1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Prince Andrew's sex-slave claims rebuttal panned

November 17, 2019

UK newspapers and social media commentators have criticized Prince Andrew's efforts to rebut allegations from a woman who said she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with the prince.

Prince Andrew
Image: picture alliance/AP Photo/S. Tan

British television broadcast a 60-minute bombshell interview with Prince Andrew late Saturday, probing him on claims by a woman who said he forced her to have sex with him as a teenager allegedly held in "sexual servitude" by Epstein.

During the 60-minute BBC interview, Andrew claimed that the account of him meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre — who claimed she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17 — must be inaccurate because it referred to him sweating and he did not sweat at that time due to a medical condition.

Giuffre is one of many women who have spoken out about years of sexual abuse as a minor at the hands of Epstein.

Read more: Epstein accusers testify weeks after his pretrial suicide

No sweat, no regret

"It was almost impossible for me to sweat,'' the Prince said in his televised rebuttal.

Following the airing of the interview, the Sunday Mirror newspaper mocked the prince, suggesting in a headline that Andrew showed "no sweat... and no regret."

Commentators on social media have painted Prince Andrew as a laughing stock. One Twitter post even suggested the prince's best move would be to deny it was him being interviewed by the BBC.

"It certainly looks like me, but it can't be proven that it actually was me ... And the man in the interview was sweating, and I don't sweat ... I was in Nando's [restaurant] that night, honest." 

Read more: UK Prince Andrew: 'No recollection' of Epstein sex slave

Lack of judgment

The British Royal told the BBC that he had demonstrated a serious lack of judgment in remaining friends with Epstein after he had been convicted of child sex crimes.

He said he remained friends with Epstein because he was "too honorable" to have acted differently.

Lack of remorse

The Mail on Sunday tabloid said in its front-page headline that Andrew had uttered "not one word of remorse" in the interview as viewers watched him "squirm."

Women's Equality Party co-founder Catherine Mayer tweeted that Andrew had appeared "too stupid to even pretend concern for Epstein's victims." 

The editor of the Royal Central website offered more shock than sympathy. "I expected a train wreck. That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion-level bad," Charlie Proctor posted on Twitter. 

Privacy waived

Celebrity lawyer Mark Stephens told The Guardian that Andrew's strategy "only works if you've got a complete and full answer to every possible question, and here there are too many loose ends."

"If he'd kept his silence he'd have been able to remain outside of the case, as he's a witness and is entitled to diplomatic immunity. He was a private individual and now he's waived that privacy."

Epstein was first imprisoned for sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy in 2008 and was re-arrested on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019. He was found dead in his cell in New York's high-security Metropolitan Correctional Center in August as he awaited trial. Authorities ruled his death a suicide.

kw/mm (AP, dpa, Reuters)

If you are suffering from serious emotional strain or suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to seek professional help. You can find information on where to find such help, no matter where you live in the world, at this website: www.befrienders.org 

DW sends out a daily selection of the day's news and features. Sign up here.

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Jogger runs by US Capitol
Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage