The Duke of York’s claims he ‘never really partied’ and avoided ‘public displays of affection’ have been seriously undermined as new footage of him letting loose with a bevy of beautiful young women in Saint-Tropez is exclusively revealed by MailOnline today.
Prince Andrew is shown at a wild party thrown by wine tycoon Claude Ott on the French Riviera in July 2008, just weeks after his disgraced friend Jeffrey Epstein was prosecuted for trafficking an underage girl and forcing her into prostitution.
The Prince insisted in his car crash BBC interview with Emily Maitlis on Saturday night that he wasn’t a ‘party prince’, did not sweat because he was shot at in the Falklands and was ‘not one to hug’ women as he dismissed damaging claims he slept with his friend Epstein’s sex slave Virginia Roberts.
But in the new film the Prince appears worse for wear, his hair dishevelled with a hint of sweat and jacket abandoned. Dressed in all white, with his shirt untucked, he is seen heading to the dance floor with two women as techno blares out before he settles down talking to several glamorous female guests, getting in close to chat because of the loud music.
A year earlier, in July 2007, photographs from another bash further trash his claims of avoiding partying and PDA because he is seen sweating and embracing a number of women including socialite Chris Von Aspen, who he holds by the waist before she later licks his face in Saint-Tropez.
At a different party on the same trip Andrew, who earned the nickname ‘Randy Andy’, is seen gripping Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau with one hand close to her bottom.
And at the start of the decade, the royal is seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000, which was also attended by Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, who had her arm round him for part of the night.
Photos show Prince Andrew enjoying the attentions of several women. In this photo, taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who licks him
Prince Andrew enjoying himself with American socialite Chris Von Aspen at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007. That night he was pictured getting wild with Von Aspen, who at the time was dating Prince Albert of Monaco’s right-hand man
Prince Andrew is seen smiling with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who cups his face as they pose for photographs. The two seemed enamored with each other in the photographs
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied by Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Prince Andrew is seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000
At the same party Ghislaine Maxwell – Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator – had her arm around the prince at the same Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party
The Duke of York’s claims he ‘never really partied’ in the BBC interview on Saturday night (left) are undermined by footage exclusively published by MailOnline today
Duke of York ‘wishes he’d expressed his ‘great sympathy’ for paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s victims’ in disastrous BBC grilling
Prince Andrew squirmed during the hour long grilling he wanted to give his side of the Epstein scandal
Prince Andrew told friends he ‘regretted’ not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview.
The Duke of York insisted he had ‘great sympathy’ for anyone abused by his late paedophile friend, and had been in the dark about the ‘extent of his wrongdoing’.
It came amid a widespread backlash at Andrew’s apparent lack of remorse in the ‘make or break’ interview on BBC’s Newsnight programme, which backfired spectacularly and led Epstein’s victims – who include Virginia Roberts – to demand a personal apology from the duke for his appalling misjudgment.
Andrew told friends yesterday: ‘I regret that I didn’t make it clear in the interview that I have great sympathy for anyone who was abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
‘When I said I was shocked I thought that was implicit. In 2010 none of us had any idea of the extent of his wrongdoing.’
A source close to Andrew told the Mail: ‘Of course, the duke deeply regrets his friendship with Epstein.
‘As a father, he totally condemns any exploitation of vulnerable young women. He supports the victims and says that it is right that they now have the opportunity to tell their stories and seek justice.’
Prince Andrew is facing an extraordinary backlash over his interview, which Prince Charles’ former PR chief Dickie Arbiter described as: ‘Not so much a car crash but an articulated lorry crash’. Mr Arbiter said he must ‘take a break’ from royal duties, adding: ‘What charity wants a VIP guest with this hanging over him?’
His older brother Charles has reportedly been urged to consider downgrading the Duke of York’s status as a working royal when he takes to the throne because of the damage he has caused to the royal family’s reputation.
Lawyers in the US said the interview was ‘unwise’ because it reveals how close Andrew was to Epstein and how often they met up. Experts say he would not be immune to prosecution despite being a royal.
Anna Rothwell, from criminal law firm Corker Binning, said: ‘Prince Andrew is not entitled to any form of immunity by virtue of his position as a member of the Royal family. His friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is under investigation by the FBI and he is vulnerable to extradition.
‘It is therefore very unwise for the prince to give any account to the media, especially one which so starkly exposes the closeness of his relationship with Epstein, and again betrays yet another appalling lack of judgment.’
Viewers described watching Andrew’s grilling by Ms Maitlis from behind their sofas as he denied having sex with Virginia Roberts because he was in Pizza Express in Woking.
He suggested that the world-famous picture of his arm around Ms Roberts’ waist at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London mews house could be faked as he denied ever meeting her.
Miss Roberts’ evidence that he sweated ‘profusely’ on the three occasions she claims they gad sex were explained away by the duke claiming a rush of adrenaline while being shot at during the Falklands conflict in 1982 made it impossible for him to perspire.
A royal source claimed last night he has defiantly told his mother the Queen that his appearance on the BBC Two Newsnight special was largely a ‘great success’ – but a friend told the Mail he ‘regretted’ not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview.
A source told The Times that he hoped the interview would end ‘the sniping and the commentary’ – but it has actually started a firestorm.
Today former royal protection officer said it went so badly for Prince Andrew it should spark a police investigation.
