Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Roberts has given her first interview in the UK as part of a special hour-long Panorama on Monday evening. In the documentary, entitled The Prince and the Epstein Scandal, Virginia gives her account of how she was first introduced to the royal, and claims that they slept together after meeting in Tramps nightclub in London. In response, Buckingham Palace have responded, denying Virginia's claims. A statement released on Monday evening read: "It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."
Buckingham Palace have denied Virginia Roberts' allegations
Watch Virginia Roberts talk about Prince Andrew in Panorama interview
The palace also spoke out about the Duke of York's association with Jeffrey Epstein, stating: "The Duke of York unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein’s suicide left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims. The Duke deeply sympathises with those affected who want some form of closure. It is his hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. The Duke is willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required. The Duke has already stated that he did not see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and conviction. He deplores the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour."
Virginia Roberts has spoken out to a UK media outlet for the first time
Virginia's interview comes after Andrew spoke about his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein during a BBC Newsnight interview last month. Speaking at Buckingham Palace, the Queen's son "categorically" denied having any sexual contact with Ms Giuffre, one of Jeffrey's accusers, who was aged 17 at the time. The royal told Emily Maitlis: "It didn't happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."
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Andrew gave his side of events during an interview with Newsnight last month
Virginia's alleged encounter with the Duke is said to have taken place in 2001 at Tramps nightclub. In her interview, she said: "We went into the VIP section. There was no waiting in the lines obviously - you were with a Prince. Andrew asked me what I wanted to drink, you know, and I said oh, you know, something from the bar. He had something clear. I know mine was vodka and then he asked me to dance." In the Newsnight interview, Prince Andrew said the alleged encounter did not happen, adding: "I was with the children and I'd taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose, sort of, four or five in the afternoon."
MORE: What Virginia Roberts and Prince Andrew have said about their meetings
The Duke has since stepped back from his royal duties, saying in a statement: "It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support. Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.
"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."
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