The British royal began trending after an "astonishing" interview in which he attempted to explain his relationship with Epstein and described the convicted sex offender's actions as "unbecoming."
British royal Prince Andrew managed to push both Brexit and the U.K.'s upcoming general election from the U.K. headlines on Saturday night following an exclusive interview — widely labeled as car-crash television — in which he attempted to explain his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Speaking exclusively to the BBC's Emily Maitlis, Prince Andrew repeatedly asserted that he was never a "close friend" of Epstein's, despite admitting to making numerous visits to the convicted sex offender's various homes and even inviting Epstein to royal events at both Windsor and Sandringham.
Regarding a now famed meeting in New York in 2010 that took place after Epstein had been convicted for soliciting a minor for prostitution, Prince Andrew said he was merely there to explain in person that they could no longer see other "I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do", and that he had stayed on in Epstein's residence for several days afterwards only because it was "convenient."
The frequently rambling and contradictory nature of the interview saw it become an instant talking point on social media. Piers Morgan was among those voicing their amazement.
"This is one of the most astonishing interviews I've ever watched," he tweeted, adding that it was "desperate, toe-curling bullsh*t from Prince Andrew. Why on earth did he do this? Insane."
This is one of the most astonishing interviews I've ever watched. Brilliant forensic dissection by @maitlis - desperate, toe-curling bullsh*t from Prince Andrew. Why on earth did he do this? Insane. pic.twitter.com/cF0UBBAlvG
— Piers Morgan @piersmorgan November 16, 2019
In one of the interview's biggest talking points, Prince Andrew vehemently denied accusations leveled against himself. Despite a notorious photograph of his arm around her, he said had "no recollection" of ever meeting Virginia Roberts Guiffre, who has alleged that she was paid by Epstein to have sex with the royal when she was 17, the first of three sexual encounters she claims took place between them.
Andrew asserted that he could not have had sex with Guiffre in London on March 10, 2001, as she had stated, because he had taken his children "to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party" on that day. Later in the interview, he struggled to remember when in 2019 was the last time he had seen Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's former girlfriend who owned the flat in which the London incident was alleged to have taken place.
Rose McGowan suggested that the reason he couldn't remember his accuser was because "there were so many young girls."
Can Prince Andrew not remember Virginia Roberts, his accuser, because there were so many young girls? Am I hearing this right? [email protected][email protected] @.maitlis https://t.co/4KUvh4IYLK
— rose mcgowan @rosemcgowan November 16, 2019
Towards the end of the interview, even the BBC's Maitlis was taken aback when Prince Andrew said that Epstein had "quite obviously conducted himself in a manner that was unbecoming."
Replied Maitlis: "Unbecoming? He was a sex offender."
After the interview had aired, Veep and The Personal History of David Copperfield writer Simon Blackwell sarcastically tweeted: "Well that seems to have drawn a line under the whole thing."
Well that seems to have drawn a line under the whole thing #PrinceAndrew
— Simon Blackwell @simonblackwell November 16, 2019
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Vice TV has ordered Shelter in Place with Shane Smith, a new half-hour weekly interview show hosted by the Vice Media Group founder. It’s set to premiere Thursday, April 9 at 10 PM with two back-to-back episodes.
In the series, produced through remote video interviews from Smith’s home in Santa Monica, Smith will tackle the biggest questions of the moment with experts from the fields of science, journalism, entertainment, food and economics.
“I'm at home, you're at home and our news cycle is changing by the minute,” said Smith. “So, I decided to dial up some of the world's foremost thinkers to offer us some much needed perspective and get to some truth on what we should be doing in this time like none other.” You can watch a preview clip below.
Smith’s first guest will be whistleblower Edward Snowden, who delves into the world of surveillance, privacy and our future civil liberties as international governments and autocratic regimes enact bold, new policies to curb the virus.
“When any of us look at where this is heading, we need to think about where we’ve been,” said Snowden. “And sadly, these kind of emergency powers that are born out of crises, have a perfect history of abuse”.
The second episode will feature California Governor Gavin Newsom who speaks to Smith about how his state has braced for the pandemic, where the federal government has stumbled, and what is coming next. Dr. Anne Rimoin, a world-leading epidemiologist, is also featured and will speak to how the virus has spread and what we can do about it.
Produced by Vice TV, Shane Smith, Alex Chitty, Maral Usefi are the Executive Producers for Shelter in Place. Jonah Kaplan is Supervising Producer.
Shelter in Place will be available on Vice TV via all major satellite and cable providers; ViceTV.com; and the Vice TV app via iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. The first two episodes will be available for free on Vice & Munchies YouTube page.
Shelter in Place with Shane Smith is the latest programming from Vice TV produced in response to COVID-19. Vice Quarantine Hour is a limited variety series airing weekdays at 8 AM ET/PT. Vice TV's Emmy-winning nightly newscast is airing dedicated COVID-19 episodes with Vice News Tonight: Remote.