Dai Davies said he and the millions who watched would be ‘utterly unconvinced’ by the duke’s denial that he slept with a teenager, or even met her. He said that he displayed ‘classic signs’ of someone not telling the truth and told the Mirror: ‘It beggars belief the stupidity of his answers.’
As the fallout from Andrew’s extraordinary TV interview continues, it has emerged:
- 2.5million people watched BBC interview already branded the most damaging ever carried out by a royal;
- Prince Andrew reportedly popped into church and told the Queen that his bombshell BBC interview was a ‘great success’;
- Friends suggest he wishes he had expressed more sympathy for Epstein’s victims in TV interview – but he is said to insist that it BBC sit-down was ‘right thing to do’;
- Prince Charles has arrived in New Zealand with his tour undermined; He has been urged to consider downgrading the Duke of York’s status as a working royal when he takes to the throne;
- Emily Maitlis says that the Duke asked the Queen’s permission to take part in the interview;
- Experts claim Andrew must avoid public duties until at least next year – and charities may not want to be associated with him;
- Lawyers representing Epstein’s victims say Duke of York must now help police with investigation- while experts say he ‘would not be entitled to any form of immunity’ if the FBI grilled him as a witness;
Sri Lankan No 10 advisor claims embattled Duke used ‘n***** in the woodpile’ slur
Prince Andrew (left in his disastrous BBc interview) was today accused of using the phrase ‘n***er in the woodpile’ during a meeting at Buckingham Palace with a British Asian adviser to No 10, Rohan Silva (right)
Prince Andrew was today accused of using the phrase ‘n***er in the woodpile’ and a colonial-era slur about ‘playing the white man’ during Buckingham Palace meetings with a top British Asian aide from No 10.
Rohan Silva, who worked for David Cameron, has blasted the Duke of York and said he was left ‘reeling at the prince’s use of language’.
Mr Silva, who is a tech expert who also writes for the Evening Standard, told the newspaper that he met Andrew in 2012 and asked him if he felt the Government ‘could be doing a better job’ on boosting trade with the world.
Andrew then allegedly responded: ‘Well, If you’ll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile’, upsetting Mr Silva, who is of Sri Lankan descent.
A year earlier, Mr Silva said he met the Duke of York and on that occasion the Duke allegedly told him: ‘You’ll never get anywhere by playing the white man’ – an offensive term commonly used in Victorian Britain during the colonial period.
Buckingham Palace sources have told the Standard there is no way Andrew ever used the phrase or any similar racist language on any occasion.
US lawyer Spencer Kulvin, who represents a woman who claims she was a victim of Epstein, told Radio 4’s Today programme Andrew should come forward to help the on-going investigation into the disgraced American financier.
Mr Kulvin said: ‘As a lawyer I was rather shocked that he would go on camera like this because anything he says can be utilised in a cross examination of him later, should he choose to come forward, and actually, in an official capacity, allow himself to be interviewed by the US authorities – which I believe he should do.
‘I don’t think there’s any way that a man who’s been to all three of Mr Epstein’s homes could avoid seeing what was going on in those homes, with people going in and out and young girls being shuttled in and out of those homes.’
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing other alleged victims in the Epstein case, said about Andrew: ‘I don’t see how he could have not known that there were underage girls – minors. Because he did visit homes of Mr Epstein in New York, in Palm Beach, in the Virgin Islands; and I happen to know there were underage girls in all of those locations.
‘So, why didn’t he ask the questions: Where are your parents, are you in school, why aren’t you in school, are you living here, are you working here, what kind of job do you have, what do you do, why are you here?’ she said.
She went on to say she did not know how the duke could not have seen the young girls because ‘there were so many of them’.
Asked what questions she would like to ask Andrew, Ms Allred said she wanted to know ‘Who helped to recruit underage girls for Mr Epstein to be sexually assaulted, who was in the chain, who assisted, who knowingly conspired with Mr Epstein to traffic – to sex traffic – these children to Mr Epstein.’
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has said she found Prince Andrew’s TV interview about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein ‘disheartening’.
Ms Swinson told PA while campaigning in Hertfordshire: ‘I watched that interview, I’m sure many people did, and what struck me was that what wasn’t really discussed was the people who are most important in all of this, which are the victims.
‘Those girls and young women who were trafficked, who were sexually abused by Epstein.
‘And how you could have a whole interview discussing that without him expressing his views, his sympathy, his feelings about what those young women had gone through I just thought was really disheartening.’
Prince Andrew is seen smiling and getting very close to American socialite Chris Von Aspen at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Prince Andrew is seen chatting to an unidentified blonde woman dressed in white at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007. That night he was pictured getting wild with American socialite Chris Von Aspen. Also dressed in white, Von Aspen can be seen striking a pose in the foreground
‘The Queen was on board, it seems’: Emily Maitlis says Andrew suggested his mother agreed to interview in advance
Emily Maitlis with Prince Andrew in Buckingham Palace last week
The Queen gave her approval for the Duke of York’s ‘disastrous’ interview about the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis has said.
As calls grew for Andrew to show sympathy for the victims of the convicted sex offender he once knew, he remained defiant about his decision to appear on television.
The BBC has reported sources close to the duke as saying he stands by his decision to set the record straight about his relationship with the disgraced financier – and counter allegations he slept with one of Epstein’s groomed teenagers.
