Princess Fergie: I’m sorry for taking millionaire pedophile’s money
The British Royal Family has added another scandal to its growing list, as news broke this weekend that ex-Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson once accepted £15,000 ($30,000) from a millionaire New Yorker convicted of pedophilia.
Ferguson, who held the nickname ‘Fergie’ from 1984 to 2003, accepted funds from hedge-fund millionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in order to pay debts to her former personal assistant. Ferguson’s ex-husband, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, reportedly assisted with the deal.
"I abhor pedophilia and any sexual abuse of children and know that this was a gigantic error of judgment on my behalf," Ferguson told London’s Evening Standard today. "Whenever I can I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again."
The Duke of York has come under fire for his decade-long friendship with Epstein, who was recently released from 13 months in prison for soliciting a minor for prostitution. (Evidence from Epstein’s trial suggests he routinely sought out girls as young as 14 for erotic massages.) In December, the prince was photographed walking Epstein through Central Park, and this week a 2001 photograph surfaced of Andrew with his arm around a 17-year-old girl who claims that Epstein kept her as a teenage prostitute.
The scandal has led some British politicians to call for Prince Andrew, younger brother of Prince Charles, to resign from his position as U.K. trade envoy. Because the duke volunteered for the position, he cannot be fired.
Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the prince, as has Ferguson.
"The duke is a man who does not know how to tell an untruth or behave dishonorably. There have been errors of judgment but nothing substantive has been done wrong by him, ever," the ex-Duchess told the Standard. (via the Daily Mail)