Prince Andrew blasted for 'catastrophic' Jeffrey Epstein interview

The UK's Prince Andrew has been blasted for participating in an interview about staying with US financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Andrew told the BBC he had "let the side down" by staying with Epstein after his conviction for paying a teenage girl for sex.

In an excerpt from the interview given by Prince Andrew to the BBC's Newsnight program, the prince was asked about the claim by Virginia Giuffre that she had sex with him in a house in London, to which he said he had "no recollection" of meeting her.

Lawyer Mark Stephens told The Guardian there were "too many loose ends" and labelled the interview, which aired on Friday (local time) a "catastrophic error".

"If he'd kept his silence he'd have been able to remain outside of the case, as he's a witness and entitled to diplomatic immunity. He was a private individual and now he's waived that privacy," said Stephens, who was the lawyer for James Hewitt, alleged to have had a love affair with Princess Diana.

Speaking about the interview, Mark Borkowski, a public relations and crisis consultant said "I've never seen anything so disastrous".

"It was like watching a man in quicksand and unfortunately, I don't think anyone would have thrown him a line to get out," he told the Mirror.

Charlie Proctor, editor of UK royal family news site Royal Central, said on Twitter he expected the interview to be a "train wreck".

"That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion level bad," he wrote.

Giuffre, who was previously named Virginia Roberts, has said that she first had sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 and underage.

A picture showing the prince with his arm around Giuffre's waist from 2001 has appeared in UK media. Unnamed supporters of Prince Andrew told the Daily Telegraph newspaper in August that the picture had been faked.

Prince Andrew, 59, is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II.

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