Prince Andrew’s TV interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has triggered shock waves of disbelief across British media, CNN reports. To recap, the prince soberly denied even knowing accuser Virginia Giuffre, who was underage at the time. In particular, he denied having sex with Giuffre on a particular night nearly 20 years ago because he was at a Pizza Express restaurant near London, and refuted her claim that he was sweaty because, he said, a medical condition prevented him from sweating. He has since regained his ability to sweat, the New York Times notes. Among the reactions:
- “I expected a train wreck,” tweets Charlie Proctor, who edits the Royal Central website. “That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion level bad.”
- “I think any reputation management professional, whether lawyer or PR, is going to say that this was a catastrophic error of judgement,” says media lawyer Mark Stephens, per WTVR. One of Andrew’s PR advisers did in fact quit over his decision to do the interview, Sky News reports.
- “What on Earth was Prince Andrew thinking? The answer, surely, is not very much. This is his historic problem: he has never thought, not really,” writes Elizabeth Day at the Daily Mail.
- “No Sweat … And No Regret,” screams a Sunday Mirror headline.
- “He’s just too thick to even lie properly,” tweets quiz show host Richard Osman. “Still thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us.”
- Andrew was “too stupid to even pretend concern for Epstein’s victims,” says Catherine Mayer, who founded the Women’s Equality Party, per the Independent.
- The Sun‘s headline: “Wince Andrew,” notes Bloomberg.
- Sarah Ferguson provided a contrarian view by tweeting: “Andrew is a true+real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness + goodness.”
(Andrew did say that staying with Epstein “was definitely the wrong thing to do.”)