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If royals threatened to withhold interviews with Prince William and Kate Middleton, it wouldn’t be the first time they have been accused of trying to protect Andrew in the Epstein scandal.
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ABC News is facing difficult questions Tuesday over anchor Amy Robach’s hot mic complaints that the network killed her investigative story about Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged trafficking of underaged “sex slaves” and his circle of rich and powerful friends, including Prince Andrew.
But ABC is not the only institution that’s been embarrassed by the leaked video clip of Robach, which was released by the right-wing group Project Veritas.
The British royal family will once again face questions and backlash over Andrew’s decade-long association with Epstein. That’s because Robach said “the palace” — presumably Buckingham Palace — put pressure on the network to suppress the story.
Robach said the story was to include a 2015 interview with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged “sex slaves.” Giuffre, 35, has claimed in a lawsuit and in interviews that she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times in 2001 when she was 17.
Robach said the palace threatened to deny the network interviews with star royals, like Prince William and Kate Middleton, if it aired her report.
“I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts … we would not put it on the air,” Robach said on camera. “First of all, I was told ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein?’ … Then the palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways.”
“We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will that this also quashed the story,” Robach continued. She added that attorney Alan Dershowitz also pressured ABC to kill the story.
On Tuesday, ABC scrambled to address Robach’s complaints. The video was recorded in late August in the network’s Times Square studio,. Project Veritas said the video came from “an ABC insider.”
In a statement to the Associated Press, ABC said it did not air Giuffre’s interview three years ago because it did not meet the network’s standards and because it lacked sufficient corroborating evidence. But ABC insisted that the network “never stopped investigating the story” and is preparing a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast on Epstein to air in the new year.
Robach, who co-anchors “20/20” and reports for “Good Morning America,” attempted to walk back from her on-camera complaints. In a statement, she said she was “caught in a private moment of frustration” because her story never aired. She agreed that the story didn’t meet the network’s standards in 2015.
“The interview itself, while I was disappointed it didn’t air, didn’t meet our standards,” Robach said in her statement. “In the years since no one ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story.”
But in the video, Robach expressed confidence that the network had corroborating evidence. She also was visibly exasperated as she said, “I tried for three years to get (the interview) on to no avail and now it’s coming out and it’s like these ‘new revelations’ and I freaking had all of it.”
Robach is likely referring to revelations that have emerged since Epstein’s Aug. 10 death in a Manhattan jail where he was being held on new sex trafficking allegations.
The New York City Medical Examiner has ruled Epstein’s death a suicide and has rejected a statement last week by a former New York City medical examiner that findings in Epstein’s autopsy were “more consistent” with homicide. In the video, Robach expressed confidence that Epstein’s death was a murder, not a suicide.
The controversy over Epstein’s death inspired the hashtags #EpsteinSuicideCoverUp and #EpsteinCoverup, the latter of which Project Veritas promoted in its Tuesday tweets about the Robach clip.
According to the Associated Press, Project Veritas is known for its efforts to try and embarrass mainstream media outlets, often sending undercover reporters to catch employees making statements that display an anti-conservative bent.
But AP noted that it needed no such help with the Robach video, which also raised comparisons to reporter Ronan Farrow’s accusations that NBC News discouraged his reporting on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. After Farrow took his story to the New Yorker magazine, the Weinstein revelations helped spark the #MeToo movement.
In an interview in August, Giuffre talked about her 2015 interview with ABC and expressed confusion about it never aired. NPR reported that ABC never explained its editorial reasons for not airing the interview.
“I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game changer,” she said. “Appearing on ABC with its wide viewership would have been the first time for me to speak out against the government for basically looking the other way and to describe the anger and betrayal victims felt.”
The release of the video clip comes as Andrew, 59, has faced intensified scrutiny over his friendship with Epstein. David Boies, an attorney representing Guiffre, told Vanity Fair in July that the royal family her allegations against Andrew, who is said to be the queen’s favorite son.
Vanity Fair also reported that Andrew’s situation could have been a factor in the lenient plea deal and 13-month jail sentence Epstein received in 2008, when he originally was charged with sexual abuse of minors.
There is speculation that the deal, crafted by former federal prosecutor Alex Acosta (who resigned as Donald Trump’s labor secretary) was at least in part designed to help protect Andrew, Vanity Fair said. According to one theory, George W. Bush’s White House directed Acosta not to prosecute Epstein to protect Andrew on behalf of the British government, then the U.S.’s closest ally in the Iraq war.
Andrew and Buckingham Palace have repeatedly denied he had sex with Guiffre or that he knew of Epstein’s illegal activities.
Buckingham palace also declined to directly address claims Robach made in the video about the royal family putting pressure on ABC. In , a spokesperson only said, “This is a matter for ABC.”
Buckingham Palace also has tried to downplay his friendship with Epstein, which Andrew said ended in 2010 when he last visited Epstein at his Manhattan mansion.
