Update: As the Epstein interview scandal spreads, SkyNews reports that Prince Andrew's PR advisor Jason Stein has now resigned:
Sky News confirms Prince Andrew's PR adviser Jason Stein resigned over the Duke's decision to agree to the interview with the BBC— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) November 17, 2019
Meanwhile, as Bloomberg notes, "Prince Andrew’s attempt to explain away his friendship with pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein in a high-profile TV interview degenerated into a farce that threatens to be the British royal family’s biggest public relations disaster since its handling of the death of Princess Diana in 1997."
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Last night, televisions showed the perfectly state-managed scene of Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, sitting down BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis conducting an interview recorded at Buckingham Palace this past Thursday.
In it, as 21stCenturyWire.com reports, the Duke admits that he “let the side down” by maintaining a friendship with jet-setting billionaire and convicted serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In a grand mea culpa, Andrew concedes that it was not “becoming of a member of the Royal Family.”
But far from repairing the PR damage done to Britain’s Royal Family, his move may have been a ‘catastrophic’ own-goal by his Palace handlers.
When asked why he stayed at the Epstein mansion after knowing he was already branded a convicted offender, the Prince answered simply, “It was a convenient place to stay.”
“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.”
Let that last statement sink in for just a few seconds...
“My tendency to be too honorable” is why I stayed at the home of Jeffery Epstein. - Prince Andrew— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 17, 2019
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” ― George Orwell, 1984.#EpsteinCoverup https://t.co/e2cSiad75G https://t.co/GdxyDZLIz8
This, and other gaffs has led top media lawyer, Mark Stephens, who previously represented Princess Diana’s lover James Hewitt, to issue harsh skepticism as to whether this was a wise move to push Andrew back into the spotlight. He told the Guardian:
“This strategy only works if you’ve got a complete and full answer to every possible question, and here there are too many loose ends.”
“If he’d kept his silence he’d have been able to remain outside of the case, as he’s a witness and is entitled to diplomatic immunity. He was a private individual and now he’s waived that privacy.”
Entertainment PR agent Mark Borkowski, added:
“Andrew has never enjoyed the company of journalists, and always kept the press firmly at arm’s length. Doing something so public is a high-risk strategy, and likely just to draw more attention to the issue without changing any minds.”
During the interview, the Duke of York was also asked about Virginia Giuffre, who was pictured with and claimed she had sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17-years-old.
"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” said the Duke.
“You don’t remember meeting her?” he was then asked.
“No,” responded Prince Andrew.
During his answer, the Duke blinked no less than 10 times in the space of just 10 seconds...
Wow, there was a lot of blinking in the response to that question. Probably nothing. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/HDet6xcfSY— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) November 16, 2019
He added that Ms Giuffre’s description of him “profusely sweating” was false because, at the time, he had a medical condition that meant he could not sweat. He said:
“I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falkland’s War when I was shot at, and I simply ... it was almost impossible for me to sweat.
“And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.”
The duke went on to question the validity of a photograph with his arm around Ms Giuffre in London – saying it was not possible to prove if the image had, or had not, been faked. He said:
”I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I would out to... When I go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie.
“That’s what I would describe as... those are my travelling clothes if I’m going to go... If I’m going overseas.”
”Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken.”
On thing is certain: the British public were not clamoring for Andrew to do this media spot, and quite possibly would’ve forgotten about it as a hotly-contested UK General Election and Brexit begin to overtake all concerns heading into the Christmas season.
So why do the Palace do it?