Prince Andrew has finally broken his silence on his controversial friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in a prime time BBC special to be shown tomorrow evening after six months of planning.
The Duke of York was interviewed by Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis at Buckingham Palace last night and the show: ‘Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal’ will be broadcast on BBC 2 at 9pm on Saturday.
The BBC has not released any footage – but Ms Maitlis said today it was a ‘no holds barred interview’ with ‘no questions vetted’ by Andrew or palace officials, who were pondering taking part since May, it emerged today.
It is believed the Queen will have given her blessing for the interview to go ahead inside the walls of Buckingham Palace.
It is the first time the duke has been grilled on his friendship with the American sexual abuser found dead in his New York prison cell three months ago while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking.
He will also be confronted with allegations made by Epstein’s ‘slave’ Virginia Roberts that she was flown to London on Epstein’s private jet, nicknamed the ‘Lolita Express’, for sex with the prince who she has called ‘an abuser’.
Andrew has ‘vehemently denied’ claims he slept with Virginia three times – including once during an orgy with nine women on Epstein’s private ‘paedo island’ in the US Virgin Islands – but only ever in pre-prepared statements released by Buckingham Palace’s press office, never in a TV interview.
Some critics said today that instead of talking to the BBC, Andrew should be helping the police with their inquiries into Epstein’s crimes.