Posts Tagged "World"

27Jan

Panic over coronavirus is ‘very human,’ but experts say the risk is low – National

by BBG Hub

On Monday, Ontario health officials announced the province’s second “presumptive” case of the new coronavirus, which also marks the second case in Canada.

The female patient has been in “self-isolation” since arriving in Toronto from Wuhan, China last week and the risk to Ontarians and the rest of the country remains “low,” according to a statement from public health officials.

The message was the same after Canada’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus was confirmed on Jan. 25 — Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said person-to-person transmission had been reported in close contact only.

However, fear and misinformation continue to spread. In fact, some B.C. pharmacies told Global News that they sold out of surgical face masks after the first “presumptive” case was announced.

This reaction is very “human,” said Steven Hoffman, director of the Global Strategy Lab, but it’s neither helpful nor proportionate to the current risk level.

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READ MORE:
‘We’re trying to have hope’ — Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in coronavirus epicentre

“Whenever there’s a situation where we don’t have the full information and … people are dying, there’s going to be fear,” he said.

“People are jumping to worst-case scenarios, which isn’t productive.”


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Although the respiratory illness has sickened at least 2,000 people and killed dozens around the world, Pierre Talbot maintains that the individual risk for Canadians remains quite low.

“The virus is not [doesn’t spread] as quickly as influenza — coronaviruses don’t spread very quickly in general,” said Talbot, director of the neuroimmunovirology laboratory at the National Institute of Scientific Research.

“And in this case, we have small cases, but it will be constrained by a quarantine.”






Coronavirus outbreak: Second ‘presumptive’ case of virus reported in Toronto


Coronavirus outbreak: Second ‘presumptive’ case of virus reported in Toronto

The coronavirus spreads the same way as influenza, “by coughing and sneezing from one person to the other,” said Talbot. Transmission of the virus requires being in very close in contact — less than two metres — with an infected individual.

The public reaction to the coronavirus is “far from” the relative risk, Talbot said.

“I think the epidemic will die out in the next few weeks.”

Below, experts explain the possible factors contributing to widespread fear of the coronavirus in Canada.

Humans aren’t good at ‘perceiving risk’

The threat of the coronavirus could seem more ominous than it is because it’s not isolated to one location or one group of people.

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“There is the sense that it could infect anyone and, indeed, it could,” Hoffman said.

He sees a similar phenomenon with terrorism, which scares people to a similar degree: “there’s public perception that it can happen anywhere, to anyone, without notice.”


READ MORE:
2nd ‘presumptive’ coronavirus case reported in Ontario, 1st case confirmed

The important thing is for individuals, public health officials and the media to always put news and information about the coronavirus into the appropriate context.



“For example, we have more than 2,000 cases … but every year, the seasonal flu kills up to half a million people [around the world], and yet, how many people don’t even bother to get the flu shot?” he said.

“Humans are very bad at properly perceiving risk and acting on risk.”


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Placing these situations in perspective is “so important” for quelling fear, said Hoffman.

Devon Greyson, assistant professor of communications at the University of Massachusetts, said the same panic occurred during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

“Unknown risks are difficult to weigh, and often feel scarier to people than actual known risks. We are seeing this now when people panic about the novel coronavirus but haven’t gotten the flu shot.”

“In Canada we usually see about 3,500 flu deaths each year, but influenza seems familiar to people so it does not feel as scary as a new virus.”


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Fear-mongering and misinformation

Sensationalist headlines and lack of regulation online could also be contributing to an inflated sense of fear.

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“There are certain media outlets that I’ve seen that have put crazy headlines designed to attract attention and cause harm,” said Hoffman. “There are also several other news outlets which are actually being really responsible and really helpful.”

Public awareness is needed in these circumstances, Hoffman said, but balance and responsible reporting are key.






Canadian coronavirus patient had symptoms on plane


Canadian coronavirus patient had symptoms on plane

“The fact that the person who was affected [in Canada] knew about the coronavirus and knew what to do if [they] developed symptoms … that’s because of measures implemented by the government at airports, as well as the media,” he said.

“It really highlights the important role journalists play in all of this.”


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Canadian public health officials are have expressed concern about the spread of misinformation, especially online.


READ MORE:
China extends Lunar New Year to contain coronavirus as death toll rises to 81

Officials told The Canadian Press they were keeping an eye on social media because misinformation has become a threat to illness prevention.

“In health care in general right now, we are struggling a little bit to combat misinformation about health care from social media and from all fronts and I don’t suspect this will be any different,” said Dr. Sohail Gandhi, president of the Ontario Medical Association to the Canadian Press.

“We have a media staff that are actively monitoring different emerging trends … If they feel there is too much misinformation particularly on one matter, we will speak out against that.”

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Greyson said both misinformation and disinformation are a concern.

“We are already seeing fearful misinformation, including inaccurate conspiracy theories, spreading on social media. Some of this is deliberate disinformation on behalf of people who hope to make a profit off of this outbreak (such as those peddling unproven dietary supplements), but most of the volume is scared individuals sharing misinformation that can erode trust in public health, ultimately raising risks for spread of an outbreak instead of reducing risk,” Greyson said.

Greyson recommends Canadians instead rely on “scientific and trustworthy” sources of information, like the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Canada’s public health reaction

All things considered, Hoffman said the response by Canadian public health officials has been impressive.

