Prince Andrew has given a “no holds barred” interview with the BBC amid escalating criticism of his friendship with the Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender and businessman who died in custody earlier this year awaiting trail for numerous sex offences.
The Prince has come under fire for maintaining a friendship with Epstein after he was released from prison for sexual offences with a minor.
In a long list of accusations against Epstein, Virginia Roberts alleges that she was “trafficked” and kept as a “sex slave” by the sex offender. She claims that, when she was 17, she was “coerced” into having sex with the Prince in 2001. He has strongly denied this allegation and, in his interview with the BBC, he said that he had “no recollection” of meeting her.
When asked by Emily Maitlis why he decided to stay at the house of a convicted sex offender, Prince Andrew said:
It was a convenient place to stay.
I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with the benefit of all the hindsight 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.
I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable, but that’s just the way it is.
The Prince’s use of the word “honourable” to describe the decision to spend time with a convicted paedophile has raised eyebrows online.
People found the wording distasteful, with some branding the Prince's response “sickening”.
Since Epstein died in custody before his case went to trial, the internet has been awash with conspiracy theories relating to his “friendships” with rich and powerful men, including Prince Andrew and presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
It remains to be seen whether the BBC interview, which airs on 16 November, will help or harm the Prince's cause as this story continues to unfold.