Prince Andrew Claims He Doesn’t ‘Remember Meeting’ Epstein’s Child Sex Slave
Duke of York claims he has 'no recollection of ever meeting' Virginia Roberts
In a new interview with Prince Andrew, the British royal claims he has "no recollection of ever meeting" Virginia Roberts - the woman who claims she was raped by him three times when she was 17-years-old.
Roberts says she was taken as a sex slave when she was 15-years-old by the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who then "trafficked" her to Andrew, the Duke of York when she was still a teenager.
The claims against the Queen's second-born son have led Buckingham Palace to issue several unexpected statements over the past four years.
Now, speaking out publicly for the first time about his relationship with charged child sex trafficker Epstein, Prince Andrew says he "let the side down" as a member of the Royal Family.
The prince has always denied raping the 17-year-old girl, claiming that he knew nothing of American Clinton-linked billionaire Epstein's crimes against underage girls.
But, the Duke of York has now decided the time had come to speak publicly, in a dramatic move for a member of the Royal Family.
In an interview with BBC's Newsnight, due to be aired on Saturday at 9 pm, he was asked about why he stayed with Epstein after the billionaire had been convicted and jailed for sexually abusing children.
The duke said: "I stayed with him and that's… that's… that's the bit that… that… 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."
Video taken in 2010 showed Prince Andrew looking out of the door of Epstein's "House of Horrors" mansion in New York as he was staying with the billionaire.
It was two years after Epstein had been convicted of having sex with underage girls. Photos were also taken of the two men walking in Central Park.
Those close to the prince say he claims he had just gone to America to tell Epstein that they could "no longer be friends."
In the interview, Prince Andrew is also asked about allegations made by one of Epstein's victims Virginia Roberts, who claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York when she was 17 years old, after a night out in London.
When asked for his response to those claims he said: "I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."
When asked: "You don't remember meeting her?" He replied: "No."
As Epstein faced trial on child sex trafficking in America this summer before he was found dead in a Manhattan jail, the scandal again erupted around Prince Andrew who has tried to get on with his royal duties and show he has nothing to hide.
It is understood the palace felt now was the right time to do an interview with a feeling that the statements denying the allegations had not had enough of an impact.
His decision to speak on camera is seen by many inside the palace as a brave one, and one that will show the kind of person he really is.
Speaking out on Twitter, the duke's ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, hailed Prince Andrew, saying: "It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty+pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs.
"Andrew is a true+real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness + goodness."
It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty+pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs. Andrew is a true+real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness + goodness @TheDukeOfYork pic.twitter.com/qg40lU4Qkf— Sarah Ferguson (@SarahTheDuchess) November 15, 2019
Lawyers acting for Epstein's victims still have questions about what the prince and Epstein's other high-profile friends knew about the billionaire's crimes.
Prince Andrew has always denied witnessing or suspecting any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to Epstein's arrest and conviction.
After a series of unexpected statements denying the allegations, this is a dramatic step from a member of the Royal Family.
And Epstein didn't kill himself.