Prince Andrew will reportedly not be interviewed in Epstein documentary

Victoria Bekiempis in New York
Photograph: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock

Prince Andrew will reportedly not agree to be interviewed for a forthcoming documentary about the financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York has been repeatedly criticized for associating with Epstein, who died in custody in New York following his July 2019 arrest on sex trafficking charges.

According to the Daily Mirror, Andrew was “formally asked” to appear in Surviving Jeffrey Epstein, a four-hour Lifetime production slated for release this summer to follow the channel’s similarly titled films about the singer R Kelly.

The British paper quoted an unidentified Los Angeles-based source as saying: “Andrew has been asked to appear to discuss his friendship, but there has been no formal response.”

The reports come some four months after Andrew’s own disastrous BBC Newsnight interview, which was followed by his withdrawal from public duties and patronages.

An Epstein accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, alleges that Epstein directed her to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.

Andrew has categorically denied all claims of wrongdoing and maintains that he has “no recollection” of meeting Roberts Giuffre, although he was photographed with his arm around her.

Andrew told Newsnight he could not have had sex with Roberts Giuffre because he was at a Pizza Express in Woking at the time of their alleged meeting, an alibi which was widely received with incredulity.

The prince also claimed Giuffre Roberts’ allegations that he sweated profusely while dancing with her could not be true, as: “I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or 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.”

The Mirror quoted its source as saying Andrew’s “legal team have told him to conduct no more interviews after he spoke to the BBC”.

“There is a concern anything he says on tape or camera becomes potential legal material for the many civil cases facing Epstein, and FBI questions regarding Andrew. Essentially all allegations that mention Andrew within the context of Epstein will be dealt with by his lawyers.”

On Saturday, Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In November, Andrew said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required”. But he has been accused of refusing to cooperate with US authorities investigating Epstein, who in 2008 pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution.

“Contrary to Prince Andrew’s very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation and our office is considering its options,” Manhattan US attorney Geoffrey Berman told reporters in March, revisiting a claim made in January.

Buckingham Palace said then it would not comment and said “the issue is being dealt with by the Duke of York’s legal team”.

Sources previously told the Guardian Andrew was “committed to the legal process”.

A source was quoted as saying: “He is angry about the way this is being portrayed and bewildered as to why this was said in New York.”