In the abuse scandal surrounding the late US multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew, 59, has "categorically" denied a woman's allegations of having had sex with her as a 17-year-old. In a BBC interview aired on Saturday night, Queen Elizabeth II's second eldest son said the claimed incidents had "never happened".
"I can tell you absolutely categorically that it never happened," he said, adding, "I have no memory of ever meeting this lady, not at all." The US-American said she was forced to have sex with the prince three times in 2001 and 2002 as a 17-year-old.
Andrew, like many other celebrities, was friends with the alleged sex offender Epstein, had visited him – even after the multimillionaire had already served his first jail sentence. Epstein had committed suicide in a Manhattan jail in early August. He was accused of forcing underage girls into prostitution.
Andrew also went into details in the interview. The woman described that he had sweated while dancing in a club. But that was impossible, because he had an illness at that time, which prevents sweating, said the brother of the heir Charles. Reason is an "overdose of adrenaline", which he received during a mission in the Falklands War, when he was shot. Also, the woman said he had offered her alcohol. He does not drink and he thinks he never bought a drink in the nightclub.
At Pizza Express in Woking
Prince Andrew said that on the day mentioned by the woman he had been at a party with his daughter in Woking near London on Pizza Express. He could remember that because it was "very unusual" for him. The prince also went into a photo, which presumably shows him with the then 17-year-olds. Although he could not prove that the photo was forged, but have no memory of it. It was evidently taken up in the upper part of the house by Epstein, where he had never been to his knowledge.
He would also testify under oath if "the going gets tough" and his lawyers advise him, Andrew said. In any case, he did not regret his friendship with Epstein because he had the opportunity to learn from him about trade and commerce. However, having met Epstein after his conviction had been "the wrong decision". The allegations of the woman were "surprising, shocking and a distraction maneuver".
Andrew had already felt compelled to make an explanation during the summer. Buckingham Palace had rejected the charges against Prince Andrew.