Prince Andrew-centered interview with Virginia Giuffre to air Monday on BBC
Buckingham Palace is reportedly bracing for the 'ramifications' of Monday night's program
The BBC has reportedly decreased publicity for its soon-to-be-aired interview with Prince Andrew's accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, because of the topic’s “sensitive nature,” The Times reported Monday.
"The Prince and the Epstein Scandal" details the accounts of women who accused Andrew’s longtime friend, financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, of subjecting them to various sex acts against them – including, in some cases, while they were minors. The hour-long program airs Monday at 9 p.m. local time on BBC Panorama.
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Giuffre, one of the main women interviewed, has spoken publicly about how she was allegedly forced to engage in sexual acts with the embattled prince three times, including when she was 17. Andrew has previously denied her claims.
“It was a really scary time in my life,” Giuffre said in a previously released clip from the interview. “He knows what happened, I know what happened and there’s only one of us telling the truth.”
A TV source recently told U.K.-based outlet The Sun that Giuffre’s BBC interview “will cause ramifications” for the royal.
“If people thought Newsnight was a disaster for the duke this is really going to put the cat amongst the pigeons,” the anonymous person said. Another source added: “It’s fair to say everyone is nervously chewing their lips at Buckingham Palace to see what she will say.”
In a statement provided to FOX Business, a Royal Communications spokesperson said the duke "unequivocally regrets" his association with Epstein.
"Epstein’s suicide left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims. The Duke deeply sympathizes with those affected who want some form of closure," the statement reads. "It is his hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. The Duke is willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."
The spokesperson also "emphatically denied" reports that Andrew ever had any sort of relationship with Giuffre.
"The Duke has already stated that he did not see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and conviction. He deplores the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behavior.”
The 59-year-old Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, previously spoke to "BBC Newsnight" in mid-November, when he said he did not recall ever meeting the then-teenager at a nightclub and explained that he was elsewhere with his kids on the day in question.
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"That couldn't have happened because the date being suggested, I was at home with the children. On that particular day ... I was at home. I was with the children. I'd taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party ... Going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do," he said during the Nov. 16 interview.
He could not explain a photo in which he is shown embracing Giuffre.
Charlie Proctor, a website editor for Royal Central, described the prince’s interview as “a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion level bad.”
Jason Stein, a public relations expert who had worked for as the duke’s communications secretary, reportedly quit after Andrew agreed to the interview.
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Following his November BBC appearance, Andrew announced in a statement he would be stepping "back from public duties for the foreseeable future," with the permission from his mother.
"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," he wrote, in part. He added: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein."
He’s been barraged with bad news, and bad press, ever since.
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At the end of November, reports circulated that the Queen had “banned” Andrew from meeting President Trump during the commander-in-chief’s trip to the U.K. Trump is scheduled to arrive in London on Monday for a NATO summit and plans to meet with the royals at Buckingham Palace on Dec. 3. Andrew was present during Trump's first meeting with the Queen during a multiday state visit in June.
The Times of London previously reported that Andrew’s affiliation with the multimillionaire had also caused him to lose sponsors and even office space at the palace.
FOX Business reporters Evie Fordham and Matt McNulty contributed to this report.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comment from a royal family spokesperson.