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Prince Andrew gave his first interview to BBC Newsnight on the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, which aired on Saturday.
- The royal was interviewed by Emily Maitlis, who asked him about allegations that he had sex with Epstein’s accuser Virginia Roberts, who was 17-year-old at the time.
- The interview has not been well-received by many viewers and expert analysts, who branded it a ‘car crash’.
- This follows royal news that Prince Harry teamed up with rugby player Gareth Thomas to raise awareness for important cause.
Prince Andrew was interviewed for the BBC programme in what was the first he addressed his link to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The royal has been criticised for his friendship with the Epstein, and also accused by Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre – who has said she was forced to have sex with him three times.
Addressing the claims in an interview for the first time, the prince denied the victim’s accusations by refuting details of her story.
Prince Andrew said that not only does he not know where the bar in the nightclub Virginia mentions is, he also couldn’t be sweating like she claims he was when they were dancing because of an obscure medical condition he was suffering from at the time.
He also revealed he took one Princess Beatrice to a party at Pizza Express in Woking on the night Virginia claims the two had sex.
The interview proved controversial and split opinion among viewers and expert analysts.
Crisis consultant Mark Borkowski said that “it was like watching a man in quicksand and unfortunately, I don’t think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out”.
He added, “I’ve never seen anything so disastrous. For students of PR, that is how not to do it. It was like watching a man in quick sand and unfortunately, I don’t think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out.”
Charlie Proctor, editor of Royal Central website, also criticised the interview writing, ‘I expected a train wreck. That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion level bad.’
Viewers have also criticised Prince Andrew for saying he does not regret the friendship with Epstein as their friendship had “some seriously beneficial outcomes”, and describing him as having behaved “in a manner unbecoming”.
When the interviewer asked, “Unbecoming? He was a sex offender”; he replied, “Yeah. I’m sorry, I’m being polite. I mean in the sense that he was a sex offender.”
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter criticised him for his lack of sympathy for the victims of Epstein, writing on Twitter, ‘Been interesting to see the takeaways from #PrinceAndrew’s interview. For me his lack of remorse over his friendship with Epstein combined with his lack of sympathy & compassion for the victims proved his biggest failing. #Timetostepdown’.
GMB presenter Piers Morgan also criticised the royal, saying, “This wasn’t a train wreck, it was a multiple pile up of every steam engine on the planet.
“The problem is he kept mentioning he was a military hero and he doesn’t sweat.
“Pictures of sweating come out… All those little, tiny, tiny things.
“Stop treating us like complete idiots and there are endless pictures of him hugging blondes outside nightclubs. He’s taking us for mugs.”
Amid the controversy, Prince Andre did receive support from his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who shared a gushing post on social media before the interview aired.
She wrote, ‘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 of always seeing the best in people. I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth. For so many years he has gone about his duties for Great Britain and The Monarch.
‘It is time for Andrew to stand firm now, and that he has, and I am with him every step of the way and that is my honour. We have always walked tall and strong, he for me and me for him.’