One of Prince Andrew’s closest advisers quit over his decision to give an interview to the BBC’s Newsnight programme, it has emerged.
Jason Stein left the Duke’s employment over the controversial interview two weeks ago, according to Sky News.
His contract was said to have been terminated by “mutual consent” after he disagreed with other advisers about Prince Andrew’s participation in the programme.
The Saturday night encounter with BBC presenter Emily Maitlis was branded “disastrous” as he admitted he had no regrets about his friendship with the convicted paedophile.
Andrew’s television interview with Newsnight was seen as the royal’s attempt to draw a line under his controversial relationship with the disgraced financier, and to deny publicly claims he had sex with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims.
Ms Guiffre has claimed the prince had sex with her after they were introduced in a London nightclub on March 10, 2001. Then called Jennifer Roberts, she was 17 at the time.
Andrew said he could not have been at the nightclub as he had been at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, Surrey that evening and went home afterwards.
Soon after the interview, public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski said: “I have never seen anything so disastrous. For any students of PR that is how not to do it.
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“It was like watching a man in quicksand and unfortunately, I don’t think anyone would have thrown him a line to get him out.”
But Andrew was not without his defenders.
Former wife Sarah Ferguson said before the show went to air: “It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs.
“Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness.”
Ms Giuffre has alleged in court documents she “was forced to have sexual relations with this prince when she was a minor” in London and New York.
Later, when aged 18, she alleges they had sex again on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein where an orgy took place.
Her allegations were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were “immaterial and impertinent”.