“I make a living on criticizing government responses to public health issues, and in this case, there’s not very much to find fault in what they’re doing,” he said.

“They’ve developed protocols and they’re following those protocols to a tee. That’s exactly what you want to see.”






First point of contact for those concerned about infection should be Ontario Health: Sunnybrook


First point of contact for those concerned about infection should be Ontario Health: Sunnybrook

However, Hoffman hopes that in the future, the government will take steps to create protocols for slowing the spread of misinformation on social media.

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“To the extent that part of public health’s job is to manage the fear of outbreaks, then we need to develop even better approaches in light of the social media age,” he said.

“We probably need a new playbook to deal with the kind of pandemic of fear that we’re seeing [online].”

— With files from the Canadian Press

[email protected]




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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22Jan

Utah bans conversion therapy: ‘This measure will truly save lives’ – National

by BBG Hub

The discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ2 children is now banned in Utah, making it the 19th state and one of the most conservative to prohibit the practice.

Supporters navigated a winding path to passage and some dissent remains, but barring it in Utah could give a boost to similar efforts in other right-leaning states, said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“It’s really given people a lot of hope,” said Minter, whose group has pushed for bans around the U.S.

Virginia is considering a ban, Minter said, and the issue could also come up this year in Texas and Kentucky.

READ MORE: Calgary city committee moves forward with steps to ban conversion therapy

The change in Utah comes after the state hammered out a regulatory rule that had the support of the influential Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Leaders had opposed a previous version because it didn’t have certain exceptions for clergy.

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Republican Gov. Gary Herbert took the unusual step of calling on regulators after a proposed law was derailed by changes made by conservative lawmakers. State officials confirmed the rule became final late Tuesday.



The original sponsor of the proposal, GOP Utah Rep. Craig Hall, applauded the rule going into effect, saying in a statement that it prohibits dangerous practices while protecting health-care professionals.

“This measure will truly save lives,” he said.






Calgary city councillors lobby for ban on conversion therapy


Calgary city councillors lobby for ban on conversion therapy

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity.

Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide. The new rule bans Utah therapists from subjecting LGBTQ2 minors to the practice that the American Psychological Association has said is not based in science and is harmful to mental health.

Still, the ban has drawn pushback in Utah. Opponents argued it would prevent parents from getting help for children with “unwanted” gay feelings and keep therapists from even talking about sexuality with their kids.

The rule could become an issue during the 2020 legislative session.

READ MORE: Could Calgary ban conversion therapy?

Utah’s predominant faith, known widely as the Mormon church, opposes same-sex marriage and teaches that intimate same-sex relationships are a sin. But it also urges members to be kind and compassionate to LGBTQ2 people.

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The religion holds tremendous influence in Utah, where the majority of state lawmakers and nearly two-thirds of the state’s 3.1 million residents are members.

The faith got behind the conversion therapy ban after supporters included assurances that church leaders and members who are therapists would be allowed to provide spiritual counselling for parishioners or families.




© 2020 The Canadian Press






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20Jan

The biggest lawsuits filed by the royal family — from planted cameras to leaked nudes

by BBG Hub

In October, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle launched a lawsuit against U.K. newspaper the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers.

The royals claim the paper committed a misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 when it printed a private letter reportedly written by Meghan to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

Shortly after, Prince Harry launched another formal legal claim against two other U.K. tabloids over alleged phone hacking.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s estranged father accuses her of ‘cheapening’ royal family

“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Prince Harry said in an official statement published to the Sussexes’ website in 2019.

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It continues: “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.”






Prince Harry breaks silence on decision by him and Meghan step back from Royal roles


Prince Harry breaks silence on decision by him and Meghan step back from Royal roles

The question in these lawsuits, said Vancouver lawyer Rose Keith, is whether Meghan Markle had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” when she wrote that letter to her father.

“Our understanding of privacy and our experience of privacy has changed from 20 years ago, [because of platfirns like] social media,” said Keith.

What could happen in Harry and Meghan’s lawsuit

Keith admits the U.K. processes are different than those in Canada, but she predicts a number of factors would affect the outcome of the suit, regardless of location.

“One of them is whether the person [Meghan was communicating with] is in a position of trust,” she said. “If I were communicating with my parents, I would have an expectation of privacy in that situation.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry speaks out about decision to step back from royal roles with ‘great sadness’

Were this the argument made by Harry and Meghan’s legal counsel, the defense may argue that “[Meghan] would have no expectation of privacy in those circumstances because she’s estranged from her father,” said Keith.

Meghan Markle’s status as a public figure of interest could also come into play.

In law, there are two different standards: an objective standard and a subjective standard. The former is the reasonable person in that person’s circumstances, and the latter is the person’s personal feelings on things.

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Prince Harry and Meghan drop royal duties and HRH titles


Prince Harry and Meghan drop royal duties and HRH titles

“If you’re a public figure, what objectively do you think a reasonable person would expect in terms of privacy?” said Keith. “I still think that Meghan, in writing to her father, would have an expectation of privacy, but I don’t know all the factors.”


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READ MORE:
Life in a ‘fishbowl’: Former Manitoba chief of protocol on Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s step back

Although the subject matter of these lawsuits is certainly unique, this isn’t the first time members of the royal family have made legal claims against media and other corporations.

“There is a history of members of royal families around the world being involved in court actions against certain parts of the media, said Edward J.T. Wang, a Vancouver-based lawyer and royal commentator.

