The Duchess of York has said her former husband Prince Andrew is “the best man” she knows – and insisted allegations he had sex with a teenager groomed by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein are “all nonsense”.
Sarah Ferguson, who divorced the prince in 1996, said what the Duke of York had done for the country was “incredible”. In an interview with Vogue Arabia, she dismissed Virginia Giuffre claims to have been forced by billionaire sex offender Epstein to have sex with Andrew.
The duchess, who has two daughters with the duke, told the magazine: “The last six months have been hard on the girls and me. To see such a wonderful man go through such enormous pain.
“He is the best man I know. It’s just incredible what he has done for Britain, and it’s all nonsense”.
Ms Giuffre, who is one of a number of women to come forward with allegations about Epstein, alleges she was forced to sleep with the prince on a trip to London in 2001 when she was 17-years-old.
The palace has vehemently denied the allegations – stating that it is “emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship” with her.
But fallout from the prince’s ill-fated interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, in which he refused to say he regretted his relationship with Epstein and did not express sympathy for his victims, was enough to force him to withdraw from public life.
He has resigned from his role from a number of organisations – including as royal patron of the York Minster fund and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance service, and as chancellor of Huddersfield University.
The Duchess of York’s interview with Vogue Arabia is believed to have been carried out before her ex-husband withdrew from public life.
Sarah, who faced harsh criticism from the press after marrying into the royals and then divorcing Andrew, also said she could sympathise with the Meghan Markle’s treatment from tabloids since marrying Prince Harry.
The Duchess of Sussex, has revealed how she tried to cope with the pressures of her new life by putting on a “stiff upper lip” but was not prepared for the intensity of tabloid interest.
Sarah said: “It must be hard for Meghan and I can relate to her.
“I believe she is modern and fabulous ... I tend not to give advice because it is taken out of context but I have been in Meghan’s shoes and I still am.
“There’s always a twist of negativity and it just gets so sad and tiring – it’s hard and mean.”
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