The Duke of York is a “toad” and “not a prince”, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims said yesterday after it was reported that he regrets his failure to apologise in his Newsnight interview.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke on three occasions when she was 17, was responding to an article which claims Prince Andrew now “regrets” not showing sympathy to Epstein’s victims.
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She tweeted: “Oh the gull of this toad – he regrets the BBC interview but not his ‘friendship’ with Epstein because it gave him ‘great contacts’ and much more. This man is not a prince but a facet of insidiousness who has proven to get away with it all”.
Roberts Giuffre featured in a Netflix documentary, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, in which she warned the late financier’s alleged associates, “you took our freedom, now we’re going to take yours”.
A source close to the Duke told the Sunday Times: “I don’t think he regrets the intention behind the interview, which was to clear the air for his family, the royal family and the institution. But the fact he was unable to appropriately or sufficiently convey his sympathy for the victims of Epstein, is of course a source of regret.”
Prince Andrew has also reportedly decided not to cooperate with the investigation into Epstein unless US authorities offer him an “olive branch”. It follows a statement by the Duke’s lawyers last week that he had been treated “by a lower standard” than an ordinary citizen, as they hit back at accusations he has offered “zero cooperation”.
The Duke, 60, denies having sex with Roberts Giuffre and has consistently said he has no recollection of meeting her. He insists he knew nothing of Epstein’s activities.
Prince Andrew’s admission of regret relates to his now-infamous television interview with Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis last November. At the time, it was reported that he had told the Queen it was “a great success”.
He “stepped back” from public duties shortly after the Newsnight programme. In a statement issued by Buckingham Palace at the time, he said: “Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
The Duke’s legal team is currently engaged in a war of words with the New York lawyer leading the Epstein investigation, over the claim that the royal has “repeatedly declined” the FBI’s requests for an interview.
US attorney Geoffrey Berman has accused Prince Andrew of “falsely portraying himself to the public as eager and willing to co-operate” but the Duke has said it was “entirely misleading” to say he had offered “zero co-operation”.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has made a request to the Home Office for help to question the Queen’s son as a witness for their investigation into Epstein, however the Duke’s legal team issued a statement accusing the DoJ of “breaching their own confidentiality rules”, insisting he had “offered his assistance as a witness to the DoJ” at least three times this year.
A source close to the Duke told The Sunday Times: “The duke is not going any further in the co-operation process until the DoJ [US Department of Justice] begin to behave honourably … unless they have given him some signal acknowledging there has been a significant breach of trust, and offering some kind of olive branch to rebuild trust.
“I don’t think there’s a legal team on the planet that would encourage any client to co-operate with a judicial authority that has been demonstrably leaking confidential information. The ball is now firmly in the DoJ’s court.”
The Queen is thought to be privately supportive of Andrew and was photographed horse riding with the Duke shortly after he withdrew from public life. However, she is understood to be resigned to her son’s permanent removal from public life.
Yet a source close to the Duke said: “It is still his intention to resume a public role. He knows he has to resolve the noise around the matter. The duke sees the situation now as a working sabbatical from his duties. He’s very conscious of the impact it’s had on the reputation of the royal family, his own family and the country.”