Prince Andrew interview: Duke of York questions whether photograph with accuser is ‘doctored’

The Independent 3 weeks ago

The Duke of York has questioned the validity of a photograph showing him with his arm around a teenage girl who claims she was forced to have sex with him in 2001.

The photograph shows Andrew with Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, inside what is said to be the house of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in Belgravia, London.

The duke said he has “no recollection” of meeting her and cast doubt on the picture, claiming he is “not one to hug” or “display affection” in public.

Ms Giuffre is one of 16 women who say they were abused by paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and she has previously claimed in court she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Andrew said while he recognises himself in the picture with Ms Giuffre, he claimed it is not possible to prove whether the image had been faked. 

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He also claimed the picture could not have been taken in London as he was in his “travelling clothes”.

He said: “I don't believe it's a picture of me in London because when I would out to... When I go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie.

“That's what I would describe as... those are my travelling clothes if I'm going to go... If I'm going overseas.”

Asked by presenter Emily Maitlis if the picture had been faked, Andrew said: “Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don't recollect that photograph ever being taken.”

He denied remembering having his arm around Ms Giuffre's waist, adding: “I'm terribly sorry but 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.”

Andrew made the comments during an interview about his links to paedophile Epstein, who was found dead in his New York prison cell earlier this year as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

Press Association

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