Prince Andrew Says He Doesn’t Recall Meeting Epstein Victim

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(Bloomberg) -- Prince Andrew, the British royal under pressure to explain his friendship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, said he doesn’t remember meeting a woman who said she was ordered to have sex with him, and that he regretted not ending his association with the millionaire financier earlier.

In brief clips made available by the BBC from a TV interview, the prince was asked for his response to repeated statements by Virginia Roberts that the pair had sex in a central London house belonging to Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s friend and the daughter of disgraced publisher Robert Maxwell.

“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” Queen Elizabeth II’s second son said, according to a short transcript. And when pressed on whether he had any recollection of her, he replied, “no.”

The downfall of Epstein, culminating in his suicide in August while in a New York prison cell, uncovered a sordid tale of how one man used his wealth and power to sexually abuse dozens of young girls -- and how he built links to a catalog of prominent international figures, from former U.S. President Bill Clinton to Prince Andrew.

The prince has previously denied any wrongdoing in written statements. The taped interview on the BBC’s “Newsnight” program is his first televised comment on the matter.

Roberts has told of how Epstein ordered her to have sex with powerful men of his acquaintance and that one of those people was Andrew. She was 17 at the time, she has said. A picture of the prince smiling at the camera with, purportedly, his left arm stretched round the back of her naked waist, and Maxwell looking on in the background figures, looms large on internet searches for the royal.

In the second clip, the interviewer takes Andrew to task for maintaining his friendship with Epstein even after he was convicted in 2008 for procuring a minor for prostitution.

“I stayed with him and that’s...that’s...that’s the bit that...that...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,” he said. “We try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”

Andrew, who served in the Falklands War as a helicopter pilot, was married to Sarah Ferguson in 1986 and they divorced a decade later. They have two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

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