During that , Andrew and Epstein were photographed walking together in Central Park. Reports also say the prince enjoyed the financier’s lavish hospitality, including an intimate dinner party thrown in his honor with such media celebrities as ABC TV anchor George Stephanopoulos, as well as Katie Couric and Charlie Rose. Comedian Chelsea Handler and
Documentary: Prince Andrew Took Part in Jeffrey Epstein’s Orgy with Nine Underage Girls
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
21 Oct 2019
A documentary that aired in the United Kingdom on Monday includes claims that Prince Andrew and the now-dead sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein took part in an orgy with nine underage girls on Epstein’s private-island estate.
The New York Post reported on the latest Epstein-related scandal to hit the royal family:
While the royal long dubbed “Randy Andy” has strenuously denied being involved in his friend’s sex ring, the salacious details already leaking from “The Prince and the Pedophile” have only intensified the spotlight on the friendship that Andrew has admitted was a “mistake and an error.”
The special by Channel 4’s “Dispatches” is taking a deep dive into the pair’s close ties — including the claims in 2015 court papers that they had group sex on Epstein’s so-called “orgy island” of Little St James, according to the Times of London.
“The third time I had sex with Andy was in an orgy on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. I was around 18 at the time,” longtime accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre wrote in the Florida court docs.
“Epstein, Andy, approximately eight other young girls and I had sex together,” Giuffre said in the Post article. “The other girls all seemed and appeared to be under the age of 18 and didn’t really speak English.”
“Epstein laughed about the fact they couldn’t really communicate, saying that they are the ‘easiest’ girls to get along with,” Giuffre said.
“‘Dispatches’ will prove Andrew met Epstein at least 10 times during their 12-year friendship and the royal sometimes stayed with him for several days, according to the Times,” the Post reported.
Epstein, who committed suicide last summer in a Manhattan jail cell, saw Prince Andrew as his most valuable “trophy” of the high-profile people he liked “collecting,” socialite Lady Victoria Hervey said in the documentary titled, “The Prince and the Pedophile.”
The Times is cited as the source in the Post report on “Dispatches” obtaining Giuffre’s medical records that confirm her abuse claims, including vaginal bleeding that lasted for weeks.
“Without going into the details of the sexual activities I was forced to endure, there were times when I was physically abused to the point that I remember fearfully thinking that I didn’t know whether I was going to survive,” Giuffre wrote in a legal statement from 2015, according to the Times.
“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction,” Prince Andrew has said.
“Buckingham Palace has also said that ‘any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue,’” the Post reported.
Jeffrey Epstein 'tried to SUE Sarah Ferguson for calling him a paedophile' as she scrambled to cope with the fallout over £15K gift from ex-husband Prince Andrew's former friend to help clear her debts
· The Duchess of York was threatened with legal action by Jeffrey Epstein
· It came after she publicly called him a pedophile it has been claimed
· She made the statement in an interview after it emerged she had accepted £15,000 from her ex-husband's former friend to help clear a personal debt
The Duchess of York was threatened with legal action by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein after she publicly called him a paedophile, it has been claimed.
Sarah Ferguson made the statement in a 2011 interview after it emerged she had accepted £15,000 from her ex-husband's former friend to help clear a personal debt.
Epstein had given the money to one of Fergie's assistants at the request of Prince Andrew.
But the payment, which came after Epstein's release from prison over child sex offences, caused a furore when it became public.
Sarah Ferguson (pictured) made the statement in a 2011 interview after it emerged she had accepted £15,000 from her ex-husband's former friend to help clear a personal debt
The duchess subsequently accepted she had made a 'gigantic error of judgement' and offered a 'heartfelt' apology.
Speaking to the Evening Standard she said: 'I deeply regret Jeffrey Epstein became involved in any way with me. I abhor paedophilia and any sexual abuse of children and know that this was a gigantic error of judgment on my behalf.
'I am just so contrite I cannot say. Whenever I can I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again. What he did was wrong and for which he was rightly jailed.'
According to sources, Epstein – clearly in denial about the scale of his crimes – was incensed by her suggestion he was a paedophile.
The billionaire was convicted in 2008 of procuring an under-age girl for prostitution and served 13 months in jail.
The billionaire (pictured) was convicted in 2008 of procuring an under-age girl for prostitution and served 13 months in jail
He was facing numerous further charges of sex-trafficking earlier this year when he killed himself in his cell in New York.
In 2011 it is understood Epstein hired an unnamed firm of lawyers to sue the duchess, unless she retracted her media statement.
At the same time he took on the services of crisis management PR firm Sitrick & Co to deal with the scandal over his friendship with Andrew, who was infamously photographed with the shamed billionaire following his release from prison.
The firm, which confirms it provided 'consulting advice and public relations services concerning Epstein's relationship with Prince Andrew', advised him how to handle the media storm.
As a result of the outcry, the Queen's son was forced to publicly apologise and lost his job as a roving UK trade ambassador. In 2014 Sitrick sued Epstein for £65,000 in unpaid fees relating to their services.
In recently re-surfaced court papers, which meticulously chart what the PR firm did on Epstein's behalf, it includes a reference on March 15, 2011 to 'work on statement for Fergie'. Two days later, on March 17, 2011, it adds 'revise suggested statement for Fergie'.
A source close to the duchess said yesterday that the 'for Fergie' reference relates to a statement drafted for Epstein which he was trying to get her to release.
