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Prince Andrew steps back from public duties for "foreseeable future"

Prince Andrew steps back from duties

Britain's Prince Andrew on Wednesday announced that he is scaling back his public duties "for the foreseeable future." The announcement comes days after his BBC interview about his friendship with the late, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In the interview, which aired Saturday, Andrew denied having sex with Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of assaulting her when she was underage. She claims she had sex with Andrew three times in 2001 at Epstein's properties.

"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," Andrew said in a statement. "Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."

Several companies have cut ties with Andrew, the second son of Elizabeth II, following the BBC interview. His complete denial of ever meeting Giuffre — despite a photo of the two together around the time of the alleged assault — has only added fuel to the fire.

Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew's ex-wife has put her support behind him. The British media has reported that she was the driving force behind the interview.

His statement on Wednesday appeared to address the backlash.

"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein," the statement said. "His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure."

Prince Andrew has also promised to help any law enforcement agencies with their investigations.

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