Prince Andrew has suggested that the photograph showing him and Virginia Giuffre together, in a London building where she alleges he abused her, is not authentic.
In the picture, shown below, the Prince is posing with Giuffre, then known as Virginia Roberts, with his hand on her waist.
But in an interview with the BBC aired on Saturday, Prince Andrew said he was “at a loss to explain this particular photograph,” and that it is not “certain” that his hand was around Giuffre’s waist, as the picture seemingly shows.
The Prince said he could not prove that the picture had been edited, but that he had reason to believe it was not genuine. He claimed that as a member of the Royal Family, he would not usually engage in “public displays of affection.”
He continued: “Nobody can prove that photo has been doctored… I don’t believe that photograph has been taken in the way that has been suggested.”
He also said he had “no recollection” of meeting Giuffre, who alleges she was coerced into having sex with Prince Andrew three times between 2001 and 2002, including when she was 17 years old.
Prince Andrew said he was at a Pizza Express on the day Giuffre alleges she had sex with him in London
Giuffre alleged that in 2001 she dined with the Prince in London, and together they went to a nightclub in the English capital called Tramp, before having sex.
The Prince said this “didn’t happen” and that “there are a number of things that are wrong with that story.”
He disputed Giuffre’s suggestion that he was “sweating” profusely on the night in question, claiming he had a medical condition which means he sweats less than the average person.
The Prince also claimed that he visited a Pizza Express in Woking, an English town around thirty miles from London, on the day Giuffre alleges she had sex with him in London.
The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, who is one of Queen Elizabeth the second’s four children, is facing intense scrutiny over his friendship with convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein died by suicide in August while awaiting trial for a series of sex-trafficking charges. He was facing spending up 45 years in prison.
Prince Andrew’s interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme was the first time he had spoken publicly about his relationship with the disgraced US financier and allegations surrounding his own conduct.
In the interview aired on Saturday, Prince Andrew said he remembered Epstein’s “extraordinary ability to bring people together” but denied suggestions that he was “very, very close” friends with him.
He said Epstein’s residence was ‘a convenient place to stay’ and he was ‘too honourable’ not to stay there
The Prince said that on the many occasions he stayed with Epstein, there was “no indication to me or anybody else” that he was trafficking underage women.
He said that staying at Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2010 was “the wrong thing to do,” and that he had “let the side down.”
Prince Andrew stayed at Epstein’s home in New York two years after the financier completed an 18-month prison sentence for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
He told the BBC’s Emily Maitlis that Epstein’s residence was “a convenient place to stay” and that he was “too honourable” to not stay there.
He added that he visited his home with the “sole purpose of saying to him that because he had been convicted, it was inappropriate for us to be seen together.”
He said: That’s the bit that… as it were, 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.”