Conflicting reports in the newspapers, also based on sources, claim Andrew told the Queen his television appearance on BBC’s Newsnight programme was a success, while another says he expressed to friends regret at not mentioning sympathy for the women trafficked for sex by Epstein.
The interview has been widely criticised with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse for the friendship with the sex offender.
Maitlis, whose interview with Andrew was screened on Saturday, writing in the Times newspaper describes the final stages of securing the royal on the current affairs programme.
She writes: ‘We have finished laying out our pitch. An awkward moment of silence falls. And the duke tells us he must ‘seek approval from higher up’.
‘It dawns on us then that he means the Queen herself. At 8am the next day we have a message telling us to call his office. The Queen, it seems, is on board.’
Pictures of Andrew partying in the ‘noughties’ appear to undermine claims made in the BBC interview.
The previous summer Andrew was pictured cozying up to Canadian model Pascale Bourbeau at a bash he attended alongside his eldest daughter Princess Beatrice.
He appears to put his hand on Pascale’s rear as they stand close together at the home of billionaire fire extinguisher magnate Tony Murray.
At the 2008 party where he was filmed he was seen dancing at close quarters with a woman named at the time as Libyan model Nadia Boejna. He then left with a group of women, witnesses claimed.
That night he was also filmed chatting with Polish-born socialite Beata Bohman – who went on to make headlines when she was arrested for shoplifting an $11,000 fur-lined scarf in New York.
At one point, Andrew was pictured tensely looking at his mobile phone alongside a bald man who was described by onlookers as his ‘fixer’.
Later, he headed to a marina at Murray’s mansion and got on a boat accompanied by ‘five or six women’ while Beatrice, now 31, left separately, according to a witness.
A former Saint-Tropez reveler revealed: ‘These were really crazy years for Andrew.
‘He was clearly having a full-blown midlife crisis. He would have been 47 or 48 at the time, divorced from Sarah Ferguson, and basking in the attention he got from young women.
‘These were private parties held at mansions so I guess he felt he could let his guard down.
‘Things can get quite loose in Saint-Tropez. There were lots of beautiful young women looking for rich men.
‘People would often go off to the toilets to do drugs or for oral sex.
‘That was the best time to party in Saint-Tropez. Social media hadn’t really taken off and most people didn’t have cameras on their phone yet so people could just go and have fun.
‘Lots of the girls gravitated towards Andrew – royalty has that effect on the kind of women who flock to Saint-Tropez.’
Andrew’s partying days have come under increased scrutiny recently due to his controversial relationship with Epstein, who killed himself aged 66 in a New York jail cell in August after being arrested on federal sex trafficking charges.
Following Epstein’s death, the Prince released a statement denying he ever saw or suspected any criminal behavior by the wealthy financier.
However, he has faced a barrage of claims, including from Ms Roberts who accuse the Duke of York of sleeping with her while she was underage.
The row was thrown further into the spotlight last night after Andrew’s ‘car crash’ BBC interview.
The ‘no holds barred’ interview saw the Prince quizzed on his relationship with Epstein – and he again denied ever having sex with the financier’s ‘sex slave’ Ms Roberts.
The Duke faced a flurry of questions about his links to the paedophile, who was found dead aged 66 earlier this year in a New York prison cell while being held on sex trafficking charges.
Andrew maintained he does not recall meeting Ms Roberts and said he did not spend time with her at Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10, 2001, after which she claims the pair first had sex.
Prince Andrew is pictured dancing at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007, surrounded by several young women and looks sweaty and worse for wear
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied by Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007. In another party, seemingly in the same venue put on a different day in July 2007, Andrew speaks to an unidentified blonde
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied with his daughter Beatrice at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007. Andrew & Beatrice attended the party at the home of billionaire fire extinguisher magnate Tony Murray. Prince Andrew was later seen cozying up to Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau before leaving on a boat with five or six women, while Beatrice left separately
Prince Andrew is seen dancing with a woman identified as Libyan model Nadia Boejna at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2008
Prince Andrew is seen chatting with two unidentified women at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2008
Former royal PR says Andrew must ‘take a break from royal duties’ because: ‘What charity wants a VIP guest with this hanging over him?’
Prince Andrew was urged to ‘take a break’ from royal duties by one of Queen Elizabeth’s former advisors yesterday in the light of his ‘disastrous’ television interview.
Speaking to the Mail, her former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, who worked for the monarch during the Charles and Diana crisis, said: ‘It [the interview] was a rotten idea. If it was done as a means of crisis management, then all they have done is manage to create a new crisis.
‘He needs to take a sabbatical. If you look back earlier in the year there was an engagement in Northern Ireland and they cancelled it [because of the scandal]. What charity wants a VIP guest with this hanging over him?
‘He is going to turn 60 in February and is wanting to walk his daughter [Princess Beatrice] down the aisle next year. With this hanging over you, it’s going to detract. He needs to take time out.’
Mr Arbiter was referring to an incident in September when it was claimed that an invitation to see a refurbished railway station in Portrush, Co. Antrim was withdrawn by his hosts as they felt his presence would ‘change the narrative’. It was said the ceremony was one of several engagements to be scrapped.
