Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, has spoken publicly about his friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Two's Newsnight program.
Prince Andrew has admitted he regrets staying in Epstein's mansion in 2010 as he believed it was the "honorable" thing to do at that time. The prince admitted he let the royal family down by keeping contacts with Epstein, even after the late financier was convicted as a sex offender.
In 2015, Prince Andrew was mentioned in court documents as part of a US civil case against the disgraced banker. One of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre - stated she was forced to have sexual encounters with the Duke of York three times between 1999 when she was 17 - and 2002, in London, New York and on the Epstein's private island in the Caribbean. At that time, Giuffre was under-age, according to Florida legislation.
Giuffre said she met prince Andrew in 2001, they had dinner and went to a night club in London. Afterward, in Giuffre's words, they spent the night together in Ghislaine Maxwell's house in Belgravia neighborhood in London.
Asked whether he remembers it, Prince Andrew replied that he had no recollection of ''ever meeting this lady.''
The Duke of York has been haunted by a picture of him with an arm around Giuffre's waist. The notorious photograph has reportedly been taken by Jeffrey Epstein at the home of his close ally Ghislaine Maxwell in London in 2001 when Giuffre was about 17.
Details of Virginia Giuffre's claims against the British royal were later officially struck from court records as the judge ruled they were impertinent to the central claim.
In the summer, Prince Andrew issued an official statement to admit that it was '' a mistake and an error'' to have continued seeing Jeffrey Epstein after he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from an underage girl.
However, the royal also insisted that during his friendship with Epstein, he did not ''see, witness or suspect'' behavior relating to sexual abuse. Furthermore, the prince declined any allegations of wrongdoing.
Buckingham Palace supported Queen Elizabeth's third child, calling all the allegations ''false and unfounded.''
In 2008, Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges, serving only 13 months and avoiding a federal trial. The disgraced money manager also registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to his victims identified by the authorities.
In August 2019, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in New York while awaiting trial on federal charges brought more than ten years after his deal in Florida.
What do you think? Do you believe that Prince Andrew does not remember ever meeting Virginia Giuffre?