Prince Andrew Steps Back From Public Duties After Disastrous BBC Interview

Prince Andrew
BBC/Mark Harrison

Prince Andrew has announced he is stepping back from public duties after his disastrous interview with the BBC sparked days of headlines about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

In a statement released on Wednesday evening in the UK, the Duke of York said he would take a backseat for the “foreseeable future” after becoming a “major disruption to my family’s work.” Below is the statement in full:

The decision, he said, followed a discussion with the Queen. He added that he would be willing to help U.S. law enforcement agencies with their investigations into Epstein “if required.”

Prince Andrew had been on the ropes over his relationship with the convicted sex offender, who killed himself in prison in August while awaiting trial on fresh sex-trafficking and conspiracy charges.

He had hoped the BBC Newsnight interview, broadcast on Saturday night to a record audience of 1.7M viewers, would help calm questions about their friendship. Instead, it doused the crisis in gas, with companies including KPMG and Aon withdrawing their support from the Queen’s second son’s entrepreneur accelerator Pitch@Palace.

The Duke told BBC presenter Emily Maitlis that he regretted continuing to associate with Epstein after the financier pled guilty to soliciting underage sex in 2008. He added that he fell short of standards expected of the British royal family.

Prince Andrew also said he had no memory of meeting Epstein accuser Victoria Roberts Giuffre, who claimed she was coerced into having sex with the Duke when she was 17. “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” he said.

Below is the full interview:

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