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British royal Prince Andrew managed to push both Brexit and the U.K.’s upcoming general election from the U.K. headlines on Saturday night following an exclusive interview — widely labeled as car-crash television — in which he attempted to explain his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Speaking exclusively to the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, Prince Andrew repeatedly asserted that he was never a “close friend” of Epstein’s, despite admitting to making numerous visits to the convicted sex offender’s various homes and even inviting Epstein to royal events at both Windsor and Sandringham.
Regarding a now famed meeting in New York in 2010 that took place after Epstein had been convicted for soliciting a minor for prostitution, Prince Andrew said he was merely there to explain in person that they could no longer see each other (“I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do”), and that he had stayed on in Epstein’s residence for several days afterwards only because it was “convenient.”
The frequently rambling and contradictory nature of the interview saw it become an instant talking point on social media. Piers Morgan was among those voicing their amazement.
“This is one of the most astonishing interviews I’ve ever watched,” he tweeted, adding that it was “desperate, toe-curling bullsh*t from Prince Andrew. Why on earth did he do this? Insane.”
This is one of the most astonishing interviews I’ve ever watched. Brilliant forensic dissection by @maitlis – desperate, toe-curling bullsh*t from Prince Andrew. Why on earth did he do this? Insane. pic.twitter.com/cF0UBBAlvG
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 16, 2019
In one of the interview’s biggest talking points, Prince Andrew vehemently denied accusations leveled against him. Despite a notorious photograph of his arm around Virginia Roberts Guiffre, he said had “no recollection” of ever meeting the woman who has alleged that she was paid by Epstein to have sex with the royal when she was 17, the first of three sexual encounters she claims took place between them.
Andrew asserted that he could not have had sex with Guiffre in London on March 10, 2001, as she had stated, because he had taken his children “to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party” on that day. Later in the interview, he struggled to remember when in 2019 was the last time he had seen Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend who owned the flat in which the London incident was alleged to have taken place.
Actress and activist Rose McGowan suggested that the reason he couldn’t remember his accuser was because “there were so many young girls.”
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) November 16, 2019
Towards the end of the interview, even the BBC’s Maitlis was taken aback when Prince Andrew said that Epstein had “quite obviously conducted himself in a manner that was unbecoming.”
Replied Maitlis: “Unbecoming? He was a sex offender.”
After the interview had aired, Veep and Personal History of David Copperfield writer Simon Blackwell sarcastically tweeted: “Well that seems to have drawn a line under the whole thing.”
Well that seems to have drawn a line under the whole thing #PrinceAndrew
— Simon Blackwell (@simonblackwell) November 16, 2019
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