Other lawsuits filed by royalty

In 1993, the U.K. tabloid the Daily Mirror published photographs of the late Princess Diana exercising at a gym, taken on a hidden camera.

“The Daily Mirror apologized, paid £200,000 to charity and £1,000,000 towards the Princess’s legal fees,” said Wang. “The gym owner refused to settle but finally did a week before the trial was going to begin [in 1995].”

In 2004, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover (born Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline of Monaco) obtained a judgement from the European Court of Human Rights condemning the German Constitutional Court for allowing publication of certain pictures.






Prince Harry, Meghan won’t use HRH titles, will no longer be working members of royal family


Prince Harry, Meghan won’t use HRH titles, will no longer be working members of royal family

“The European Court said there had been no ‘legitimate interest’ in the princess’s private life and that there was a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights,” said Wang.

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In 2012, the French magazine Closer and the Italian magazine Chi published photographs of Kate Middleton sun-bathing topless while on vacation in France at a chateau privately owned by then-Viscount Linley (now the Earl of Snowdon).

“In September [of the same year], the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge filed criminal complaints in France for invasion of privacy,” Wang said. “This led to a trial and the conviction of six people related to the magazines, as well as fines of €100,000 against the magazine Closer, and €45,000 each against the owner of the magazine and the editor.”

The royal family’s evolving relationship with the media

For a long time, before the advent of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, the royal family was able to make “quiet arrangements” with the press, said royal historian Carolyn Harris.

The U.K. media would be willing to avoid certain topics in exchange for privileged access to royal events.

One example is the abdication crisis of 1936, when the British press kept quiet about King Edward VIII’s relationship with American socialite Wallis Simpson.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan will no longer be working members of the royal family

“That is, until it became a constitutional crisis with the abdication,” said Harris. “In contrast, the American press was much more willing to cover the story of this growing relationship. In some ways, Canadians knew about this before the British did.”

Now, news spreads to all corners of the globe so quickly that the royal family lacks leverage, making it more difficult to keep private matters out of the hands of the media.

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“Some previous means which the royal family used to manage the press simply do not work in the modern day, as was possible in the past,” Harris said.






Who foots the bill for Harry and Meghan’s security in Canada?


Who foots the bill for Harry and Meghan’s security in Canada?

Harris wonders if it was the first ever royal family documentary — initiated by Prince Philip and filmed in 1969 — that was a turning point for the monarchy.

“The question now is whether the 1969 royal family documentary was simply in keeping with the times, making the royal family more relevant, or whether they opened the door to further invasive press coverage in the future,” she said.

“The documentary is now seen as rather embarrassing; it’s not shown in public.”

READ MORE: The Swedish, Spanish and more: Getting to know royalty around the world

Now, Harris thinks it will be very difficult for members of the royal family to maintain their privacy, “simply by how quickly news stories and photographs travel once they appear on the internet,” she said.

“It can be very difficult to ensure that they could get photos to disappear [once they’re on the internet], a challenge that William and Catherine faced in their lawsuit relating to events in the south of France early in their marriage.”

It will be much more difficult for new generations of the royal family to control what’s printed about them, said Harris — something Harry and Meghan know all too well.

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— With files from Global News’ Meaghan Wray

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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14Jan

British tabloids were ruthless to Meghan Markle — will Canadian media learn from their mistakes? – National

by BBG Hub

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken openly about the ruthless, exploitative and dangerous nature of the British press.

The couple has even sued British tabloids over their “continual misrepresentations,” and Markle admitted she’s struggled with the intense media scrutiny since marrying into the Royal Family.

“I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair,” she said in a recent documentary.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently revealed their plan to step away from senior royal duties and split their time between Canada and the U.K. as they work to become financially independent.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle are moving to Canada — Here’s what we know

But will Canadian reporters better respect their privacy and cover them in a different way than the U.K. press has? According to experts, the country’s media landscape is likely a factor in why the royal couple picked Canada.

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“[Canada] is a completely different environment, and that is possibly something that Meghan observed when she lived here before,” said Janice Neil, chair of the school of journalism at Ryerson University. Neil previously worked as a reporter in the U.K.

There’s a huge portion of the U.K. media industry that’s based on “salacious gossip,” Neil said, and Canada doesn’t have that to the same degree.

“[The country] has shockingly learned nothing from a couple decades of criticism … starting with how [they chased] Princess Diana,” she said.

Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship with the U.K. press

Prince Harry has a notoriously strained relationship with the press, as his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash after being chased by paparazzi.

The prince has said he feared “history repeating itself.”

“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces,” he said.






Queen confirms Harry and Meghan will live part-time in Canada


Queen confirms Harry and Meghan will live part-time in Canada

What’s more, Markle has experienced racism in the U.K. as a biracial member of the Royal Family.

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, author Yomi Adegoke wrote that British tabloids were “committed not to news but the distortion of [Markle’s] image” in their coverage.

“British racism is often coy and coded, but when it comes to Meghan there was no need to read between the lines,” Adegoke wrote.

“The hate was in the headlines, which referred to the Los Angeles neighbourhood where she grew up as ‘gang-scarred‘ and her role editing a racially diverse edition of Vogue as ‘divisive.’”



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The Daily Show host Trevor Noah even pointed out the racism Markle endured in the British press on Monday, comparing headlines about Kate Middleton and Markle.

