London — Britain’s royal family was reeling from yet another damning interview on Tuesday morning. This time it was an American woman who accuses the queen’s son, Prince Andrew, of having sex with her when she was just 17 years old. Virginia Roberts Guiffre spoke out in the interview with the BBC about what she says the prince did to her, and what he may know about Jeffrey Epstein.
“I had just been abused by a, a member of a royal family,” Roberts Guiffre said, fighting back tears.
As CBS News correspondent Imtiaz Tyab reports, the American woman described being forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, three times while she was still a teenager.
“It didn’t last very long, the whole entire procedure. It was disgusting. Um, he wasn’t mean or anything, but he got up and he said, ‘thanks,’ and walked out. And I sat there in bed just horrified and ashamed,” she told the BBC.
Roberts Guiffre said she met Prince Andrew at properties owned by Epstein, the American financier and convicted sex offender who was found dead in his New York jail cell earlier this year. She said she was made to dance with the duke at a London nightclub.
“It was horrible, and this guy was sweating all over me, his sweat was like it was raining,” she said.
In a now notorious interview last month Prince Andrew denied ever meeting Roberts Guiffre — despite being photographed with her — and claimed that due to a “peculiar medical condition” he was physically unable to sweat “at the time.”
He did admit to spending time at Epstein’s homes, where he said he never witnessed any suspicious behavior or saw anything unusual about the young women in the properties.
“I thought they were all staff,” the prince claimed.
Now, five more American women have said Prince Andrew witnessed abuse at Epstein’s home, and their lawyer has called for Andrew to testify.
Meanwhile, an email has emerged this week, buried in thousands of U.S. legal documents, that was sent by the prince in January 2015 to his long-time friend Ghislaine Maxwell, who was a close associate of Epstein’s. In it, the duke said: “Let me know when we can talk. Got some specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts.”
Royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah told CBS News on Tuesday that with the allegations coming “thick and fast… the palace seems to be clearly not very aware of everything that’s gone on — so at the moment it’s just damage limitation as best they can.”
Buckingham Palace issued a new statement on Tuesday morning, reiterating both Andrew’s flat denial of any wrongdoing, and his willingness to speak with U.S. investigators, “if required.”
“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,” the palace said.
“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 behavior 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 behavior.”
President Trump, in London on Tuesday for a NATO summit, was asked about the scandal engulfing the royal family.
“I don’t know Prince Andrew but it’s a tough story, it’s a very tough story,” he said.