The former royal press officer added: ‘He may argue that he has done nothing wrong, so why should he? But he is tainted by association. He’s taken Jeffrey Epstein’s largesse, he’s travelled to his homes, his islands, he’s lived in his house. He went over there after Jeffrey Epstein had been released. This will not cut ice with anyone. People believe he is upset because he was caught out, not because he realised it was the wrong thing to have done.
‘He appears to have a case of selective amnesia. He has no recollection of meeting her [Virginia Roberts] but has a vivid recollection of having gone to Pizza Express in Woking.’
He denied he slept with her on three separate occasions, saying the encounter in 2001 did not happen because he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.
As part of his defence, he disputed claims that he was sweating on the night he partied with Ms Roberts.
Andrew said: ‘There’s a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time.
‘I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falkland’s War when I was shot at and it was almost impossible for me to sweat.
‘And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again. So I’m afraid to say that there’s a medical condition that says that I didn’t do it.’
He added: ‘I’ve no recollection of ever meeting her, I’m almost, in fact I’m convinced that I was never in Tramps with her.
‘There are a number of things that are wrong with that story, one of which is that I don’t know where the bar is in Tramps.
‘I don’t drink, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a drink in Tramps whenever I was there.’
The latest video and pictures have put Andrew under yet more scrutiny.
Pictures from top model Heidi Klum’s 2000 Halloween party show him hanging out with Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell.
The pair can be seen together at the ‘Hookers and Pimps’-themed party in New York City.
Maxwell – the daughter of disgraced British press baron Robert Maxwell – wears a bleach blonde wig, midriff bearing top and gold pants as she chats to Andrew.
The now infamous picture showing the Prince and Maxwell with alleged ‘teen sex slave’ Virginia Roberts is thought to have been taken the following year by Epstein in London.
Virginia, 35, alleges Epstein and Maxwell, 57, directed her to have sex three times with Andrew – claims that both he and Maxwell vehemently deny.
Donald Trump and his then-girlfriend Melania Knauss were also pictured posing with Klum at the party. In the photos from the Halloween party, Andrew can be seen chatting to Klum, now 46.
In this July 2008 party, Andrew was filmed wandering around as loud techno music blared. It was hosted by wine tycoon Claude Ott. Andrew was also pictured dancing with a woman at close quarters and she was identified at the time as Libyan model Nadia Boejna
A sweaty Prince Andrew in July 2008, dancing with Libyan model Nadia Boejna at a party in Saint-Tropez, France
Prince Andrew is seen smiling with American socialite Chris Von Aspen and an unidentified blonde woman at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied by Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Both of these photos were taken in Saint Tropez in July 2008 and were taken just weeks after Jeffrey Epstein admitted child sex offenses in a controversial secret plea deal in Florida
The Duke of York attended the Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000 alongside British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s girlfriend
Andrew insisted that he only wore a suit in London and never sweated because of an adrenalin rush when being shot at in the Falklands – but this picture of him outside a nightclub in the capital suggests otherwise
The infamous photograph of Prince Andrew smiling as he stands with his left arm around the waist of a young Virginia Roberts has dogged him for years. It is alleged to have been taken in early 2001
In another infamous set of pictures taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen.
The blonde interior designer can be seen licking the Prince as the pair cavorted together.
An onlooker said: ‘Chris was buzzed from drinking and had met Andrew before so she approached him.
‘She was a real party girl back then and went to all the celebrity parties in New York, LA, Saint-Tropez and Monaco.
‘Chris later claimed she hooked up with Andrew and you can see in the pictures that he was having a great time with her.
‘He had a wild look in his eye – you can see that in the pictures too.
‘Chris was going out with Prince Albert of Monaco’s right-hand man Bruno Philipponnat and got into trouble with him when the pictures came out.’
Prince Andrew is pictured with Epstein in Central Park in New York in February 2011. The Duke has been dragged deeper into the Epstein scandal following his apparent suicide in a New York jail
Explosive exchanges with BBC Newsnight that saw Prince Andrew flounder in hour-long ‘juggernaut crash’
It comes after the Prince’s ‘car crash’ BBC interview. Sources close to the Duke of York said he wanted to address the issues head-on and did so with ‘honesty and humility’, despite a enormous online backlash slamming the eighth in line to the throne for a series of increasingly egregious remarks
On ‘unbecoming’ Epstein and their friendship with him and Ghislaine Maxwell
Prince Andrew [PA]: ‘Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.’
Emily Maitlis [EM]: ‘Unbecoming? He was a sex offender.’
EM: ‘Do you regret the whole friendship with Epstein?’
PA: ‘Now…still not and the reason being is that the people I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.’
PA: ‘It would be a considerable stretch to say that he [Epstein] was a very, very close friend. But he had the most extraordinary ability to bring extraordinary people together and that’s the bit that I remember.’
PA: ‘I stayed with him and that’s the bit that…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.’
EM: ‘Am I right in thinking you threw a birthday party for Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, at Sandringham?’
PA: ‘No, it was a shooting weekend.’
EM: ‘A shooting weekend?’
PA: ‘Just a straightforward, a straightforward shooting weekend.’
On staying with Epstein in New York after his conviction for prostituting a child
EM, referring to the prince’s stay at Epstein’s New York home in 2010 after he was released from prison: ‘You were staying at the house…of a convicted sex offender.’