READ MORE: Queen says she’s ‘supportive’ of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle after meeting

Noah gave the example of when Middleton was reportedly “gifted” avocados during pregnancy to “cure” morning sickness, while Markle’s avocado habit was linked to “human rights abuse and drought.”

Canada is more progressive than the U.K. when it comes to race, said journalist and human rights advocate Amira Elghawaby, but the country still has some work to do.

Elghawaby said there is still potential for racist coverage of Markle, as many Canadian newsrooms do not reflect the diversity of the country.

“They won’t be fully immune from that here in Canada, but it certainly won’t be as toxic as the culture in the U.K.,” she said.

A chance for Canadian media to prove itself

With Markle and Prince Harry living in Canada, it will take time to see how local outlets cover their day-to-day lives.

Neil believes “tight news budgets” at major Canadian news organizations could allow Markle and Harry to live a more private life.

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Private security expert says protection for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle ‘could cost millions’


Private security expert says protection for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle ‘could cost millions’

“If you start having people covering the royals … what are they not going to cover [instead]?” she said.

“Already, many provinces in this country don’t have reporters at the provincial legislature — and many cities don’t have city reporters.”

Elghawaby said it is tough to predict how people will treat the couple — especially Markle — on social media. She pointed to other women of colour in public positions, including former governors general of Canada Michaelle Jean and Adrienne Clarkson.

“They were not exposed to such racism as Meghan has been experiencing, and they were representatives of the Crown,” Elghawaby said. “But those women were there before social media, and things are evolving. It’s not like it can’t become toxic on social media.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want to make their own money. How will it work?

Elghawaby also wonders if the couple’s move could prompt the creation of new Canadian tabloids.

She said that because media is a business, a growing interest in Markle and Prince Harry could open up new revenue opportunities.

“If it becomes apparent that doing stories about the couple brings more clicks… the question becomes will media in Canada start shifting? Or will we see the emergence of new media businesses emerging to cover the couple?” she said.

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Still, it is important Canadian media treats Markle with respect and does not engage in racist coverage.

“Many people are in denial in this country about how racism plays a daily role in many communities,” Elghawaby said.

“There is a little bit of blindness to the reality of racism here.”


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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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4Jan

From Nazi uniforms to topless photos, the Royal Family’s biggest scandals – National

by BBG Hub

The Royal Family has made headlines for decades, long before the fast pace of the internet.

While some of their biggest controversies happened decades ago, others — like Prince Andrew’s sex assault allegations — are more recent.

In no particular order, here are some of the biggest scandals the Royal Family has faced in recent history.

King Edward gives up the throne

One of the biggest moments in recent British royal history, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in 1936 so he could marry his lover, American socialite Wallis Simpson.

READ MORE: The best royal fashion moments of 2019

Simpson had previously been married and divorced, which put their relationship under scrutiny. The Church of England, which Edward was the head as king, did not allow divorcees to remarry if their ex-spouse was still alive. (These rules only changed in 2002.)

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In order for Edward to wed Simpson, he had to step down from his role as king. His brother, George VI, took on the title.

Princess Margaret’s relationship with Peter Townsend

Queen Elizabeth‘s younger sister was romantically linked to Captain Peter Townsend, who was married when they first met.

Townsend was Princess Margaret’s father’s equerry and was close to the Royal Family. In 1952, Townsend divorced his wife and asked Princess Margaret’s hand in marriage.






Royal Family issues statement on release of Prince Philip from hospital


Royal Family issues statement on release of Prince Philip from hospital

In 1953 at the Queen’s Coronation Day, the princess was caught picking off a piece of fluff from Townsend’s jacket, which fueled rumours that the two were romantically involved.

Since Townsend was divorced, if Princess Margaret was to marry him, she would have been stripped of her royal title as parliament and the Church of England would not consent to her marriage. She decided not to wed Townsend and married photographer Antony Armstrong Jones in 1960 instead, whom she later divorced.

Prince Harry wears a Nazi costume

In 2005, the second son of Prince Charles sported a Nazi uniform to a costume party. Prince Harry apologized for his behaviour after a British tabloid printed a photograph of him drinking and smoking in the outfit.

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READ MORE: Why Meghan Markle always carries her purse in her hands and other royal protocol

In a statement at the time, the then 20-year-old prince said: “I am very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize.”

Prince Andrew’s sexual assault allegations

Prince Andrew spent much of 2019 in the headlines.

An American woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre says she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew multiple times when she was just 17 years old.

Giuffre says she was sex trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide in August 2019. She alleges Epstein forced her to have sex with the prince in 2001 at the home of British socialite and friend of Prince Andrew’s Ghislaine Maxwell.



Prince Andrew denies these allegations.






Prince Andrew retreats from public life amid Epstein saga


Prince Andrew retreats from public life amid Epstein saga

Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties in November 2019 just days after he spoke with the BBC about his friendship with Epstein.

“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein [have] become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” the 59-year-old said in a statement.

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ affairs and subsequent divorce

Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son married Princess Diana in 1981.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles had their two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, in 1982 and 1984, respectively.

READ MORE: What was it like to have Queen Elizabeth II as a mom?

Prince Charles reportedly started an affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he dated before his marriage, around 1986, according to reports. Princess Diana reportedly had affairs, too, most notably with her bodyguard Barry Mannakee in 1985, and military man James Hewitt the following year.

