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Prince Andrew denies sex with 17-year-old: ‘I went to Pizza Express that day’ | UK News

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Prince Andrew has claimed he was in Pizza Express on the night he is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl – and suggested a photo of them together may have been doctored.

The Duke of York also said that he did not regret his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, saying: “The people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”

The royal’s friendship with the disgraced American billionaire, who died in prison earlier this year, has led Buckingham Palace to issue a number of unexpected statements in the past four years, culminating in Saturday’s unprecedented interview with BBC’s Newsnight which was approved by the Queen.

The friendship allegedly led to him being introduced in 2001 to Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, who has claimed they dined and danced together at a nightclub in London before going on to have sex.

She said she remembered him sweating during their encounter.

But the duke, who denies ever meeting Ms Roberts-Giuffre, said in the interview that he had a “peculiar medical condition” which prevented him from sweating.

“I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”

Instead he said he had been at Pizza Express in Woking that evening before going home.

He said: “I was with the children and I’d taken [daughter Princess] Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon.”

When asked why he would remember a meal at Pizza Express 18 years later, he said: “Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.”

Ms Roberts-Giuffre has claimed they went on to have sex on two other occasions – allegations the duke denies.

He was also asked about a photo of him and Ms Roberts-Giuffre, where he is pictured with his arm around her waist.

The photo was allegedly taken by Epstein at the house of the prince’s friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, in London in March 2001.

Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London in March 2001. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock
Image:
Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell’s house in London in March 2001. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock

He said: “Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken.”

Regarding his hand being on the young woman’s waist, he said: “I am not one to, as it were, hug, and public displays of affection are not something that I do…I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.”

He added: “That’s me but whether that’s my hand or whether that’s the position I… but I don’t… I have simply no recollection of the photograph ever being taken.”

“We can’t be certain that it’s my hand on her left side,” he said.

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