Afaq News :
The Duke of York has said he “let the side down” by staying at the home of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, adding it was the “wrong thing to do”.
Answering questions about his links to Epstein for the first time, Prince Andrew said his stay was not “becoming of a member of the Royal Family”.
The prince spoke to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in an interview recorded at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
It will be broadcast on BBC Two at 21:00 GMT on Saturday.
Prince Andrew, who is the Queen’s third child, has been facing questions for several months over his ties to Epstein, a 66-year-old American financier who took his own life while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
In 2010, the prince was photographed walking with Epstein in New York’s Central Park – two years after Epstein’s first conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Footage published by the Mail on Sunday showed the prince in Epstein’s Manhattan mansion at about the same time.
Addressing his decision to stay with Epstein following the American’s first conviction, Prince Andrew said: “That’s the bit that… as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal Family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”
Challenged on his decision to stay at the home of a convicted sex offender, the prince said: “It was a convenient place to stay.
“I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.
“But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.”
In 2015, Prince Andrew was named in court papers as part of a US civil case against Epstein.
One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre – said she was forced to have sex with the prince three times between 1999 – when she was 17 – and 2002, in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.
At the time she was under-age according to Florida state law.
In the BBC interview, Emily Maitlis asks the prince about Ms Giuffre’s claims that in 2001, she had dined with him, danced with him at a nightclub, and went on to have sex with him at the house of a friend of the prince in Belgravia, central London.
The prince replied: “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
When asked once more whether he remembered meeting Ms Giuffre, the prince said: “No.”