In 1992, an intimate phone call between Prince Charles and Parker Bowles was leaked to the press, later known as “Camillagate.” Tabloids published transcripts of the deeply personal conversation, causing great embarrassment to the family.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles split in 1992.






Trudeau meets with Prince Charles during NATO trip in U.K.


Trudeau meets with Prince Charles during NATO trip in U.K.

In 1994, Prince Charles admitted he cheated on Princess Diana in a TV documentary. The following year, Princess Diana infamously told the BBC that there were “three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

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Princess Diana died after being injured in a car accident in Paris in 1997.

Prince Charles and Parker Bowles married in 2005.

Prince Harry spends a day in rehab

After reportedly admitting to experimenting with cannabis and alcohol, a then 16-year-old Prince Harry was sent to drug rehabilitation clinic for a day by his father.

Per reports, Prince Charles arranged for his teen son to visit Featherstone Lodge, a detox centre for people dealing with drug addiction, in south London. The visit was not reportedly for treatment, but instead an attempt to show Prince Harry the dangers of drugs.

Kate Middleton’s topless photos

While vacationing in France, paparazzi took photos of a topless Duchess of Cambridge suntanning in 2012.

READ MORE: Who pays for the Royal Family’s lavish lifestyle?

French, Italian and Irish outlets published the photographs, and the Royal Family swiftly took legal action for what they called a “grotesque” breach of privacy.

In 2017, a judge ordered French magazine Closer to pay 100,000 euros in damages for publishing the photos. Two staff members were fined an additional 90,000 euros to pay to Kate Middleton and Prince William.

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Prince Harry naked in Las Vegas

Photos of a naked Prince Harry surfaced in 2012 after a “wild” trip to Las Vegas. Prince Harry, who was then 27, was photographed playing a reported game of “strip billiards” with friends in his VIP suite.






Meghan Markle, Prince Harry celebrate Christmas in Canada


Meghan Markle, Prince Harry celebrate Christmas in Canada

TMZ published the nude shots, as did British tabloid The Sun.

Sarah Ferguson’s bribery scandal

Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, was caught demanding money from an undercover journalist posing as a businessman in exchange for access to the prince.

Now-defunct tabloid News of the World secretly filmed Ferguson in 2010 promising access to Prince Andrew after the payment was sent to her bank account. Ferguson and Prince Andrew divorced in 1996.

READ MORE: From babies to scandal, the Royal Family’s biggest moments of 2019

“That opens up everything you would ever wish for. I can open any door you want, and I will for you,” she told the undercover reporter. “Look after me and he’ll look after you … you’ll get it back tenfold.”

Ferguson, the mother of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, publicly apologized after the news broke.

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“I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused,” she said.

“It is true that my financial situation is under stress, however, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment and I am very sorry that this has happened.”

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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24Dec

The Queen admits to ‘bumpy’ year in annual Christmas speech – National

by BBG Hub

In her annual Christmas speech, Queen Elizabeth II will acknowledge that both Britain and her family have had a “bumpy” time this year.

Released excerpts of the Queen’s speech, which was pre-recorded and will be broadcast on Christmas Day, nod to the difficulties of 2019. It was recorded before the monarch’s husband, Prince Philip, was hospitalized in London on Dec. 20 as a precautionary measure.

Buckingham Palace released the clips on Christmas Eve. The Queen’s speech reflects on the past year and shares wishes for the year ahead.

READ MORE: From babies to scandal, the Royal Family’s biggest moments of 2019

“The path, of course, is not always smooth and may, at times this year, have felt quite bumpy, but small steps can make a world of difference,” the Queen said while talking about the need for reconciliation and forgiveness.

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She is thought to be referring both to Britain’s tortuous path out of the European Union, which led to a lengthy political stalemate broken only earlier this month when voters gave the pro-Brexit Conservative Party a comfortable majority in Parliament, and to the Royal Family’s setbacks.

This year has no doubt been challenging for the Royal Family.

The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, stepped down from his royal duties after a disastrous BBC interview in which he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and denied having sex with a woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre.






Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas


Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas

Giuffre says she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with the prince in 2001 when she was only 17. Prince Andrew denies these allegations.



The family has also endured a public rift between Prince William and Prince Harry.

The Duke of Sussex is celebrating Christmas with wife Meghan Markle and son Archie in Canada this year rather than spending the holidays at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate — a long-standing royal tradition.

Kensington Palace also released a photo from the Queen’s speech on Instagram. In the picture, Queen Elizabeth II is sitting at a desk with framed photos around her.

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Commenters were quick to point out that Prince Harry, Markle and Archie were absent from the photo collection. The family was featured on the Queen’s table in her 2018 Christmas speech.

READ MORE: Buckingham Palace releases photos of Royal Family members making Christmas dessert

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their own Christmas card on Monday, featuring a seven-month-old Archie up close to the camera.

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— With files from the Associated Press 

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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11Dec

Prince Andrew accuser says ‘evil people’ want her silenced – National

by BBG Hub

The woman who says she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew multiple times has posted cryptic tweets about her well-being.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who recently sat down with the BBC and asked the British public to support her quest for justice, tweeted on Tuesday that “too many evil people want to see me quieted.”

“I am making it publicly known that in no way, shape or form am I suicidal. I have made this known to my therapist and GP — if something happens to me — in the sake of my family do not let this go away and help me to protect them.”

