When Prince Andrew sat down with the BBC to discuss his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, he may have imagined it as a chance to clear the air and categorically deny that he had sex with a minor groomed by Epstein.
Instead, the landmark interview has been savaged by viewers and PR experts, who claim the British royal’s responses were flippant, strange, and weirdly remorseless.
Prince Andrew said he stayed at Epstein’s NYC home after becoming aware of his 2008 conviction because it was a “convenient place to stay”, said his judgment was “coloured by my tendency to be too honourable”, and denied having sex with an underage Virginia Roberts Giuffre because he was at a regional UK pizza restaurant at the time of her allegation.
He also said that her description of him as a very sweaty guy was fabricated, because he apparently stopped sweating after serving in the Falklands War.
Speaking to the Press Association, crisis consultant Mark Borkowski said “I’ve never seen anything so disastrous.
“For students of PR, that is how not to do it. It was like watching a man in quick sand and unfortunately, I don’t think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out.”
Charlie Proctor, chief of the Royal Central website, said “I expected a train wreck. That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion level bad.”
Speaking to the Sunday Times, an unnamed Buckingham Palace source said the interview would “go down as one of the single worst PR moves in recent history”.
The Telegraph adds that the Queen herself had unsuccessfully attempted to dissuade the Duke of York from taking the interview and was blindsided by news it had been arranged.
Separately, news has emerged that Jason Stein, a PR rep hired by Prince Andrew to combat his associations with Epstein, reportedly left his post two weeks ago after failing to scupper the interview.
While Roberts Giuffre has not offered a public comment on the interview, she has reshared a tweet by The New Yorker writer Adam Davidson, who said the chat “must be the single worst attempt at self-defense.”
Long story short: It was not good, and the interview did not downplay his links to the now-deceased Epstein. The exact opposite happened, really. It was a lot, and you can view it all below, if you wish:
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