Sarah Ferguson has spoken about the impact the Duke of York's association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has had on her family, calling it "incredibly difficult." In an interview with Vogue Arabia, the 60-year-old opened up about her former husband Prince Andrew and their daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
When asked about mental healthcare in the UAE, Sarah said: "When I talk about Prince Andrew, I talk about family because the last six months have been hard on the girls and me. To see such a wonderful man go through such enormous pain. He is the best man I know. It’s just incredible what he has done for Britain, and it’s all nonsense [her voice raises as she alludes to the Epstein scandal], so I talk about familyhood, and I’m very strong about it. The mental health of men is important and I think it is vital to articulate that more."
READ: Sarah Ferguson admits she relates to Meghan Markle and has 'been in her shoes' before
Sarah with daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Andrew
Before Prince Andrew's BBC Newsnight interview aired last month, Sarah shared an emotional message in support, describing him as a "true and real gentleman." Following criticism from the interview he gave, the Queen's second son announced in a statement that he would be stepping down from royal duties.
Prince Andrew said: "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."
GALLERY: Inside Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's home, Royal Lodge Windsor
Prince Andrew and Sarah on their wedding day
Sarah married Prince Andrew in 1986 and despite divorcing in 1996, the pair have remained friends. During her interview with Vogue Arabia, Sarah also gave her support to the Duchess of Sussex, saying: "I tend not to give advice because it is taken out of context, but I have been in Meghan's shoes, and I still am. There's always a twist of negativity and it just gets so sad and tiring; it's hard and mean. I abhor bullying and I feel desperately sorry for the pain they must be going through because I've been through it."
Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.