Sarah Ferguson has penned an emotional statement in defence of her ex-husband Prince Andrew, hours before his explosive interview detailing the royal’s friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
In the social media dedication, the Duchess of York paid tribute to her ex-husband as a ‘true and real gentleman’ who 'puts his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth'.
Royal’s shock interview
The tribute was released just before the Queen’s second eldest son spoke to the BBC about his long and controversial friendship with Epstein—who died in custody in August—both before and after his conviction.
“Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness of always seeing the best in people,” Sarah wrote.
“I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth.
“For so many years he has gone about his duties for Great Britain and The Monarch. It is time for Andrew to stand firm now, and that he has, and I am with him every step of the way and that is my honour.
“We have always walked tall and strong, he for me and me for him. We are the best examples of joint parenting, with both our girls and I go back to my three C's... Communicate, compromise, compassion.”
But while the duchess were quick to offer her support, the same could not be said for Lisa Wilkinson, who took a clear swipe at the prince during Sunday night’s episode of The Project.
“If that interview was meant to take the heat off Prince Andrew it's going to do exactly the opposite,” she told the panel program’s studio audience.
“The extraordinary thing is at the end he was asked ‘is there anything we've left out?’
“At no point in 60 minutes did he find the time to condemn child sex trafficking around the world or express any remorse for what's happened to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein. Breathtaking.”
Among the most heinous allegations against the prince is that he had sex with Virginia Roberts on several occasions in 2001 when she was just 17 years old.
Ms Roberts has alleged she and Prince Andrew dined together and went to a nightclub in London before the first time they allegedly had sex.
However, the Duke of York denies ever meeting Ms Roberts and says instead of going nightclubbing with her and having sex with her, he was at a pizza restaurant in Woking, southwest of London, before going home.
“I was with the children and I'd taken [my daughter] Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon," he told the BBC.
Prince Andrew was then asked how he could remember going to a pizza joint 18 years ago, to which he said going to Pizza Express in Woking was an “unusual thing” for him to do.
Prince Andrew has “categorically” denied having sex with Ms Roberts who alleges they had sex on three occasions.
"I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened," the Duke of York said.
"I've said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever.
"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
Additional reporting by Yahoo News Australia.
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