- Prince Andrew’s press advisor reportedly quit two weeks before his sit-down interview with the BBC.
- He urged the Duke of York to not do the interview with BBC Newsnight, which was aired on Saturday, over fears that it could backfire.
- In the interview, BBC presenter Emily Maitlis grilled the Prince on his links to disgraced financier, Jeffrey Epstein, and the allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old in 2001.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Prince Andrew’s chief spin doctor reportedly quit his role just two weeks before the Duke of York’s sit-down interview with the BBC, after strongly advising him against doing the interview.
Jason Stein left by mutual consent just four weeks into his role as the Prince’s press advisor, The Times newspaper reports.
On Saturday night, BBC’s Newsnight programme aired a lengthy interview with Prince Andrew, in which presenter Emily Maitlis questioned the Queen’s son about his links to convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.
Stein – who used to work for ex-UK government minister, Amber Rudd – rowed with the Prince’s private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, who was advising him to accept the BBC’s offer of an interview, The Times report adds.
Aides to the Queen and Prince’s Andrew brother, Prince Charles, were reportedly alarmed by his decision to accept the interview.
“This will go down as one of the single worst PR moves in recent history,” a source close to Buckingham Palace told the newspaper.
The interview was aired at 21:00 UK time on Saturday. It came as the Prince tries to rebuild his reputation following damaging revelations about his relationship with Epstein.
In the interview, he faced a number of questions relating to his decision to stay in Epstein’s Manhattan home 18 months after the financier completed a prison sentence for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
He also suggested that the photograph (below) showing him with his hand on the waist of Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre, then Virginia Robertson, was not authentic.
Giuffre alleged that in 2001, when she was 17-years-old, she dined with the Prince in London, and together they went to a nightclub in the English capital called Tramp, before having sex.
The Prince said this “didn’t happen” and that “there are a number of things that are wrong with that story.”
He disputed Giuffre’s suggestion that he was “sweating” profusely on the night in question, claiming he had a medical condition which means he sweats less than the average person.
The Prince also claimed that he visited a Pizza Express in Woking, an English town around thirty miles from London, on the day Giuffre alleges she had sex with him in London.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.