PRINCE Andrew’s aides believed he was ‘wonderful’ on his Newsnight interview, it has been revealed.
Sam McAlister, who produced and arranged the TV chat, has revealed painful behind-the-scenes details of the Duke‘s 2019 “trainwreck” interview with Emily Maitlis.
At the time Andrew was grilled over his links with dead paedo Jeffrey Epstein, his pal Ghislaine Maxwell, and allegations he had sex with a 17-year-old.
And now, three years after the interview, McAlister has revealed that the Duke was so pleased with his performance that he even offered the BBC team a tour of the palace.
During the interview, Andrew said he had “no recollection” of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre – who he is alleged to have had sex with at Maxwell’s house in London.
He even provided an “alibi” claiming that the night the alleged encounter took place he was at a Pizza Express birthday party n Woking with his daughter Princess Beatrice.
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McAlister said that after the interview, the Duke’s aides were beaming, with one of them exclaiming: “Wasn’t he wonderful?”
And so did Amanda Thirsk ,the Duke’s private secretary at the time, who “was smiling .”
The details of the car crash interview have emerged from McAlister’s upcoming book Scoops: Behind The Scenes Of The BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews.
In an extract published by the MailOnline McAlister recalls the moments right after the interview finished.
She wrote: “I couldn’t look at anyone. I could barely believe his people hadn’t stopped the interview.
“I would have, despite the consequences.
“‘How did you think it went?’ I asked the equerry. She beamed.
“‘Wasn’t he wonderful!’ she said. I’d expected Amanda Thirsk to be distraught, the prince to look shaken or concerned, but she was smiling and he seemed ebullient.”
“And then it hit me: he actually thought it had gone well.
“He was in such a good mood that he offered us all a tour of the palace. I couldn’t go.
“I wouldn’t have been able to speak to him in good faith. Of course, Emily couldn’t decline. I don’t know how she kept her composure.”
McAlister continues describing how the interview got “worse and worse”.
She recalled Andrew’s response when he was asked whether he felt guilt, regret or shame about his friendship with Epstein.
She wrote: “I looked up from the floor, watched him gather himself for one of the final answers.
“‘As far as Mr Epstein is concerned, it was the wrong decision to go and see him in 2010.
“‘As far as my association with him was concerned, it had some seriously beneficial outcomes in areas that have nothing to do with what . . . we’re talking about today.’
“Extraordinary that he couldn’t see how terrible that sounded.”
She added: “That was it. An interview more shocking than any of us could ever have predicted.
“I couldn’t look at anyone. I could barely believe his people hadn’t stopped the interview. I would have, despite the consequences.”
The revelations come just days after socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was jailed for 20 years for abusing and grooming dozens of girls for twisted Epstein.
The convicted sex trafficker and Andrew would allegedly flirt with each other when they hung out together on Epstein’s notorious Caribbean island Little St James, the former housekeeper has claimed.
And now, after Maxwell’s sentence, the Duke of York is said to be the lawyers’ “next target” of a probe into the sex ring controlled by multimillionaire paedophile Epstein.
The Duke agreed to a £12million settlement with sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre in February.
Spencer Kuvin, who has represented nine Epstein victims, told HOAR: “Anyone who took advantage of a minor as a result of being provided that minor by Mr Epstein or Ms Maxwell should be prosecuted as well.
“It is highly unlikely an extradition would ever occur, so the Prince would have to be here in the US and be arrested while he’s here.
“Tell Prince Andrew he should spend the summer here in the US. Come on over to vacation.”
However disgraced Andrew has no intention of helping the authorities with the investigation, a source has claimed.
A a well-placed source told the Mirror: “Andrew has no intention of speaking to US authorities.
“He has nothing to say and nothing to add.
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“He sees no reason why anyone would want to speak to him and now that his case has been settled with Virginia Giuffre, he considers the matter settled.”
In January 2020, Andrew claimed he offered to help American prosecutors three times in their investigation into Epstein.
Scoops: Behind The Scenes Of The BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews will be published by Oneworld on July 14.