Prince Andrew's relationship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has cost him sponsors, his royal duties and is now costing him his digs at Buckingham Palace.
According to the Times of London, the prince, who is eighth in line for the British crown, was forced to move his private office out of the palace Friday. Two days earlier Queen Elizabeth relieved her second son of all royal duties. In a statement, the prince, who carries the title Duke of York, said: "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 organizations and charities that I am proud to support."
Sponsors who have worked with Prince Andrew on Pitch@Palace -- his initiative that works with entrepreneurs -- have been deserting the royal family member. Cisco Systems and KPMG have cut ties, according to Sky TV, and AstraZeneca may follow suit. In a statement, the pharmaceutical giant said: "Our three-year partnership with Pitch@Palace is due to expire at the end of this year and is currently being reviewed."
While he has been under fire for months for his past relationship with Epstein, much of this week's reaction has been a result of his disastrous interview with the BBC. In the interview, he denied he participated in underage sex with one of Epstein's alleged victims and underplayed Epstein's sexual predator tactics, saying Epstein "conducted himself in a manner unbecoming."
In August, Epstein was found unresponsive in his New York jail cell, where he was awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges. Medical officials ruled he hung himself.