He revealed that it was during that stroll through Central Park – captured in a picture that went around the world, haunting him ever since – that he finally broke off their 11-year friendship.

When asked by Emily Maitlis why he stayed with a convicted sex offender, Andrew replied: 'Ever since this has happened and since this has become, as it were, public knowledge that I was there, I've questioned myself as to why did I go and what was I doing and was it the right thing to do?

'I went there with the sole purpose of saying to him that because he had been convicted it was inappropriate for us to be seen together.

'I had a number of people counsel me in both directions, either to go and see him or not to go and see him and I took the judgment call that because this was serious and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken's way of doing it I had to go and see him and talk to him.'

He said the photograph in the park was taken when he broke the news to Epstein they could no longer be friends.

'We had an opportunity to go for a walk in the park and that was the conversation coincidentally that was photographed, which was when I said to him, I said, 'Look, because of what has happened I don't think it is appropriate that we should remain in contact' and by mutual agreement during that walk in the park we decided that we would part company and I left, I think it was the next day [in fact it was two days later] and I never had any contact with him from that day forward.'

Incredibly, the Prince cited the reason for breaking off the friendship as the 'attendant scrutiny' he was under – rather than the fact Epstein had pleaded guilty and served time for child sex offences.

Andrew said Epstein's reaction to his decision was 'understanding', adding: 'He didn't go into any great depth in the conversation… except to say that he'd accepted… a plea bargain, he'd served his time and he was carrying on with his life, if you see what I mean.'

'And I said, 'Yes but I'm afraid to say that's as maybe but with all the attendant scrutiny on me then I don't think it's a wise thing to do.' & # 39;

'As far as I was aware, they were staff, they were people that were working for him, doing things.'

Probed on whether he saw underage girls at Epstein's house, he said: 'You would notice if there were hundreds of underage girls in Jeffrey's house, wasn't there, not when I was there.

'Now he may have changed his behaviour patterns in order for that not to be obvious to me. You're asking me to speculate on things that I just don't know about.'

Asked why he first became friends with Epstein, Andrew said the appeal of Epstein was that 'he had the most extraordinary ability to bring extraordinary people together'.

He said: 'I mean I don't go into a friendship looking for the wrong thing, if you understand what I mean.

'I'm an engaging person, I want to be able to engage, I want to find out, I want to learn.

'You have to remember that I was transitioning out of the Navy at the time and in the transition I wanted to find out more about what was going on because in the Navy it's a pretty isolated business because you're out at sea the whole time and I was going to become the special representative for international trade and investment.'

Andrew's friendship with Epstein goes back to at least 1999. In 2000 the financier and his ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of the late newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, were invited by Andrew to a party at Windsor Castle thrown by the Queen.

Miss Maxwell, also a friend of Andrew, has been accused by some of Epstein's victims of being his 'procurer', a charge she denies.

Questioned why Epstein was a guest at Windsor Castle and at Sandringham in 2000, Mailtlis probed: 'He was brought right into the heart of the royal family at your invitation.'

But Andrew responded: 'But certainly at my invitation, not at the royal family's invitation but remember that it was his girlfriend that was the key element in this.

'He was the, as it were, plus one, to some extent in that aspect.'

Asked when his last contact was with Ghislaine Maxwell, he revealed the two had met earlier this year, but added that it was before Epstein was arrested on new federal charges that he trafficked girls as young as 14 for sex.

He revealed the two didn't discuss Epstein at all, saying: 'No, actually funnily enough no not at all, there wasn't anything to discuss about him because he wasn't in the news, you know, it was just… we had moved on.'

Towards the end of the interview, Maitlis asked the Duke of York whether he would be prepared to testify or give a statement under oath about Epstein and the accusations levelled against him.

But he was non-committal on the issue, saying: 'Well I'm like everybody else and I will have to take all the legal advice that there was before I was to do that sort of thing.

'But if push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.'

Told it could help provide closure, he said: 'If there was in the right circumstances, yes I would because I think there's just as much closure for me as there is for everybody else and undoubtedly some very strange and unpleasant activities have been going on.

'I'm afraid to say that I'm not the person who can shed light on it for a number of reasons, one of which is that I wasn't there long enough.'


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