Prince Andrew tried to dismiss accusations he had sex with the woman who says she was Jeffrey Epstein’s “sex slave” by claiming: I don’t sweat.
The Duke of York made the claim in an interview with the BBC that he hoped would help clear his name. Instead, the “car crash” interview, broadcast over the weekend, opened Prince Andrew up to ridicule and calls for U.S. law enforcement to question him.
In the BBC interview, Andrew was confronted with detailed accusations from Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, who claims she was the “sex slave” of Jeffrey Epstein. Roberts-Giuffre says Epstein forced her to have sex with the royal on two occasions in 2001 when she was only 17.
Roberts-Giuffre claims Andrew had sex with her for the first time at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell, after they met at the Tramp nightclub in London. Maxwell is one of the women accused of procuring underage girls for Epstein and his friends.
But Andrew claimed that on the date in question, he was at a Pizza Express in Woking with his daughter. When asked how he remembers this so clearly, he says going to a pizza restaurant was “a very unusual thing for me to do.”
In her account of the incident, Roberts-Giuffre claims the Duke of York was sweating profusely during their first encounter. He says that’s impossible.
“I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at,” Andrew said.
He also claims that he couldn’t have bought Roberts-Giuffre a drink, as she claimed he did.
“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,” he said.
Finally, he claims a photo of the pair embracing at Maxwell’s home may have been a fake, as he wasn’t an affectionate person in public.
Unfortunately for Andrew, in the days since the interview was broadcast, a slew of photos have emerged online that show him publicly embracing women and doing so while appearing to sweat profusely.
There was even a newspaper report from 2000 that twice referred to the prince sweating profusely:
Critics pointed out that Andrew failed to express sympathy for Epstein’s victims, and dismissed his suggestion that he never saw anything suspicious while staying in Epstein’s mansion on Little St. James island.
Epstein, a convicted pedophile, died while in custody in August while awaiting trial on federal charges that he sexually abused underage girls and ran a sex trafficking ring. Andrew had known Epstein for 20 years and remained friends with him even after the former banker was convicted of trafficking minors for sex, in 2008.
But the interview, which has been variously described as “disheartening,” “disastrous,” and “excruciating” was not the end of the bad news for Andrew.
Lawyers for Epstein’s victims claim that the interview will raise more questions than it answers.
“I think he’s made things much worse for himself. And it’s much more likely the authorities will want to speak to him now. And they should,” Lisa Bloom, who represents two of Epstein’s alleged victims, told the BBC on Monday.
It also emerged on Monday that the Duke of York’s PR adviser, who only took up his position in September, had resigned two weeks ago after warning against doing the interview on TV.
Things got even worse for Andrew on Monday when a former senior British government official claimed the prince used the N-word during a meeting back in 2012.
On Monday morning, Rohan Silva, who was David Cameron’s key aide on the tech economy, claimed that the prince used the N-word in his presence during a 2012 discussion about trade policy.
Silva, who is of Sri Lankan descent, told the Evening Standard that when he asked the Queen’s second son whether the government department responsible for trade “could be doing a better job,” the Duke of York responded: “Well, If you’ll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile.”
Cover: Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, arrives at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) in Nonthaburi, Thailand, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)