PA: ‘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 a benefit of all the hindsight that 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 and I admit fully my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.’
EM: ‘It might seem a funny way to break off a friendship – a four-day house party of sorts with a dinner.’
PA: ‘That’s a very stark way of putting it. Yes you’re absolutely right. But actually the truth of it is that I actually only saw him for about… the dinner party, the walk in the park and probably passing in the passage.’
On his Pizza Express alibi
EM: ‘Why would you remember a Pizza Express birthday and being at home?’
PA: ‘Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.’
On not being able to sweat and not liking to hug
EM: ‘She [Virginia Roberts] was very specific about that night. She described dancing with you. You profusely sweating.’
PA: ‘There’s a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time.’
PA: ‘I am not one to, as it were, hug, and public displays of affection are not something that I do.’
His denial that he met or had sex with any of Epstein’s ‘slaves’
EM: ‘For the record, is there any way you could have had sex with that young woman or any young woman trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein in any of his residences?’
PA: ‘No and without putting too fine a point on it, if you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody…it’s very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything.’
EM: ‘Would you be willing to testify or give a statement under oath if you were asked?’
PA: ‘If push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.’
Celebrity Party: The photograph that WON’T go away: Anatomy of the infamous image of Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein’s teenage ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts… that Duke of York insists he ‘can’t recall being taken’
The photograph of Prince Andrew with his hands around Virginia Roberts’ waist has long been seen as key to establishing the truth in this sordid saga.
Both sides view it as a key piece of evidence. To Miss Roberts, the March 2001 image proved beyond doubt that her claims of intimacy are true; others have suggested an equally dark secret which could prove the prince is telling the truth.
On the night it was taken, Miss Roberts , then 17, said she went on to have sex with Andrew after being brought to Britain by his billionaire friend and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
This is the photograph from 2001 which has dogged the Prince for years. But in the bombshell Newsnight interview, he deployed a salvo of objections to hint that it may have been faked – including his choice of outfit and the location of the picture inside a London property owned by Ghislaine Maxwell
The height of the Andrew, who is understood to be around 6ft tall, and Roberts, around 5ft 8 in, has been highly disputed. Experts have pointed out the practice of picture manipulation was in its infancy when the picture was taken
She maintains it was snapped in society hostess Ghislaine Maxwell’s central London mews house after a night out in Mayfair. However, the prince, who has always denied having sex with her, insisted that he had ‘no recollection’ of meeting her or posing for the photo.
He also echoed previously unnamed royal sources who have queried the photo’s veracity, even hinting that the hand around her waist may not be his. He suggested he would never have hugged anyone in public and raised questions about his own attire.
The Duke told interviewer Emily Maitlis: ‘I have absolutely no memory of that photograph ever being taken. From the investigations that we’ve done, you can’t prove whether or not that photograph is faked or not because it is a photograph of a photograph of a photograph.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Emily Maitlis last night, he said he has ‘never seen Epstein with a camera in my life’. He added: ‘If the original was ever produced, then perhaps we might be able to solve it but I can’t’
Pictured is 44 Kinnerton Street, the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell where the photo was said to have been taken. It appears to show Andrew and Roberts smiling on the first floor of the flat but the Prince claims he wasn’t there
‘So it’s very difficult to be able to prove it but I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken.’ He also stated: ‘I’ve never seen Epstein with a camera in my life.’
Miss Maitlis suggested his former friend had borrowed Miss Roberts’ camera, leaving the prince to respond: ‘Listen, I don’t remember. I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken.’
The photo supposedly shows the first floor of the property, with the window appearing to match one at the front of the house. But the prince denied he had been on the first floor.
Miss Maitlis asked: ‘There’s a photo inside Ghislaine Maxwell’s house, Ghislaine herself in the background. Why would people not believe that you were there with her that night?’ He replied: ‘They might well wish to believe it but the photograph is taken upstairs and I don’t think I ever went upstairs… because the dining room and everything was on the ground floor… I’m at a loss to explain this particular photograph.
‘I don’t remember going upstairs because that photograph was taken upstairs and I am not entirely convinced that… we can’t be certain as to whether or not that’s my hand on her whatever it is, side.’
The prince even questioned his own casual clothing in the photo. He said: ‘I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I would go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie.’
Instead he is dressed in dark trousers and a light blue shirt, with cufflinks adorning his sleeves. Other photos show this was his favoured look at the time and he was pictured in almost exactly the same clothing as he left London’s Chinawhite club a few months earlier.
In the Newsnight interview, he also argued he would not have placed his arm around the teenager, saying: ‘I am not one to, as it were, hug and public displays of affection are not something I do.’ But that claim also seems to be contradicted by a number of photos over the years.
Prince Andrew is asked if he could have had sex with ‘any young woman trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein in any of his residences’ and issues a rambling response: ‘If you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody’
When Miss Maitlis asked: ‘You think that photo has been faked? Andrew responded: ‘Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph being taken. So that’s the best explanation I can give you and I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.’
‘If the original was ever produced, then perhaps we might be able to solve it but I can’t.’ The picture was first published by The Mail on Sunday in 2011 after the newspaper found Miss Roberts living in a small bungalow in New South Wales. She is said to have given the original, along with 19 other images, to FBI investigators in 2011.
