LONDON, UK - Britain's Prince Andrew has announced he will quit carrying out royal duties following the controversy over his "ill-judged" relationship with alleged sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York was heavily criticised after he failed to express sympathy for Epstein's victims in his controversial no-holds barred interview with the BBC, that went to air last Saturday.
Many charities, universities and other groups that have been under his patronage or that he has had links to have begun to disassociate themselves from him.
"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," Prince Andrew said in a statement he issued on Wednesday.
"Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."
"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required," the prince said.
In the BBC interview, Andrew said he had "no recollection" of meeting Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, who claims she had sex with the Royal on three occasions. As reported by Big News Network, the Guiffre claims were not part of the investigation by the FBI into Epstein's activities, nor were they part of the original Palm Beach Police Department probe.
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