PRINCE Andrew now regrets his carcrash interview with Newsnight but won’t talk to the FBI’s Jeffrey Epstein investigation unless he is offered an “olive branch”, reports say.
The prince was reported to have thought his televised sit-down had been a “great success”, but is now said to wish he had expressed more sympathy for the late paedophile’s victims.
The prince has long faced questions about his friendship with financier Epstein, who killed himself in August while awaiting trial on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors.
He was widely criticised for a November interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis for, among other things, saying he didn’t regret the association because it had helped him make contacts that proved useful for his work as a royal.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, a source close to the duke said: “I don’t think he regrets the intention behind the interview, which was to clear the air for his family, the royal family and the institution.
“But the fact he was unable to appropriately or sufficiently convey his sympathy for the victims of Epstein, is of course a source of regret.”
Virgina Roberts, who claims she had sex with Andrew aged 17 after being trafficked by Epstein, took to twitter to respond to the reports.
“Oh the gull of this toad – he regrets the BBC interview but not his ‘friendship’ with Epstein because it gave him “great contacts” and much more,” she wrote.
“This man is not a prince but a facet of insidiousness who has proven to get away with it all.”
Prince Andrew has always denied any wrongdoing.
ANDREW ‘REFUSED INTERVIEW UNEQUIVOCALLY’
Recent weeks have also seen the prince’s legal team engage in a war of words with FBI prosecutors leading the probe into Epstein’s crimes.
Each side has publicly blamed the other for the fact Andrew is yet to be questioned at part of the investigation.
It was reported last week that the US Department of Justice had submitted a formal request to the Home Office for assistance in speaking with Andrew as a witness.
The duke’s team responded by claiming he had “offered his assistance as a witness to the DoJ” on at least three occasions since the start of this year, and that the DoJ had breached its “own confidentiality rules”.
Lead federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman said in response that the prince “falsely [seeking to] portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate”.
“The prince has… repeatedly declined our request to schedule… an interview and nearly four months ago informed us unequivocally… that he would not come in for such an interview,” Berman said.
The duke is now reported to be unwilling to help with the probe unless US officials begin to work more “honourably”.
A source close to Andrew told the Sunday Times: “The duke is not going any further in the co-operation process… unless [the DoJ offer] some kind of olive branch to rebuild trust.”