Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has faced increased criticism this week over claims that the royal held close ties to the late and disgraced Jeffrey Epstein. In a shocking interview with the BBC last week, Andrew denied claims that Epstein trafficked a woman to London to have sex with the royal back in 2001. After the interview exploded online and in the worldwide media, Andrew announced a statement that the Queen has given him permission to step down from his royal duties.
“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support,” said Prince Andrew in a statement released on Wednesday.
“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission,” the statement continued. The statement also mentions that Andrew is willing to cooperate with any law enforcement agencies throughout the probe into Epstien’s alleged sex trafficking and prostitution business.
Interview With BBC Shows How Important Journalism Is
In the interview with the BBC, Andrew was faced with questions about the allegations against him. First the interviewer confronts Andrew with questions about his relationship to Epstein after he was convicted as a sex offender in 2006. Andrew, who was invited to a party at Epstein’s house to celebrate his release from jail in 2010, claims he only went to see Epstein in person to tell him that they could no longer be seen together.
Before Epstein was convicted, though, he was apparently invited to Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday party at Windsor Castle two months after an initial arrest warrant was put on Epstein over the allegations against him. In response to that, Andrew claims that it was simply a mistake and that he wasn’t aware of the legal troubles against the disgraced financier at the time.
Prince Andrew Denies Sexual Relationship With Epstein Accuser
It isn’t until later on in the interview where things get particularly murky for the Duke of York. Virginia Roberts, one of the many Epstein accusers, claims that Epstein helped traffic her into London to have sex with Prince Andrew back in 2001 when she was just 17.
“On that particular day that we now understand is the date which is the 10th of March, I was at home, I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of four or five in the afternoon,” said Andrew in the interview with Emily Maitlis for the BBC.
“Why would you remember that so specifically? Why would you remember a Pizza Express birthday and being at home?,” responds Maitlis, who questioned how Andrew could remember exactly what he was doing on the alleged day back in 2001. “Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do,” Andrew said.
Epstein Case Unravels
Prince Andrew is one of the higher profile names to become involved in the drama surrounding Epstein’s sex trafficking allegations. In July Les Wexner, the CEO of L Brands, the umbrella behind Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works, claimed he had been scammed out of large sums of money by Epstein. In truth, Wexner was about to be named in the court case as an alleged part of the sex trafficking ring.