Fergie vows to stand by ‘fabulous father’ Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal

Sarah Ferguson has pledged to "stand firm" alongside Prince Andrew in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Convicted sex offender Epstein was found dead in his cell on the morning of August 10, 2019 while awaiting his trial for sex trafficking charges and his death was ruled "suicide by hanging".

He had previously been convicted of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute.

Andrew said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein in a disastrous BBC interview with Emily Maitlis in November 2019.

Virginia Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by Epstein as a teenager, told Panorama that she was left "horrified and ashamed" after an alleged sexual encounter with the Duke in London in 2001.

A photo of a teenage Giuffre posing with Andrew resurfaced around the same time as the now-infamous BBC interview.

Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre, and has said in the past that he is willing to cooperate with the FBI investigation into Epstein's sex trafficking ring.

And now, following the scandal, the Duchess of York has reiterated her support for ex-husband Prince Andrew in a new interview with PEOPLE magazine.

She said: "Whatever challenges he has, I will stand firm to the co-parenters that we are together… I believe that he's a kind, good man, and he's been a fabulous father to the girls."

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Ferguson, 61, and Andrew, 61, are parents to Princess Eugenie, 31, and Princess Beatrice, 32, and grandparents to Eugenie's 5-month-old son, August.

Beatrice is also expecting her first child.

The Duchess of York previously told Vogue: "When I talk about Prince Andrew, I talk about family because the last six months have been hard on the girls and me," she said.

"To see such a wonderful man go through such enormous pain. He is the best man I know. It’s just incredible what he has done for Britain, and it’s all nonsense, so I talk about familyhood, and I’m very strong about it."

She also previously showed her support for her former husband on Instagram, calling him a "true and real gentleman" and a "giant of a principled man."

The Duke stepped back from his royal duties following the scandal in November 2019.

In a personal statement, he said: "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.

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

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