Accuser’s interview puts prince to shame
VIRGINIA GIUFFRE’S EMOTIONAL RECOLLECTION OF EVENTS COULDN’T HAVE BEEN MORE DIFFERENT TO ANDREW’S CAR-CRASH TV APPEARANCE
VIRGINIA GIUFFRE’S first UK television interview, aired in an hour-long special on the BBC this week, could not have been more different to Prince Andrew’s.
The American, who claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York by her paedophile boss Jeffrey Epstein, decorously called “BS” on the royal’s denials that they never even met.
In his appearance on Newsnight three weeks ago, watched with interest by the FBI and lawyers in the US, Prince Andrew claimed his longstanding relationship with the late paedophile and sex trafficker was an innocent friendship.
He spoke of the times he enjoyed with Epstein attending royal palaces together while back in the States, indulging in his pal’s hospitality at dinner parties with intellectuals and politicians.
The Duke was sorry for one thing, though. Not for his decades’ long relationship with Epstein, and not for accidentally overlooking a sex trafficking ring led by his billionaire pal. No, the Duke was sorry for acting in a way that was “unbecoming” of the royal family.
Like an old-school bobby at the scene of the crime, Prince Andrew tried to tell the public there was nothing to see here.
But clearly, the royal had not bargained on the BBC speaking to his accuser. And in doing so, Auntie, bit-by-bit, appeared to take his version of events apart.
The programme opened with a clip of Giuffre saying: “He knows what happened. I know what happened. There’s only one of us telling the truth. And I know that it’s me.”
There was nothing dramatic about Panorama’s The Prince and the Epstein Scandal, nor were there any bombshell revelations. But from the outset, the programme framed the story as an exploration of “the prince’s friendship with a prolific sex offender”.
He knows what happened. I know what happened. There’s only one of us telling the truth. And I know that it’s me Virginia Giuffre
Watching Giuffre tearfully recall her claims of abuse, she managed to be everything Prince Andrew wasn’t. Filled with emotion, it was difficult to feel anything but empathy for her.
The Prince, on the other hand, showed none – not to her or to Epstein’s countless other victims too.
While she admitted to her failings and that she could not recall exact times and dates from 18 years ago, Prince Andrew said he remembered being home the night she alleges they had sex when she was aged 17 – claiming he had taken his daughter to a Pizza Express party in Woking.
Above all, where the duke was evasive, she was direct. If his now famous car-crash interview with the
BBC’s Emily Maitlis left many feeling he was devoid of a conscience, full of entitlement and self-importance, Panorama painted Giuffre as a victim fully aware of the weight of her accusations.
Her time with Epstein left her with nothing. Her childhood and her innocence stolen. There is nothing more her abuser could have taken from her.
Giuffre’s interview did not break new ground in the allegations against the duke, which are contained in legal documents.
But it put a very real face to the woman who has accused a member of the royal family of having sex with her when she was a teen who had been trafficked.
The duke denies the allegations, saying he has no recollection of ever having met Giuffre.
Panorama revealed that five more women want Prince Andrew to testify to what he saw when staying with Epstein, and the prince told the BBC that he’d be happy to help law enforcement.
If only Scotland Yard would take him up on that, it would be better for all those concerned.
Until then, the court of public opinion continues to make an ironclad case for Andrew’s exile.
The Duke of York’s accuser Virginia Giuffre speaking on BBC’s Panorama
Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein