Despite denial after denial, Prince Andrew just can’t quite manage to slither his way out of the Jeffrey Epstein story—because Virginia Roberts Giuffre refuses to go away quietly.
The Daily Beast reported that on a Friday night Dateline NBC special on Jeffrey Epstein, accuser Giuffre “will allege that she was forced to have sex with Andrew and other powerful men in Epstein’s orbit in her first on-camera interview.” More details:
NBC says that the special, titled “Reckoning,” airing Friday, Sept. 20 at 10pm EST, includes interviews by Savannah Guthrie with several other young women who describe “the elaborate and highly organized operation that enabled Epstein to abuse young girls for many years.”
NBC Nightly News and Today aired previews of the special; Giuffre told Guthrie, “He was an abuser, he was a participant.” She continued: “That first time in London—I was so young. Ghislane woke me up in the morning and said, ‘You’re going to meet a prince today.’ I didn’t know at that point that I was going to be trafficked to that prince.”
Prince Andrew managed to sail through the initial accusations in 2015 and his longstanding relationship with Epstein, but it’s proving trickier this time. Vanity Fair reported that Andrew is laying low, and several of his events on an upcoming trip to Northern Ireland have been canceled, at least one of them because the hosts uninvited him:
Andrew has made few public appearances since the Epstein scandal resurfaced, and has only attended one official royal event, aboard a yacht at the Dartmouth Royal Regatta last Friday. August was an easy time to lay low, given that most of the royal family takes vacation. With everyone back to work, though, Andrew seems to still be keeping a low profile. On Tuesday, Sky News reported that multiple events on the prince’s upcoming trip to Northern Ireland have been canceled.
According to the outlet, Andrew was supposed to appear at a ceremony to open a train station in Portrush after an extensive renovation, but the hosts rescinded the invitation. One expressed worry that Andrew’s presence would “change the narrative” around the event. Other events were also canceled, but their locations were not made public.
Like they haven’t got enough to worry about in Northern Ireland right now.
The question is whether Andrew can just wait this out—or if the palace will be forced to take some action either publicly or behind the scenes to basically put him into mothballs. Hard to imagine a more convenient excuse if you were looking to streamline the monarchy, though.