The claims in Prince Andrew’s extraordinary interview with the BBC that grabbed headlines over the weekend included his insistence he could not sweat for a period of time around 2001.
But newspaper reports from late 2000 unearthed by Yahoo News UK cast doubt on that claim, saying he was seen in nightclubs in New York with his face “running with sweat”, and was “sweating profusely” as he left a London club.
The Duke of York, who used the “disastrous” Newsnight interview to try to explain his relationship with American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and deny serious allegations, said he could not sweat at the time because of a medical condition as a result of his service in the Falklands War.
He brought up the “peculiar” problem when the BBC’s Emily Maitlis asked about claims by Virginia Roberts, who says she was used as a sex slave by Epstein and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew aged 17.
The duke denies the allegations, saying he did not have sex with her and does not remember meeting her.
During the interview, Ms Maitlis said Ms Roberts remembers dancing with the duke on 10 March, 2001, and that he was “dripping with sweat” afterwards. She claims that they later had sex on that date. Andrew said in the interview that he had actually been at home with his children, having earlier visited Pizza Express in Woking on that date.
He also said: “There's a slight problem with the sweating, because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don't sweat, or I didn't sweat at the time.
“Yes, I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falkland’s War when I was shot at and I simply… It was almost impossible for me to sweat.
“And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.
“So I'm afraid to say that there's a medical condition that says that I didn't do it.”
But the Sunday World, an Irish newspaper, claimed in a piece in November 2000 that onlookers had seen the Duke at New York nightclubs looking pale and with his face “running with sweat” the weekend before.
The article also said he had reportedly left top London nightclub China White “sweating profusely” a couple of weeks earlier.
It also reported the prince’s “renewed” love for London’s nightspots at that time – five months before he allegedly encountered Virginia Roberts.
“On the date that’s being suggested I was at home with the children… I’d taken Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking.”
Prince Andrew tells @maitlis he was elsewhere the night it has been claimed he had his photo taken with a woman who says they had sex
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 16, 2019
The Duke is facing growing calls to give a formal statement to the American authorities examining the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal following the interview.
US lawyer Spencer Kulvin, who represents a woman who claims she was a victim of Epstein, said Andrew should come forward to help the ongoing investigation into the disgraced American financier.
Mr Kulvin said: “As a lawyer I was rather shocked that he would go on camera like this because anything he says can be utilised in a cross-examination of him later, should he choose to come forward, and actually, in an official capacity, allow himself to be interviewed by the US authorities – which I believe he should do.
“I don’t think there’s any way that a man who’s been to all three of Mr Epstein’s homes could avoid seeing what was going on in those homes, with people going in and out and young girls being shuttled in and out of those homes.”
Conflicting newspaper reports claim Andrew told the Queen his television appearance on BBC’s Newsnight programme was a success, and that he expressed regret to friends at not mentioning sympathy for the women trafficked for sex by Epstein.
Buckingham Palace’s press team was contacted for a response this morning.