Duchess of York takes loan from wealthy American child-sex offender

Sarah Ferguson

Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah are in the spotlight for their ties to a wealthy U.S. sex offender — he for being pictured with an underage masseuse at the man’s home and she for accepting money from the American to help pay off her massive debts.

Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, confirmed in an interview Monday in the Evening Standard newspaper that she did receive financial help from convicted U.S. sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But she claimed to have known nothing about his background and vowed to repay the 15,000 pounds ($24,500) he advanced to settle a debt to her former personal assistant, Johnny O’Sullivan.

“I am just so contrite I cannot say,” the duchess was quoted as saying. “Whenever I can I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again.”

The payment was handled through Andrew’s office, the duchess said, and she wasn’t directly involved. There was no immediate comment from Andrew’s office.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron gave his backing to Andrew, who has also been under fire for hosting the son of Tunisia’s dictator shortly before a popular uprising overthrew the leader and his relationship with Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, one of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s sons.

Some politicians had urged that the prince be sacked from his position as the U.K. trade envoy, although Business Secretary Vince Cable noted that the government had no power to fire him — he’s a volunteer, not an employee.

Over the weekend, British newspapers carried photographs of Andrew with his arm around a young woman who now claims to be one of Epstein’s underage victims. There has been no suggestion, however, that Andrew was involved in inappropriate relationships with underage women.

Asked whether Cameron had full confidence in the prince, spokesman Steve Field said “yes.”
Source: AP

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