In recent months, Andrew’s friends have tried to discredit the photograph. A source told the London Evening Standard: ‘Look at his fingers in the photo. The duke has quite chubby fingers – they don’t look right and nor does the height of the duke and the girl.’
The Duke said he was ‘at a loss’ trying to explain the resurfaced photo as the picture was taken on the first floor of the west London property and he allegedly did not have a reason to go there. His claims that he would not put his arm around a teenager have been contradicted by a number of photos over the years
Roberts returns to the mansion where she was held captive and says ‘Prince Andrew should go to jail’ while pointing at the historic photo on 60 Minutes Australia, on November 7
However, while Andrew is said to be around 6ft tall, Virginia is understood to be around 5ft 8in – which is reflected in the picture. Other pictures of his hands do not highlight any obvious discrepancies. Experts have pointed out the practice of manipulating images was in its infancy when the picture was taken.
Miss Roberts’ lawyers have insisted the photograph is real and its authenticity never questioned by the FBI.
How Duke of York’s annual meetings with Epstein including after he was sent to jail caused Prince Andrew decades of trouble
Here is a timeline of the duke’s relationship with Epstein.
Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.
Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.
Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.
Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.
Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.
Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.
The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.
Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.
‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’
In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.
Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.
Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.
Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.
The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.
Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.
Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.
Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’
Celebrity Party: RICHARD KAY: Prince Andrew showed NO sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims. In his jaw-droppingly insensitive interview, he showed the kind of royal he actually is: self-important, patronising and out of touch
No one watching Prince Andrew’s car-crash TV interview could have failed to recoil at the tone of contempt in his voice
No one watching Prince Andrew’s car-crash TV interview could have failed to recoil at the tone of contempt in his voice when the question of why he had stayed in Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion after the sex offender’s release from prison was raised.
It was, he said, a ‘convenient’ place to stay. (He might have added, but didn’t, that the hospitality was free.)
If an icy sense of entitlement could take the form of a man’s voice, this was it.
By then, Emily Maitlis’s gripping Newsnight encounter had already cut deep, gaping wounds into the credibility of the Queen’s second son. But they were, by and large, all self-inflicted.
Not a word of sympathy for the victims of Epstein’s appalling crimes during the interview, not a syllable of understanding about them passed from his lips, and only the briefest of regrets for his friendship with the billionaire paedophile in the first place.
The jaw-dropping insensitivity of it all left millions of viewers, not just in Britain but around the world, asking: why?
Why on earth had he agreed to do this, and what was he thinking?
Today, after one of the most egregious acts of self-harm by any member of the Royal Family at any time, the question must be: where does the Duke of York go from here?
Andrew hoped that his candour would be transforming, that with 45 minutes of tough questioning from one of the BBC’s star performers, he would demonstrate both his honesty and his relatability.
He also believed it would draw a line under the torrent of negative headlines about his conduct and behaviour.
Prince Andrew taking a stroll through New York’s Central Park with Epstein following his prison term in 2011
How naive that seems now.
What emerged from the programme was a prince from another age. From his demonstrable lack of self-awareness, to answers that at times insulted the viewers’ intelligence, Andrew showed the kind of royal he actually is — self-important, patronising and out of touch.
The fact is he has always been like that. When a friend once suggested that to improve his public image amid criticism over his ‘Airmiles Andy’ reputation, he might consider using trains or the Underground, the Duke spluttered: ‘But I am the son of the monarch…’
Driving force: Prince’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk
Unsaid, what he meant was: as a senior member of the Royal Family, he could not possibly take public transport.
But then, this goes to the heart of Andrew’s character. All those years as heir in line to the throne — before Prince Charles had his family — have given Andrew an inflated sense of his own importance.
So what was it that propelled Andrew into Newsnight’s embrace, allowing himself to be exposed to a potentially image-shredding humiliation? After all, there was every good reason not to do it.
Epstein had taken his own life in prison in New York in August, while some would argue the currency of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed that as a teenager she had sex with the Prince three times, has diminished somewhat with every telling of her story.
In the end, it was not the questions put to him by the forensic Ms Maitlis for which the programme will be remembered, but rather the answers and the failure of the Prince to offer even as much as a degree of humility. At times, in fact, the Newsnight presenter let him off the hook.
After pressing him on whether he had sex with Virginia Roberts (as she was then), which he denied, she could have asked if he had slept with any other women under Epstein’s roof. She did not.
Nor did she pick him up on his bizarre explanation about why, when he had travelled to New York to end his friendship with Epstein, he thought it OK to go for a walk with him in Central Park, one of the most public places in the world.
Maitlis might also have explored more forcefully Andrew’s decision to break with Epstein in person. Royals drop friends and acquaintances all the time. Charles does it and Diana used to do it by changing her phone number. All Andrew needed to do was stop taking Epstein’s calls and the message would soon have got through.
Instead, he chose to do it in person, and the temptation undoubtedly was to enjoy one last stay in the tycoon’s opulent home.
She could have pressed him on massages: had he had any, and where? We know that Epstein’s massage rooms were illustrated with crude pictures of naked women and discarded sex toys. Had he noticed anything?
To her credit, Ms Maitlis was suitably taken aback by the crass and convoluted explanation he offered about seeing Epstein in person to end their friendship in 2010 — two years after Epstein’s jailing for prostituting minors — as being one of honour.
