The 'disastrous' interview that caused Prince Andrew's PR advisor to quit

One of Prince Andrew’s closest advisers quit over his decision to give an interview to the BBC’s Newsnight programme, it has emerged.

Jason Stein left the Duke’s employment over the controversial interview two weeks ago, according to Sky News.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP (R) and Prince Andrew, Duke of York,  attend a commemoration service at Manchester Cathedral marking the 100th anniversary since the start of the Battle of the Somme. July 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. Services are being held across Britain and the world to remember those who died in the Battle of the Somme which began 100 years ago on July 1st 1916. Armies of British and French soldiers fought against the German Empire leading to over one million lives being lost.
One of Prince Andrew’s closest advisers quit over his decision to give an interview to the BBC. Photo: Getty Images

His contract is said to have been terminated by ‘mutual consent’ after he disagreed with other advisers about Prince Andrew’s participation in the programme.

The Saturday night encounter with BBC presenter Emily Maitlis was branded ‘disastrous’ as the Duke of York opened up about his friendship with convicted paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Andrew’s television interview with Newsnight was seen as the royal’s attempt to draw a line under his controversial relationship with the disgraced financier and to publicly deny claims he had sex with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims.

Ms Guiffre has claimed the prince had sex with her after they were introduced in a London nightclub on March 10, 2001. Then called Jennifer Roberts, she was 17 at the time.

 Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2019 in Ascot, England.
Prince Andrew's ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, has come to his defence. Photo: Getty Images

Andrew said he could not have been at the nightclub as he had been at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, Surrey with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, that evening and went home afterwards.

Soon after the interview, public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski told the Daily Mail: “I have never seen anything so disastrous. For any students of PR that is how not to do it.

“It was like watching a man in quicksand and unfortunately, I don’t think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out.”

But Andrew was not without his defenders.

Former wife Sarah Ferguson said before the show went to air: “It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs.

“Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness.”

Ms Giuffre has alleged in court documents that they had sex on three occasions.

Her allegations were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were ‘immaterial and impertinent’.

Words by George Martin

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