Prince Andrew: Virginia Roberts' claims of abuse untrue because he 'couldn't sweat'
16 November 2019, 21:59 | Updated: 16 November 2019, 22:29
The Duke of York has said the allegations made by Virginia Roberts cannot be true because he "couldn't sweat" in a bombshell interview.
Prince Andrew has been dogged by rumours of his relationship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein since the financier took his own life behind bars earlier this year.
But in an extraordinary televised interview, Prince Andrew said he "didn't know" about what Epstein had been doing, but admitted staying at his home for four days after his release from jail because it was "convenient".
His friendship with Epstein brought the sex offender into the heart of the British royal family, with multiple invitations to stay at both Windsor Castle and Sandringham.
In September, Ms Roberts, now 35, told NBC's Dateline that Prince Andrew was an "abuser and participant" and she felt as though she "needed to shower" after they danced together at Tramp nightclub in Mayfair on 10 March, 2010.
From there, Ms Roberts, who was then 17, alleged they went to the home of Epstein's girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and had sexual intercourse.
Ms Roberts said of Prince Andrew: "He was a hideous dancer and he was sweating profusely all over me.
"I just remember like ugh, I need a shower. This is disgusting."
But in an unprecedented interview with the BBC Newsnight, the Prince said her allegations could not be true because he has a "peculiar medical condition" which means he cannot sweat.
He said: "There’s a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time.
"I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falkland’s War when I was shot at and I simply…it was almost impossible for me to sweat.
"And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.
" So I’m afraid to say that there’s a medical condition that says that I didn’t do it."
The pair were photographed together on the day of the alleged abuse - which Ms Roberts said was the first of three sexual encounters with Prince Andrew - whilst in Ms Maxwell's home.
But when asked about then legitimacy of the photograph, the Prince said he couldn't explain it because he had "no recollection" of it being taken.
He added: "I’m at a loss to explain this particular photograph. If the original was ever produced, then perhaps we might be able to solve it but I can’t."
Prince Andrew told reporter Emily Maitlis that he first met Epstein in 1999 through Ms Maxwell, and maintained they "were not close friends" and it would be a "considerable stretch" to say they were.
The Prince also said Epstein had an "extraordinary ability to bring extraordinary people together" which made him appealing.
He added that "another reason" for him to go to the United States and visit Epstein was he was "transitioning out of the Navy" and "wanted to know more about what was going on in the international business world" before taking up a position as a special representative for international trade and investment.
Asked why he decided to stay with Epstein after he was released from prison for procuring underage girls for prostitution, Prince Andrew claimed he travelled to New York to tell Epstein why he wanted to break off contact.
He added: "And I had a number of people counsel me in both directions, either to go and see him or not to go and see him and I took the judgement call that because this was serious and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it.
"I had to go and see him and talk to him."
During that visit, the pair were photographed walking in Central Park together, images of which resurfaced around the time of Epstein's suicide.
But this walk, he claims, was "coincidentally" photographed as he was breaking up their relationship.
Prince Andrew said of their conversation: "I said 'look, because of what has happened, I don’t think it is appropriate that we should remain in contact' and by mutual agreement during that walk in the park we decided that we would part company and I left, I think it was the next day and to this day I never had any contact with him from that day forward."