Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson breaks silence on under-age sex allegations: 'He's the greatest man there is'
Jan 05, 2015
Asked directly about the allegations by the Daily Mirror's reporter in Verbier, Fergie made a passionate plea on behalf of her ex-husband
may be at the centre of underage sex claims, but there was no doubt where his former wife Sarah Ferguson’s loyalties lay today.
The Duchess of York, 55, launched a passionate defence of the beleaguered royal as the furore over allegations made by Virginia Roberts that he romped with her when she was 17 continued.
Fergie emerged from a luxury Swiss ski chalet in Verbier to offer her support to Andrew, who denies the claims.
Asked about American Virginia’s shock accusations made in US court papers, Fergie replied: “I will say it was the finest moment of my life in 1986 when I married him.
“He is a great man, the best man in the world. The York family are a tight unit, we always have been a tight unit. He is the greatest man there is.”
Fergie broke off from a mountain hike to speak warmly about her ex.
Confident: Fergie spoke glowingly of her ex-husband Andrew
She has been staying in the £22,000-a-week chalet where Andrew was told the bombshell news Virginia had claimed he slept with her three times when she was a 17-year-old – once on a Caribbean island where the age of consent is 18.
The woman, now 30, alleges she had been made a sex slave by the 54-year-old prince’s disgraced tycoon pal Jeffrey Epstein, 61.
As the damaging claims emerged, Andrew turned to his former wife for support.
Their youngest daughter Eugenie, 24, and 28-year-old boyfriend Jack Brooksbank, were pictured skiing while the pair stayed holed up in the chalet for 48 hours.
The prince later flew home for talks with the Queen.
Fergie’s public comments may reflect her desire to support Andrew, but they could make palace aides nervous at a time when they are keen to control any action taken on his behalf.
The prince was named in court papers as one of the men Epstein provided girls to for sex between 1999 and 2002.
Virginia claimed she slept with Andrew in New York, London and on the wealthy banker’s private isle in the US Virgin Islands.
She was one of two women applying to join two others in a lawsuit against American prosecutors.
The pair claim they should have been told of a plea bargain made with Epstein that allowed him a reduced sentence when he was jailed for 18 months in 2008 for soliciting an underage girl.
Despite divorcing in 1996, Fergie still holds sway over Andrew, perhaps even more so than his mother. She knew American Epstein.
And the duchess, who today sent out cups of coffee for reporters gathered outside the chalet, was also a friend of Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of late Mirror publisher Robert Maxwell.
Jon Fuller-Rowell/Daily Mirror
Going home: Prince Andrew looks thoughtful leaving Verbier ski resort in Switzerland with his daughter Princess Eugenie in the back seat
Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson breaks silence on under-age sex allegations: 'He's the greatest man there is' - Mirror Online
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Prince Andrew allegation: Boris Johnson says he has 'sympathy' for Duke of York following underage sex claim
Jan 06, 2015 11:22
Johnson said the prince does a huge amount of 'unsung' work on behalf of Britain, 'so if you are asking me whether I have sympathy for him, of course I do'
Respect: Johnson (left) said the prince was viewed as an 'interesting and significant figure' in other parts of the world
has expressed sympathy for
following allegations he slept with an underage girl at an orgy.
Married mother-of-three Virginia Roberts
claims to have met Jeffrey Epstein
and later Prince Andrew
through Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of shamed media mogul Robert.
She claims she was forced to have sex with several men - including Prince Andrew - while a teenager, a claim the prince emphatically denies.
Allegation: Falklands War veteran Prince Andrew pictured leaving Verbier ski resort in Switzerland
Speaking on LBC radio today, Johnson gave his support to the Duke, praising his role in boosting British trade and said he had sympathy for him.
"Prince Andrew, let's be very clear, is a guy who does a huge amount of unsung, unheralded work for this country," he told LBC.
"People, they go on and on about the air miles and so on, actually I have seen that guy get out there and sell this country, try and help British firms to get business around the world.
"He does a huge amount of good and a huge amount of hard work. So if you are asking me whether I have sympathy for him, of course I do."
Mr Johnson added: "We may think it's bizarre, but somebody who is the second son of
is felt in many parts of the world to be an interesting and significant figure and they will receive him cordially and people who come with him they want to hear what business suggestions they have.
"So I think that people should respect that side of his work."
Prince Andrew allegation: Boris Johnson says he has 'sympathy' for Duke of York following underage sex claim - Mirror Online