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Giuffre made the worrisome remarks in response to a tweet about British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell — the woman she says recruited her to perform sex acts alongside convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein when she was just 15 years old.

On Tuesday, Giuffre tweeted that “ridiculous” laws have allowed Maxwell to remain a free woman, and not be charged for her alleged crimes.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained

A Twitter user replied to that tweet saying: “F.B.I. will kill her to protect the ultra rich and well connected…”



Maxwell once dated Epstein, and has since been accused of playing a key role in recruiting and grooming underage girls for Epstein’s alleged child-sex-trafficking ring. She is friends with Prince Andrew, and was connected to many powerful figures including politicians, lawyers and businessmen.

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Epstein died by suicide in August while in custody awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, and Maxwell’s whereabouts are not publicly known.

Maxwell has previously denied the allegations made against her.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew accuser pleads for public support 

Giuffre claims she was introduced to Prince Andrew in 2001 through Epstein and Maxwell.

She alleges she danced with the royal at a nightclub in London, and was then forced to have sex with him at Maxwell’s house when she was 17.

“He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. His sweat was like it was raining, basically everywhere,” Giuffre said in her recent BBC interview.

She also says she had sexual encounters with Prince Andrew in New York and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.






Prince Andrew ‘knows exactly what he’s done’: Alleged Epstein victim


Prince Andrew ‘knows exactly what he’s done’: Alleged Epstein victim

In his own interview with the BBC, the 59-year-old royal denied ever having sex with Giuffre, and said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her.

Prince Andrew claimed an alleged encounter with Giuffre in London couldn’t have occurred on the date reported because he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to a party at a Pizza Express restaurant in the London suburb of Woking that day.

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Andrew also disputed the details of Giuffre’s account, including her statement that he sweated heavily when they danced at the London nightclub.

He said that was factually impossible because he had a medical condition at the time that meant he didn’t sweat. The prince said the condition stemmed from an “overdose of adrenaline” during his time as a helicopter pilot during the 1982 Falklands War.

— With files from the Associated Press

[email protected]




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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2Dec

Prince Andrew accuser pleads for public support: ‘This is a story of abuse’ – National

by BBG Hub

Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17, is asking the British public to support her quest for justice.

Giuffre tells BBC Panorama in an interview to be broadcast Monday evening that people “should not accept this as being OK.”

“This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty,” Giuffre tells the program.

Giuffre’s first UK television interview describes how she says she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and made to have sex with Prince Andrew three times, including once in London.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained

Her interview airs just weeks after Prince Andrew’s rare sit-down with BBC Newsnight, in which he denied having sex with Giuffre.

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BBC Panorama interviewed Giuffre last month as part of their investigation about Prince Andrew and his relationship with Epstein. Before airing Giuffre’s interview, the Queen’s third child agreed to sit down with BBC journalist Emily Maitlis.

The prince’s interview has been called “disastrous” in the media. The 59-year-old said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre, adding that there are “a number of things that are wrong” with her account.

Giuffre says she was 15 and working at Donald Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago club when she was recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein to perform sex acts.






Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser


Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser

Maxwell, a British socialite, once dated Epstein and has since been accused of playing a key role in recruiting and grooming underage girls for Epstein’s alleged child-sex-trafficking ring.



Maxwell is also friends with Prince Andrew.

Giuffre claims she was introduced to Prince Andrew in 2001 through Epstein and Maxwell.

She alleges she danced with the royal at a nightclub in London, and was then forced to have sex with him at Maxwell’s house when she was 17.

“He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. His sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere,” Giuffre says in her TV interview.

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READ MORE: A look at Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean cove, known to locals as ‘Pedophile Island’

“I was just like grossed out from it, but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine (Maxwell) would have expected from me.”

She said that Maxwell told her she would have to do for Andrew what she had done for Epstein, meaning she would have to have sex with the prince.

“That just made me sick,” Giuffre said.

Giuffre says she had sexual encounters with the prince in London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands and that Epstein flew her around the world on private planes to have sex with other powerful men.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew to step down from public life amid Epstein scandal

Prince Andrew has denied these allegations.

A photograph of the prince with his hand around the waist of a teenage Giuffre standing next to Maxwell has been widely circulated.

The prince told the BBC he has questioned the legitimacy of the photo and says he does not recall it being taken.

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Epstein died by suicide in August while in custody awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

The BBC interviews airs Monday night.

— With files from the Associated Press

Laura.Hensl[email protected]




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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21Nov

Prince Andrew may have ‘valuable information’ on Epstein sex offences: lawyers – National

by BBG Hub

Britain’s disgraced Prince Andrew is facing mounting calls to provide information to U.S. law enforcement agencies and lawyers who are investigating crimes committed by American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his associates.

Lawyers for Epstein’s victims believe Prince Andrew may have valuable information about the late financier’s sex offences. When Epstein died in August, he was facing charges of trafficking in underage girls who provided sexual favours to the powerful men visiting his luxury properties in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

The 59-year-old prince stepped down from his royal duties on Wednesday with the approval of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, after a weekend interview in which he tried to justify his well-documented ties to Epstein backfired spectacularly.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew steps down. The duke’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained

Charities and British educational institutions that had fundraising ties to Prince Andrew — the royal website lists dozens — had quickly begun to question if he could actually hurt their brands.

