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Report: PR adviser quit before Prince Andrew's 'car crash' interview

Bill Smith, DPA on

Published in News & Features

LONDON -- A public relations adviser to Britain's Prince Andrew urged him not to go ahead with a BBC interview on his links to late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, broadcaster ITV said on Sunday.

Jason Stein confirmed to ITV News that Andrew overruled his advice not to grant the interview, saying he later left his role at Buckingham Palace by mutual agreement.

Most British media and many commentators said the 60-minute interview, aired late Saturday, was disastrous. One leading publicist called it a "car crash."

BBC presenter Emily Maitlis questioned Andrew, 59, on claims by a woman who said he forced her to have sex with him while she was a teenager allegedly held in "sexual servitude" by Epstein.

Andrew said he had "no recollection" of meeting Virginia Roberts -- now named Virginia Giuffre -- who said she was forced to have sex three times with Andrew, including when she was 17.

Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth II, admitted that his most recent stay with Epstein in 2010, shortly after the late financier had completed his prison sentence, was not "becoming of a member of the royal family" and had "let the side down."

 

"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever," Andrew said. Asked again to clarify whether he remembered meeting Giuffre, he replied: "No."

On one date in 2001 mentioned by Giuffre, Andrew said he had been at a pizza restaurant with his family.

In a front-page headline, the popular Mail on Sunday tabloid said Andrew had uttered "not one word of remorse" in the interview as viewers watched him "squirm."

The rival Sunday Mirror said Andrew showed "no sweat ... and no regret."

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