The source added: 'Epstein tried to force the duchess to release a statement retracting her suggestion that he was a paedophile which he had drafted by his PR firm.
'Epstein was very unpleasant and very aggressive. She stuck to her guns despite the pressure being put on her and refused to comply.'
Eventually Epstein halted his threat of legal action.
Virginia Roberts photographed with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in early 2001. Virginia Roberts has accused Andrew of having sexual relations with her when she was under-age, something Buckingham Palace and the prince have strenuously denied
Virginia Roberts on Prince Andrew: He knows what he did
Since his death, which led to all criminal charges being dropped, several of his alleged victims are now suing his estate for damages.
They include Virginia Roberts, who has also accused Andrew of having sexual relations with her when she was under-age, something Buckingham Palace and the prince have strenuously denied.
Andrew has also tried to distance himself from Epstein's activities, saying in a statement last month: 'At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to (Epstein's) arrest and conviction.'
'Sex slave' Virginia Roberts 'went to hospital with internal bleeding following Jeffrey Epstein orgies' - as she claims paedophile 'graded' her performance after she slept with Prince Andrew
· New documentary airs claims Virginia Roberts had sex with Andrew after photo
· She said in a court document that she felt 'graded' by Epstein after the meeting
· Programme also unearthed medical records that appear to support abuse claims
Medical records show Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victim Virginia Roberts was admitted to hospital in New York at the time she says she was suffering regular sexual abuse.
The evidence against Epstein - and details of his friendship with British royal Prince Andrew - was set out in a Channel 4 documentary last night.
It re-examined Virginia Roberts's court evidence from 2015 in which she told how she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with his many friends.
As part of that activity, she alleges, she had sex with Prince Andrew three times; the first time in London in 2001, the second time in New York and the third in an orgy in the US Virgin Islands.
According to Channel 4's Dispatches programme, The Prince And the Paedophile, Mrs Roberts later feared for her life due to the amount of sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Epstein and his associates.
The programme obtained medical records from a New York hospital that shows that Ms Roberts, suffered three weeks of vaginal bleeding from the 9th of July 2001.
Virginia Roberts alleges that Prince Andrew had sex with her
According to court documents, Ms Roberts was brought to London by Epstein in March 2001, when she was 17, and met the Prince at a house in Belgravia.
Ms Roberts said she was excited to meet a real Prince and wanted a picture taken of her and Andrew together to send back to her family back in the United States.
So she handed her own camera to Epstein, who took the widely published photo of Andrew with his hand around her.
She alleges that moments after the photo was taken, she and the Prince went into a bedroom and bathroom, where they had sex.
The accuser claims she later felt like she was being 'graded' on her performance by the disgraced paedophile financier, who told her: 'You did well, the Prince had fun.'
The programme cites a court deposition made in January 2015 as part of a defamation case brought by Epstein's former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
In it, Ms Roberts claimed she had sex with Prince Andrew three times, the first at the house in Belgravia, a second time at Epstein's house in Manhattan and the third time in an 'orgy on Epstein's private island in the US Virgin Islands'.
Referring to the third time, Ms Roberts said she was 18 at the time and that the Prince, Epstein and 'approximately eight other young girls, and I had sex together'.
She said Epstein had joked that the girls couldn't communicate well due to a language barrier and that he said they were the 'easiest' girls to get along with.
Prince Andrew has vehemently denied her claims and Ms Roberts' evidence was thrown out by a court in May 2015.
Earlier this year Buckingham Palace said: 'Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.' and 'It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.'
Prince Andrew said of Epstein: 'At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.'
The documentary also unearthed claims that Epstein had '13 contact numbers for Prince Andrew' in an address book.
Discovered at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, the address book was found to have contact details for several of the Duke of York's residences, including Buckingham Palace.
Virginia Roberts 'went hospital with internal bleeding after orgies'
British socialite Lady Victoria Hervey told Dispatches that Epstein, who killed himself in prison, was 'addicted to collecting people' such as the royal.
'Andrew was kind of like newly single... And he meets this charismatic man – Jeffrey collected people. He was almost addicted to collecting important people.
'He liked to impress people. So, the British Royal Family, can you imagine? This was his biggest kind of trophy.'
Andrew says he first met Epstein in 1999, around the same time he had a brief romance with Lady Victoria.
An unnamed friend of Epstein told the programme the prince's friendship with the American after his 2009 conviction for having sex with underage girls was 'more than a lack of judgment' and showed hubris.
The friend added: 'You begin to believe you can't be damaged. You're beyond being damaged. The little people out there can't touch you.'
He said he warned Epstein against having the prince visit him in New York in 2010 following his spell in prison for sex offences. He claims he told Epstein: 'They will attack Prince Andrew for being your friend, and each of you will lose... And I remember him saying: 'No one will know'.'
The warnings proved correct and the pair were photographed together in Central Park. Andrew admits he knew Epstein for 12 years but has strongly denied any inappropriate behaviour with underage girls.
Dai Davis, who was in charge of royal protection for the Metropolitan Police in the 1990s, said he was 'mystified' as to why Scotland Yard did not investigate.
Epstein hanged himself in August in prison in New York while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.