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Prince Andrew still may face legal questioning about allegations that he had sex with a girl provided by Epstein when she was just 17, a charge he has denied and that she insists is true.

LISTEN BELOW: Global News Europe correspondent Redmond Shannon joins the Ryan Jespersen on 630 CHED to discuss the impact of Prince Andrew taking a step back

U.S. attorney Gloria Allred, who represents some of the women abused by Epstein, said Thursday that Prince Andrew should contact American authorities “without conditions and without delay.”

Prince Andrew announced in his statement Wednesday that he is “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required” but did not volunteer to provide evidence.






Prince Andrew is stepping down from public duties


Prince Andrew is stepping down from public duties

It is not clear if U.S. authorities are investigating Prince Andrew for any possible wrongdoing. Many of the court papers related to the Epstein case are still sealed and unavailable to the public.

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British legal experts, meanwhile, are divided over whether Prince Andrew enjoys immunity from prosecution as a senior British royal.

Some say Prince Andrew should reach out to U.S. officials in an effort clear his name rather than wait for a subpoena or legal action that would force him to testify, which could happen if U.S. officials working through the U.S. embassy in London ask Britain’s Foreign Office to secure Prince Andrew’s co-operation.

British lawyer Mark Stephens said Prince Andrew will eventually have to testify under oath to answer Virginia Giuffre’s charge that she was encouraged to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17.



READ MORE: Prince Andrew to step down from public life amid Epstein scandal

“The question is where he answers,” Stephens said. “There is no reason why the FBI or, indeed, the lawyers for Virginia Roberts [Giuffre’s name before she was married] couldn’t come to the U.K. to take his evidence.”

Stephens said it was doubtful that Andrew could provide useful evidence on other cases related to Epstein’s crimes, which have led to a number of civil suits against his estate.

“There are much better witnesses,” he said. “What could he say that couldn’t be said by witnesses that went more frequently, the staff at any of his homes, for example, and the people close to him, the fixers? Those are the people with really probative evidence.”

Epstein, 66, died on Aug. 10 while in jail on sex-trafficking charges in what New York’s medical examiner ruled was a suicide.

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Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal


Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal

France also has an open investigation into sex claims against an Epstein associate.

In his interview with the BBC on Saturday, Prince Andrew denied having sex with Giuffre, saying he didn’t remember meeting her despite a published photograph that appears to show the prince with his arm around her.

He said he regrets not cutting ties with Epstein after the financier pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida under a deal that required him to serve 13 months in jail and register as a sex offender.

But the prince notably failed to express any sympathy for Epstein’s victims. And he defended his previous friendship with the billionaire investor because of the contacts it provided when Prince Andrew was preparing for a role as Britain’s special trade representative.

READ MORE: ‘Like watching a man in quicksand’ — Prince Andrew interview panned in U.K. press

The scandal over Prince Andrew’s ties to Epstein has blossomed into the biggest challenge for Britain’s monarchy since the 1997 death of Princess Diana, when the Queen was accused of appearing aloof and out of touch amid an outpouring of national mourning for the popular royal with the common touch.

Prince Andrew’s decision to withdraw from public life came after he consulted his mother, the 93-year-old monarch, who has not commented on the matter.

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Andrew is the Queen’s third child and second son. His older brother, Prince Charles, is heir to the throne, but Prince Andrew is eighth in line, after Prince Charles’ sons and grandchildren.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said it’s possible that Prince Andrew may be rehabilitated in the future if he is able to establish his innocence beyond any shadow of doubt.

“Clearly, this has to take a legal route, some sort of consultation with the FBI or somebody in an attempt to clear his name,” Little said. “It remains to be seen if that will ever be possible, and that process could take a very long time.”






Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser


Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser

He said in the meantime, Prince Andrew will continue to have a place at family events like the Queen’s Christmas celebrations at her rural retreat in Sandringham. He does not expect Prince Andrew to be strapped for cash because the prince is expected to continue to receive funds from the Queen’s private accounts.

“It’s unprecedented,” Little said of the scandal. “It’s a big deal for somebody so close to the Queen to be humiliated and disgraced in such a way.”

Prince Andrew has served as a patron or been involved in dozens of charitable roles that will now be eliminated as he begins a new phase without royal duties. He is also expected to give up his ceremonial military posts.

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READ MORE: Prince Andrew denies any knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes

Buckingham Palace said Prince Andrew will continue to work on his flagship [email protected] project but will do so on a private basis without financial help from the palace.

Prince Andrew’s woes have provided plenty of fodder for Republic, an anti-monarchist movement that wants Britain to elect its head of state rather than put the monarch in that role.

“This whole episode shows why the monarchy is not fit for purpose,” said Graham Smith, the leader of Republic.

“Andrew is the worst example of a long tradition of bad behaviour. We need a democratic alternative to the monarchy sooner rather than later.”




© 2019 The Canadian Press






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20Nov

Prince Andrew steps down: The duke’s history with Jeffrey Epstein explained – National

by BBG Hub

Prince Andrew confirmed on Wednesday that he will be “stepping down” from public royal duties just days after he spoke publicly about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein [have] 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,” the 59-year-old said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”

READ MORE: Prince Andrew to step down from public life amid Epstein scandal

The third child of the Queen recently spoke to the BBC about accusations surrounding his own allegedly sexually predatory behaviour and the nature of his relationship with Epstein, the disgraced financier who died by suicide in August while in custody awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.

A woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre has said Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew in 2001 when she was only 17.

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Prince Andrew denies these allegations.

So when did Prince Andrew’s relationship with Epstein begin, and what are the allegations he is facing? Here is a timeline of their friendship.

How did Prince Andrew meet Epstein?

The prince said he met Epstein in 1999 through his friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. At the time, Maxwell was dating Epstein and introduced the money manager to many well-connected people.

In speaking to the BBC, Prince Andrew confirmed Epstein was a guest at events he hosted, including a surprise party he threw Maxwell in 2000. The party was held at the Queen’s estate, Sandringham.

A few years after Prince Andrew and Epstein first met, then-teenage Giuffre said she was introduced to the royal in 2001.






Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal


Charities, firms cut ties with Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal

Giuffre says she was 15 and working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club when she was recruited by Maxwell and Epstein to perform sex acts. She claims she danced with Prince Andrew at a nightclub in London.

She then alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s house in the London neighbourhood of Belgravia when she was 17.

Giuffre says she had sexual encounters with the prince in London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands and that Epstein flew her around the world on private planes to have sex with other powerful men.

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Prince Andrew has denied these allegations.

A photograph of the prince with his hand around the waist of a teenage Giuffre standing next to Maxwell has been widely circulated.

The prince told the BBC he has questioned the legitimacy of the photo and says he does not recall it being taken.

Epstein and Prince Andrew’s friendship

In speaking with the BBC, Prince Andrew said he saw Epstein when he went to the U.S. but met him no more than three times a year. He would visit or stay with him out of convenience, he said.

READ MORE: ‘Like watching a man in quicksand’ — Prince Andrew interview panned in U.K. press



“Going to Jeffrey’s was not about partying,” Prince Andrew said.

The royal also confirmed to the BBC that he has been on Epstein’s private plane, stayed on his private island and stayed at his home in Palm Beach.

Prince Andrew maintains he did not know of Epstein’s sex-trafficking behaviour at the time.

“When I was staying at his houses in the United States, there was no indication,” he said.

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Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser


Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Jeffrey Epstein accuser

In 2005, Epstein first came under investigation by Palm Beach police after they received reports he had sexually abused minors in his Florida mansion.

While he was being investigated by the Palm Beach police, Epstein and Maxwell were invited to Prince Andrew’s daughter Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday at Windsor Castle in 2006.

Prince Andrew told the BBC he was unaware of the allegations when he extended the invitations.

In 2008, Epstein reached a non-prosecution deal to secretly end a federal sex abuse investigation involving at least 40 teenage girls that could have landed him behind bars for life.

According to court documents, Epstein had a Palm Beach home where underage girls were brought for what they were sometimes told were massage sessions, but which often turned into sexual encounters.

READ MORE: A look at Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean cove, known to locals as ‘Pedophile Island’

As part of his deal, Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges, spent 13 months in jail, paid settlements to victims and registered as a sex offender.

What else is Prince Andrew accused of?

Despite Epstein’s sex-offender status, he and Prince Andrew were photographed together in 2010 in New York City.

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In 2011, Vanity Fair ran an article titled “The Trouble With Andrew,” which highlighted the prince’s friendship with Epstein and the allegations around his behaviour.

The magazine wrote that according to a sworn deposition by a former Epstein employee, Prince Andrew attended “naked pool parties and was treated to massages by a harem of adolescent girls.”

“At least three of the girls were questioned under oath about whether Andrew had had sexual contact with any of the masseuses,” Vanity Fair reported.






Britain’s Prince Andrew denies any involvement in Epstein sex scandal


Britain’s Prince Andrew denies any involvement in Epstein sex scandal

“One of them, Sarah Kellen, refused to answer, citing her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Another, Adriana Ross, was asked, ‘Has Prince Andrew ever been involved with underage minor females to your knowledge?’ She reportedly replied, ‘I refuse to answer.’”

Prince Andrew denied attending naked pool parties to Vanity Fair. He also told the outlet he was unaware of such parties altogether.

The royal stepped down as U.K.’s “special representative” for trade and investment following public criticism of his friendship with Epstein in 2011.

Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, once borrowed money from Epstein, which she later said she regretted.

The royal has also been accused of receiving a foot massage from a young woman in Epstein’s house.

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Allegations have dogged Prince Andrew for years

Prince Andrew’s sex abuse allegations resurfaced in 2015 when Giuffre filed a claim alleging she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell to powerful politicians, lawyers, academics and government leaders when she was underage, the Miami Herald reported.

READ MORE: Britain’s Prince Andrew denies any knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes

Prince Andrew has continued to deny the allegations he had sex with a minor and maintains he did not know about Epstein’s alleged pedophile ring.

Giuffre has since called out the prince, saying he “knows exactly what he’s done.”

In his BBC interview, Prince Andrew said he stayed at Epstein’s house out of convenience and maintained he did not know what was going on in the financier’s private life.

He addressed the photographs that showed him and Epstein walking outdoors together in 2010 and told the BBC he was meeting with Epstein to end their friendship.

“I took the judgement call that because this was serious and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it, I had to go and see him and talk to him,” he said.

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The prince also maintained during his interview that he and Epstein were not “that close.”

— With files from the Associated Press




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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