And she gaspingly challenged his use of the word ‘unbecoming’ to describe the actions of the child sex offender. It was one of the rare occasions when she drew an apology from the Duke.
(Although he even managed to mangle that by earlier suggesting it was ‘unbecoming’ for a member of the Royal Family to consort with a paedophile, failing to see that it would be wrong for anyone to fraternise with a child sex offender.)
But mainly his manner was far from regretful. At the end, Maitlis gave him every opportunity to say something, anything, which would have allowed him to display a rare glimpse of humanity.
Surely, as the father of daughters himself, he would have seized that opportunity to say something about Epstein’s sickening offences towards women. He chose not to. Maitlis even asked him if he had anything to feel apologetic about in his friendship with Epstein. He did not, or perhaps he could not.
Indeed, he did the opposite, speaking of the ‘opportunities’ that came his way because of the businessman which ‘were actually very useful’.
This was raw, breath-taking, yet toe-curling stuff, and it is hard to see how Andrew can possibly recover. His hope — and it can only be that — is that by casting doubt on some of the evidence which has been laid against him in relation to the sex allegations, he may have discovered a chink of light.
However, even then, he was hardly convincing.
While his memory that he had never been to the bar at Tramp, the West End nightclub, does ring true — Andrew rarely buys his own drinks, a police bodyguard normally does that — his bizarre claim that he could not sweat puzzled many viewers.
In her affidavit, Roberts says he was sweating, but according to Andrew, he suffered from a medical condition contracted during the Falklands War when, as a helicopter pilot, he suffered an overdose of adrenaline.
But dragging his daughter into the narrative as he explained why he could not have been in Tramp with the then 17-year-old Miss Roberts on March 10, 2001 — one of the dates on which she has claimed they had sex — was risky.
Viewers were left wondering why he had such a strong memory of taking Princess Beatrice to a friend’s birthday party at Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey, while admitting to no recollection of being photographed with his arm around the bare midriff of Virginia Roberts.
Somewhere, there will be a record of the excursion to the pizza joint. Like other senior royals, the Prince is accompanied at all times by armed police bodyguards.
Details will have been entered into a pocketbook as ‘Purple Four One’ — Andrew’s Scotland Yard call sign — and travelling to Surrey with Woking in a bracket perhaps alongside. The times will also be noted.
Andrew could easily have said that his protection officers could verify his movements that day.
Those details might also reveal that there was plenty of time left that day after the birthday party for the Duke to go on to London to meet Roberts. Which brings us back to the infamous photograph.
Andrew claimed that it had been taken upstairs at the Belgravia mews home of his friend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is also in the picture. But, in the same breath, he told Newsnight he had never been upstairs at Ghislaine’s home.
If that is the case, how does he know it was upstairs? And what about his claim that the informal outfit he was wearing in the picture — open-neck shirt and casual trousers — were his ‘travelling clothes’?
In London, he insisted, he wore a suit when he went out at night. But some eight months earlier, in July 2000, I wrote a piece about Andrew. He had been on a visit to China White, a then fashionable London nightclub, and he had been photographed leaving it wearing jeans and an open-neck shirt.
Today, after one of the most egregious acts of self-harm by any member of the Royal Family at any time, the question must be: where does the Duke of York go from here? Pictured: Prince Andrew interviewed by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight
Many will see Andrew’s Saturday night self-immolation as an act of great folly, to rank alongside other TV royal extravaganzas, such as Diana’s Panorama confession and Charles’s admission of adultery to Jonathan Dimbleby.
Certainly, the Andrew interview was kept secret, much like Diana’s. We know he sought and obtained the permission of the Queen, but other members of the family, including Prince Charles, who has taken a dim view of his brother’s lack of judgment over Epstein, were merely informed as a courtesy.
Yesterday, amid the fallout, it emerged that aides to the Prince had been at loggerheads over the wisdom of doing the interview.
Formidable private secretary Amanda Thirsk, a former banker, was the driving force behind the project. She sat in on the interview, encouraged him to use his own words, and was convinced it would show the Prince as ‘authentic’.
But she had to overrule PR consultant Jason Stein, a former adviser to Amber Rudd until she left the Cabinet, who had been implacably opposed to the idea.
He had only recently been drafted in and proposed a more long-term strategy to rebuild the Prince’s reputation, including charity work and two set-piece newspaper interviews to mark his 60th birthday next February — one in Britain and one in America.
He urged the Prince to reject the Newsnight overtures because he feared it would backfire.
But Miss Thirsk, who has run the Prince’s private office for seven years, was convinced it was the right strategy. For more than a year, she had been leading the negotiations with Newsnight producer and ex-barrister Samantha McAlister — a former European debating champion whose persuasive skills proved invaluable.
With recriminations flying about the interview, it was not just Andrew’s judgment that was being questioned, but also those who thought it was a good idea.
All the same, Thirsk believed the programme offered the chance to get across two major points: one, to discredit the Roberts allegations, and two, to explain precisely the story behind the Central Park photograph.
‘The idea was that he would come across as authentic and people would see he had nothing to hide,’ a friend of the Duke told me.
It may, in theory, have seemed a good idea, but Andrew cannot think on his feet, nor is he a natural communicator. Brave as this may originally have seemed, it does now seem a strategy that has backfired spectacularly.
