From claiming allegations he’s had sex with a teenage girl in 2010 were inaccurate because he’d been in a Pizza Express in Woking, to suggesting he was unable to sweat because of an “overdose of adrenaline” during the Falklands War, Prince Andrew’s televised interview about his association with Jeffrey Epstein left viewers across the UK astounded.
In a sensational “no holds barred” and “no questions vetted” interview, filmed at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, the prince was confronted BBC’s Emily Maitlis with a number of allegations made against him.
Prince Andrew’s association with Epstein had been widely scrutinised in the past, however returned to the fore after Epstein died whilst in custody in August.
The Duke of York had been pictured at the disgraced financiers home, and one of the 16 women who said they had been abused by Epstein, Virginia Giuffre (formerly Virginia Roberts), has previously claimed in court that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.
Giuffre claimed that she first met Andrew in 2001, when she dined with him and went on to the exclusive Tramp Nightclub where he danced with her and bought her drinks, before having sex with her at the Belgravia house owned by Epstein’s former partner Ghislaine Maxwell.
Her allegations were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were “immaterial and impertinent”.
In a preview of the interview, released on Friday, Andrew was shown claiming that he had “no recollection” of meeting Giuffre and said he had “let the side down” by continuing his association with Epstein after the 66-year-old’s release from an 18-month prison term in 2010 for prostituting minors.
Here are five claims the prince made during the interview:
1. He’s “convinced” he didn’t meet Giuffre in London in March 2001, because he was at a Pizza Express in Woking
When asked about the specific date that, according to Giuffre, he had allegedly had sex with her when she was 17 – March 10, 2001 – he provided an alibi, claiming he was at a Pizza Express in Woking.
He told Maitlis he was “convinced” he hadn’t been at the Tramp Nightclub with Giuffre in March 2001, having taken his daughter Beatrice to the pizza restaurant for a party that afternoon.
Andrew said: “I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon. And then because the duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there.”
In a particularly surreal moment in the interview, Andrew went on to explain why the trip to Woking had been particularly memorable – stating that “going to a Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing to do, a very unusual thing to do.
“I’ve never been…I’ve only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly,” he added.
2. Giuffre’s claims he had been sweating profusely were flawed because in 2001 he was medically unable to sweat after an “overdose of adrenaline” during the Falklands War.
Just moments after the Pizza Express revelation, when pressed on specific details of Giuffre’s account – which include him sweating profusely during the night in question – Andrew claimed that there was a “problem” with her account as at the time he had a medical condition which meant he could not sweat.
He said that in 2001 he was unable to sweat because of what had been described as an “overdose of adrenaline” after allegedly being shot at during the Falklands War.
He said: “I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time and that was…was it… yes, I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of Adrenalin in the Falkland’s War when I was shot at and I simply…it was almost impossible for me to sweat.
“And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.”
3. The photo of him and Giuffre allegedly taken in London could have been faked – because he’d “never” seen Epstein holding a camera, doesn’t do “public displays of affection”, and was wearing his “travelling clothes”.
When asked about the now-infamous photo of himself with his arm around Giuffre’s waist, allegedly taken at Maxwell’s London home, Andrew claimed to have a number of explanations as to why the photograph may not show the whole picture.
Previously, unnamed sources who claimed to be close to Andrew had suggested publicly that the picture may have been faked – a possibility that Andrew himself did not deny.
He said: “From the investigations we’ve done, you can’t prove whether that photo is faked or not because it is a photograph of a photograph of a photograph.
“So it’s very difficult to be able to prove it, but I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken.”
He also said there was a “problem” with claims the photograph was taken by Epstein himself, as he “had never seen Epstein with a camera in my life”.
Thirdly, he questioned claims that the picture had been taken in London, as he wasn’t wearing his usual suit and tie – instead saying that the clothes he was wearing were his “travelling clothes”.
“I don’t believe that’s a picture of me in London,” he explained, “because when I go out in London I wear a suit and tie.
“Those are my travelling clothes if I’m going overseas.
“I’ve got plenty of photographs of me dressed in that sort of kit, but not there.”
He also said th at he was not the type of person to do “public displays of affection”, adding “If I, as a member of the royal family, and I have a photograph taken and I take very, very few photographs, I am not one to, as it were, hug, and public displays of affection are not something that I do.
“So that’s the best explanation I can give you and I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.”
4. He wasn’t a “guest of honour” at a party celebrating Epstein’s release from prison in 2010, and was doing “a number of other things”.
The duke told Maitlis he stayed at the property in New York for four days in 2010 because he was “doing a number of other things” and denied he was “guest of honour” at a party celebrating Epstein’s release.
He added he was “not that close” with Epstein and that he only stayed at his house “because of his girlfriend” Maxwell, however explained that he felt he “had to go and see” Epstein, and “had to talk” with him.
Andrew said: “2010 was it, that was it because I went…well first of all I wanted to make sure that if I was going to go and see him, I had to make sure that there was enough time between his release because it wasn’t something that I was going into in a hurry but I had to go and see him, I had to go and see him, I had to talk.”
5. He would speak about the allegations under oath in the “right circumstances”.
Andrew said he would consider speaking on the matter “under oath” if it were in the “right circumstances”, and that doing do would bring him “just as much closure... as there is for everybody else.”
He told Maitlis: “In the right circumstances, yes I would because I think there’s just as much closure for me as there is for everybody else and undoubtedly some very strange and unpleasant activities have been going on.
“I’m afraid to say that I’m not the person who can shed light on it for a number of reasons, one of which is that I wasn’t there long enough.”
He added: “I’m like everybody else and I will have to take all the legal advice that there was before I was to do that sort of thing. But if push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.”