The BBC has come to bury Prince Andrew.
In an hourlong special that aired in Britain Monday night, the network elegantly, decorously called BS on Andrew’s claims that his longstanding friendship with the late pedophile and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was wholesome good fun, just dinner parties with intellectuals and power brokers, nothing at all to see here.
The program opened with a clip of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has long claimed sexual abuse as a minor by Epstein, his sometime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and Andrew, making this assertion against the royal:
“He knows what happened. I know what happened. There’s only one of us telling the truth. And I know that it’s me.”
So does the BBC, which from the outset framed the story as an exploration of “the prince’s friendship with a prolific sex offender.”
Consider that Britain has some of the most stringent libel laws on the planet, with the press often severely constrained in what it can report. These are strong words indeed — and just to underscore, the producers shot Buckingham Palace at night, lit ominously, at one point catching a fox as it seemed to escape the gates.
The lack of subtlety seems entirely appropriate, given that the palace and the queen herself refuse to acknowledge the gravity — the depravity, really — of a senior royal conducting a close and public friendship with a known pedophile.
Some of Epstein’s victims are believed to have been as young as 11 or 12 years old.
Sure, Prince Andrew may have had his office at the palace shut down (hardly a consequence; he doesn’t really work) and lost corporate sponsors after his disastrous sit-down with the BBC just two weeks ago, but the queen has continued to message support for her favorite child. And Andrew, the BBC pointed out Monday night, continues a friendship with Maxwell, long accused of sexually abusing the underage girls she procured for Epstein.
Incredibly, Andrew hid behind Maxwell in November, when he called Epstein merely her “plus one” when the duo attended Andrew’s teenage daughter’s birthday at Windsor Castle, or Ascot, or Balmoral, or to Sandringham for a shooting weekend, all at Andrew’s invitation.
If Andrew’s sit-down left the world feeling this prince was dumb, fattened, entitled, boorish, narcissistic and devoid of a conscience, this special was meant to not just affirm that response but push the royal family and British law enforcement to level severe consequences.
The special cited court documents that included a claim by Epstein’s former housekeeper that Andrew “spent weeks with us” at Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., mansion, where the royal got “daily massages.”
Massages, in Epstein’s realm, were administered by teenage girls. Those massages often led to horrific sexual abuse.
Here, the BBC tells us that they asked Prince Andrew if he ever took massages while staying in Palm Beach.
He did not respond.
We come to Giuffre, who says Epstein flew her to London when she was 17 to stay at Maxwell’s house. Prince Andrew came to visit. Giuffre says Maxwell told her that “I have to do for Andrew what I did for Jeffrey. And that made me sick. I just didn’t expect it from royalty.”
In a photo taken that night, Andrew is seen with his arm around Giuffre’s waist, Maxwell smiling in the background. And here the editing gets savage.
Giuffre calls her forced sex with Andrew “a procedure. It was disgusting.” She says she was terrified because the men she was “passed around [to] like a platter of fruit” were so powerful and “were not only allowing it to happen but participating in it.”
Giuffre breaks down. Cut to Andrew’s bloodless claim from two weeks ago:
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.”
He then denies meeting Giuffre and insists he’s never been to the upstairs of Maxwell’s home.
Zoom in on that photo of Andrew and Giuffre at Maxwell’s home: There’s the top of the banister, level with Andrew’s waistline.
Andrew: “You can’t prove whether or not that photograph was faked.”
As to Andrew’s claim that he was physically unable to sweat back then — a refutation of Giuffre’s claim that he sweated profusely all over her — the BBC shows a contemporaneous paparazzi shot of Andrew sweating through his Oxford shirt, damp patches blooming like mushrooms.
Voice-over: “The prince and the pedophile took a walk in Central Park” — this after Epstein spent 13 months in prison — followed by Andrew’s assertion that he went to New York to end his friendship with Epstein. Even though he stayed at Epstein’s mansion for five days and was seen waving goodbye to a young woman from behind the front door.
Cut to the Andrew sit-down: “[Sigh.] It was a convenient place to stay. At the end of the day, with the benefit of all the hindsight that one can have” — ah, the verbosity of the dimwit — “it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time, I felt like it was the honorable thing to do. And I — I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable.”
We learn that Andrew met with Maxwell, surely one of Interpol’s Most Wanted, in June! But they absolutely, categorically did not discuss Jeffrey Epstein. Back to the videotape:
“There wasn’t anything to discuss about him,” Andrew said, straight-faced. “Because he wasn’t in the news.”
The network reports that five more women want Andrew to testify to what he saw when staying with Epstein, and Andrew told the BBC that he’d be happy to help law enforcement.
If only Scotland Yard, which thus far has declined to open an investigation into Prince Andrew, would take him up on that. Until then, the British press continues to make a bulletproof case for Andrew’s exile, if not expulsion.