Simply picking up the pieces of his official life and carrying on with his royal duties now looks problematic. For Andrew, far from ending the controversy, he has merely fuelled it.
‘Andrew said he would follow the advice of his lawyers on this decision. If he has nothing to hide and has committed no crime, then why doesn’t he just make the decision to share what he does know about Epstein and his close associates or employees with the FBI?
‘Anyone, no matter if he is a prince or a pauper, should provide information that he or she may have to law enforcement if that might assist in a criminal investigation.’
The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter said: ‘You can’t have a relationship with someone like Jeffrey Epstein for over ten years and not come out without some stain on your character.’ One more sympathetic royal adviser said he thought Andrew had been ‘incredibly brave’ to put himself up for ‘fifty bloody minutes of relentless questioning’.
‘I don’t think he has been given enough credit for that but it was a big ask to put someone under the spotlight like that. It was badly executed,’ they added.
But sources close to the prince said he felt he had no choice but to address the issue that has dogged him for the last ten years.
One said: ‘He did an extraordinarily brave thing addressing head-on some very personal questions. The interview wasn’t scripted in the way that a politician’s interview can be. It was very raw. The duke felt he needed to personally address the two issues he is constantly being challenged about: did he have sex with Virginia Roberts and why did he visit that man Epstein in 2010?
‘He was incredibly clear on those two points. No he did not, and yes, visiting Epstein was a mistake.
‘The duke has put his side of the story across. He wasn’t lying. You can’t lie about something like that in those circumstances and if you were going to, you wouldn’t put yourself forward like that… It would be a stupid thing to do.
‘At some time you have got to give the guy a break and say he has done his level best to put himself out there, and if the interview had been conducted perfectly, then it would probably be fake.
‘Even at its worst, what he did in 2010 was an error of judgment. He lost his job [as a trade ambassador], he moved on and has done nine years solid work since.
‘He heard the message that he needed to speak and speak from the heart. It was a very tough thing for him to do, he is glad he did it.
‘It was a huge risk. But it had to be done. He just hopes this will now allow him to focus on his charities and initiatives.’
Celebrity Party: Prince Andrew on the ropes: A step-by-step guide to how Duke of York told HIS story in BBC interview that gripped millions of viewers
It was seen as his chance to finally set the record straight on one of the darkest episodes in modern royal history.
But to the millions at home watching Prince Andrew squirm while being quizzed about every detail of his private life, it posed more questions than it answered.
The Duke of York rebutted allegations that he had three sexual encounters with a teenage girl introduced to him by paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Insisting he had ‘no recollection’ of ever meeting Virginia Roberts, the prince put forward a series of sometimes unusual explanations as to how the pair could not have been together in the circumstances she has suggested.
With a newly-uncovered email allegedly placing Andrew on Epstein’s private island, when Miss Roberts suggests the pair were involved in an ‘orgy’, here the Daily Mail analyses the claims…
Insisting he had ‘no recollection’ of ever meeting Virginia Roberts, the Duke of York put forward a series of sometimes unusual explanations as to how the pair could not have been together in the circumstances she has suggested, including a claim that he suffers from a rare medical condition which means he is unable to sweat. Pictured: Prince Andrew appears to suffer a sweaty moment as he leaves Chinawhite nightclub in London in 2000
Celebrity Party: THE LONDON MEETING
Virginia Roberts – now a 36-year-old mother known as Virginia Giuffre – claims she was forced by Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew three times.
The first occasion was allegedly in March 2001 when the 17-year-old was flown to London on Epstein’s private jet with alleged ‘madame’ Ghislaine Maxwell.
The prince claims he was introduced to Epstein through Maxwell in 1999, having met her while she studied at Oxford.
Miss Roberts claims that during their first meeting, the group had dinner and then went dancing at the Tramp nightclub in Mayfair.
In court depositions previously filed in the US, Miss Roberts said the group returned to Maxwell’s mews house in Belgravia, central London, where the pair took a bath together before having a sexual encounter.
Her claims were struck from the record by a US judge in 2015, who described them as ‘impertinent and immaterial’.
Andrew and Buckingham Palace have repeatedly denied the claims.
It was during this meeting – believe to be March 10, 2001 – that the prince is said to have posed for the now-infamous photo with his arm around Miss Roberts’s waist.
The Duke of York rebutted allegations that he had three sexual encounters with Virginia Roberts, introduced to him by paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein
Responding to the allegations on BBC’s Newsnight, Prince Andrew said: ‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.’
On Miss Roberts’s claims that he bought her a drink, the prince said: ‘I don’t know where the bar is in Tramp’s. I don’t drink, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a drink in Tramp’s whenever I was there.’
The prince is a bona fide teetotaller and has been for a large part of his adult life. He said he didn’t know where the bar was. However, pictures taken on multiple occasions between 1983 and 1990 place him at Tramp nightclub. Flight records from Epstein’s private jet – dubbed ‘the Lolita Express’ – place Miss Roberts in London on the day in question following a whistle-stop tour from Palm Beach, Florida to Canada, Paris, Grenada in Spain and Tangier in Morocco, before touching down in Luton on March 9, 2001.
She left Luton Airport two days later to return to the US and allegedly developed the photograph of her and Andrew together on March 13.
Celebrity Party: NEW YORK INCIDENT
Miss Roberts cla