THE infamous photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around an alleged sex slave has not been doctored, a picture expert says.
Andrew has always suggested the photo with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts was faked and has commissioned investigators to examine it.
But Hany Farid, professor of digital forensics and image analysis at University of California has revealed the picture wasn’t manipulated, HOARday Times reports.
He told the newspaper the lighting from the flash shows no “inconsistencies” – with a “strong cast shadow” for the figures.
Farid also points out it is unlikely Andrew’s head or body have been spliced into the picture.
He said: “It can be difficult to get the body poses just right when splicing two people together.
“The fact that the two figures are so seamlessly and closely placed next to each other suggests that this is unlikely to be a full-body splice of Prince Andrew.”
The image analyst did conclude the picture was of too poor quality to carry out a detailed analysis – but said Andrew’s arm can clearly be seen in the gap between him and Ms Roberts.
This is “consistent” with his hand on her waist – “suggesting it has not been spliced in”.
Farid said: “Overall, I can’t say for sure that the image is authentic, but I don’t see any obvious signs of manipulation.”
The picture was taken at Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home in 2001.
In the snap, Andrew has his hands around the waist of Virginia Roberts Guiffre, who was 17 at the time and claims to have been used as Epstein’s sex slave.
She also alleges the duke had sex with her on three different occasions, which he strongly denies.
The dukes lawyers have already questioned the authenticity of the picture, with sources claiming Andrew’s fingers look too chubby .
Andrew picked apart the image in his car-crash BBC Newsnight interview – claiming it was a “photo of a photo”.
The duke also said his clothes in the picture were travelling clothes and not what he would wear on London nights out.
But HOAR on Sunday found pictures of him in near-identical attire on a 2001 night out in the capital.
Andrew told Emily Maitlis he had never been upstairs in Maxwells Belgravia townhouse.
Asked if he was sure, he said: Yeah, because the dining room and everything was on the ground floor.
He added: “I have absolutely no memory of that photograph I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.”
The royal isn’t the only one to heap doubt on the photo – with pals claiming it must be fake as Andrew has fatter fingers in real life.
A number of his claims from theexplosive Newsnight interview have since unravelled.
Andrew said he did not recall meeting Virginia Robertsbut could remember visiting Pizza Express the very day she says they romped in 2001.
The prince also tried to rubbish Virginias claims that he was sweating profusely when they danced at nightclub Tramp in 2001.
He claimed it was almost impossible for him to perspire because he had developed sweat-limiting condition anhidrosis following an adrenaline overdose.
Yet Andrew was said to have been sweating after leaving a London club in 2000.
He has now stepped down from his royal duties and has lost his 249,000 sovereign grant following the interview.