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An Old Letter Conflicts With Prince Andrew's Words

Letter suggests he met Jeffrey Epstein earlier than he claimed in BBC interview
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2019 8:22 AM CST
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In this June 6, 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew leaves King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting his father Prince Philip.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

(Newser) – In his problem-plagued interview with the BBC on Saturday, Prince Andrew claimed to have met Jeffrey Epstein via the financier's then-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, in 1999. Maybe not, the BBC now reports. It flags a letter sent to the Times of London in 2011 by the then-private secretary to Andrew. In it, Alastair Watson comments on Andrew's relationship with Epstein, writing the two had known each other "since being introduced to him in the early 1990s"—"undermin[ing] Prince Andrew's recollection," per the BBC. The Guardian reports Buckingham Palace dismissed the apparently conflicting details, with a rep saying simply, "The duke's words in the interview speak for themselves."

Meanwhile, other businesses continue to put distance between themselves and Andrew. Telecommunications firm BT on Wednesday clarified that while it has been working with the Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award since 2017, "our dealings have been with its executive directors not its patron," Andrew. "However, in light of recent developments we are reviewing our relationship with the organization and hope that we might be able to work further with them, in the event of a change in their patronage." And four Australian universities that had been partners of Pitch@Palace Australia have said they won't be continuing with the business initiative. (More on the fallout here.)

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